Abstract

New observations at Erebus crater (Olympia outcrop) by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity between sols 671 and 735 (a sol is a martian day) indicate that a diverse suite of primary and penecontemporaneous sedimentary structures is preserved in sulfate-rich bedrock. Centimeter-scale trough (festoon) cross-lamination is abundant, and is better expressed and thicker than previously described examples. Postdepositional shrinkage cracks in the same outcrop are interpreted to have formed in response to desiccation. Considered collectively, this suite of sedimentary structures provides strong support for the involvement of liquid water during accumulation of sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum.

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