The Mars Exploration Rover “Spirit” provided us with a serendipitous opportunity to traverse a section of the ancient martian crust, acquiring a trove of imaging, geochemical, and mineralogical measurements along the way. This small window looking out on the Noachian period (>3.7 Ga), dubbed the Columbia Hills, pokes out from the younger, volcanically resurfaced floor of Gusev Crater. It was our first detailed look at early Mars, a time when liquid water appears to have played a much more prominent role in shaping and modifying the planet than later in its history.

The abundance of rocks that appear to be...

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.