Elevation Anomalies of the Volcanic Floor Unit and Their Relationships to the Multiple Lakes of Jezero Crater, Mars


We reassessed several orbital topographic data sets for the Perseverance rover landing site at Jezero Crater, Mars to better understand its floor units. Tens-of-meters deep topographic anomalies occur in the volcanic floor of Jezero crater and are not a result of impact cratering. Eight km-scale steep escarpment-bounded depressions may be locations of paleotopographic highs that were embayed by the volcanic floor lava flows, forming inverted topography from either contemporaneous upward inflation of embaying lavas or later deep scour due to differential erosion over 107−9 years. Five multi km-scale shallow-sloped depressions linked by channel-like forms may record locations of buried paleolakes and channels that predate the volcanic floor units or a drained magma system. These results indicate Jezero experienced multiple closed-basin or dry phases, allowing erosion of the crater floor and creation of topography, which provides new geologic context for the samples gathered by Perseverance.

Geophysical Research Letters
Andrew M. Annex
Senior Science Systems Engineer

My research interests include the applications of deep learning to planetary geology.