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Martian soil stratigraphy and rock coatings observed in color-enhanced Viking Lander imagesSubtle color variations of martian surface materials were enhanced in eight Viking Lander (VL) color images. Well-defined soil units recognized at each site (six at VL-1 and four at VL-2), are identified on the basis of color, texture, morphology, and contact relations. The soil units at the Viking 2 site form a well-defined stratigraphic sequence, whereas the sequence at the Viking 1 site is only partially defined. The same relative soil colors occur at the two sites, suggesting that similar soil units are widespread on Mars. Several types of rock surface materials can be recognized at the two sites; dark, relatively 'blue' rock surfaces are probably minimally weathered igneous rock, whereas bright rock surfaces, with a green/(blue + red) ratio higher than that of any other surface material, are interpreted as a weathering product formed in situ on the rock. These rock surface types are common at both sites. Soil adhering to rocks is common at VL-2, but rare at VL-1. The mechanism that produces the weathering coating on rocks probably operates planet-wide.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Strickland, E. L., III
(Washington University St. Louis, Mo., United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Meeting Information
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference(Houston, TX)
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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