This image shows Rocks explored by the Rover.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL
Rock weathering on Mars
The rocks explored by the Mars Pathfinder's Rover are classified into two groups according to how they weather. Differing weathering properties may indicate differing conditions of deposition because impact deposits are usually much less eroded than fluvial deposits. The two classes are:
- weathered rock & fluvial conditions of deposition
- unweathered & impact conditions of deposition
- usually dark volcanic rock, see rock classes
- contains vesicles (small holes)
- usually angular in shape or broken
was a bright rock and was marked by ventifacts. Barnacle Bill
was a dark rock and not well weathered. This suggests that Barnacle Bill was put in place as a result of an impact.
By figuring out the conditions under which the rocks were deposited, scientists hope to learn where the rocks came from, and what happened to the Martian water.
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