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Robert Jacobsen

The geology and history of water on Mars are helpful information for characterizing ancient habitability on the Red Planet.  My research investigates the history of ancient rivers on Mars by analyzing the river rocks that were left behind (e.g., Figures a & b).  Examining high-resolution satellite images and topography provides key pieces of information, such as the sizes and shapes of the ancient rivers.  The dimensions of ancient rivers are then used to estimate the amount of water that once flowed on Mars.  Repeated analyses for river rocks of various ages indicate change in river flow through time.  Another aspect of my research is the investigation of interesting channels and rivers on Earth (e.g., Figures c & d).  Submarine channels form in reduced gravity environments and some rivers in deserts (e.g., Quinn River, NV) form in the near absence of vegetation.  These rivers provide opportunities to test flow equations where conditions are analogous to those experienced by ancient Martian rivers.  Results from these investigations help improve the accuracy and precision of estimates for ancient river flow on Mars.

ancient rivers on Mars





Conference Abstracts