Surface Sculpting Waters
This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to surface water erosion due to rivers and deltas and their evidence on the Martian landscape. Students will use modern analogs to assess the hypothesis that both rivers and deltas existed on Mars.
- Demonstrate comprehension of fluvial styles and processes as well as delta formation through comparison of Earth-analog environments and Mars imaging.
- Gain experience with contour maps on both Earth & Mars
- Competently provide evidence for ancient surface waters on Mars
Context for Use
This learning module is meant for adaptation in an introductory Earth science course and/or planetary science course. If you desire to use the In-Class Activity 1: Stream Table and Mars, provide exposure to fluvial processes and styles prior to the activity.
Description and Teaching Materials
- In-Class Activity 1: Carving Mars: Rivers (Acrobat (PDF) 803kB Jun1 13)
- In-Class Activity 2: Eberswalde Delta Mars (Acrobat (PDF) 70kB Jun1 13)
- Homework 1: Mars Fluvial Channels: Contour Maps (Acrobat (PDF) 74kB Jun1 13)
- Homework 2:
Teaching Notes and Tips
- In-Class Activities above in Teaching Materials are student versions only. Instructor versions are the webpages to the left in the left-hand navigation bar for this module.
- In-Class Activities are meant to be instructor-guided. Worksheets (student version) are not necessarily needed to implement the In-Class Activities.
- If you have access to a stream table, schedule the stream table and conduct the "Stream Table and Mars" In-Class Activity in the stream table lab.
- For larger classes (>20 students) in the "Stream Table an Mars" In-Class Activity: use the video link provided in Resources and ask for volunteers to sketch out fluvial events on the board for others to explain and discuss. Encourage all students to participate and turn in their sketches for a participation grade.
- All images required for activities/homework are available in Resources in PowerPoint format.
- Acquire red/blue glasses to view HIRISE red-blue anaglyph images.
Each In-Class Activity and Homework has its own measure of Assessment.
References and Resources
- Surface Sculpting Waters on Mars Image file (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 11MB Oct16 12)
- Stream Table: meandering river-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsQ7hW2fAEs&feature=related
- Boggs, S., 2001. Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-099696-3, 726p.
- Mars Global Surveyor image & Video of Martian delta: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_98.html
- Red-blue glass anaglyph glasses: http://www.rainbowsymphonystor e.com/maopandsproc.html
- Ehlmann B., et al. 2008. Clay minerals in delta deposits and organic preservation potential on Mars, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo207.
- Bhattacharya, J., and Giosan, L., 2003. Wave-influenced deltas: geomorphological implications for facies reconstruction, Sedimentology, v. 50, p. 187-210.
- Water flows on Mars presented by Alfred McEwen (choose the video under "Possible Water Flows on Mars"): http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/multimedia/videoarchive/