Department of Geology - Portland State University
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G456 / G556 Astrogeology
Spring 2019

A. Ruzicka



Water, water, everywhere!  "Pendant crater" on Mars (left) recording evidence for massive flooding (current from upper right to lower left); two interior models for Europa (right), which contains a crust of water ice that may overlie a subsurface ocean. Images courtesy of NASA.

Course information
  • I will be making available handouts of the course Powerpoints on D2L. You can access D2L using your regular PSU login. (posted 3/27/2019)
  • For Labs 3 and 4 (Mars 1 and 2), you will need to receive data sticks from me, which are taking longer to produce than typical and which should be available by class next Wednesday.  For these labs we will be using a stripped down version of ArcView that contains Mars data.  Before attempting these labs, you should read these instructions on how to use ArcView and the datasticks.  It is important to follow these instructions exactly. Depending on hardware and software changes to computers, however, the actual procedure may differ from those given here.   (posted 4/19/2019)


Laboratory Exercises
  • Lab 1  Lab period 4/12/2019, due 4/19/2019.  (posted 3/27/2019)
  • Lab 2  Lab period 4/19/2019, due 4/26/2019.   (posted 4/10/2019)
  • Lab 5   Lab period 5/10/2019, due 5/17/2019.   (posted 5/10/2019)
  • Lab 6  Lab period 5/17/2019, due 5/24/2019.  (posted 5/10/2019)

Problem sets (G556 students only)
  • Problem set 1  Due by start of class, 5/6/2019.  (posted 3/27/2019)
  • Problem set 2  Due by start of class, 6/5/2019.   (posted 5/17/2019)

Score distributions and answer keys
  • Lab   (posted 6/13/2019)

Images from planetary analog field trips to SE Oregon
  • Multiple flows of basaltic andesite on Steens Mountain; a hammer marks the contact between two flows. Vesicle content changes with respect to flow margins, being higher at the tops of flows and in narrow, chilled flow bottoms.  Andesitic flows may be present on Mars.
  • Lava stalactites in basalt at edge of skylight in roof of lava tube, Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area.  Note the obvious vesicles.  Basalt flows are common on Earth, the Moon, Mars, Venus, probably Mercury, and on some asteroids.  Probable skylights have been identified on Mars. 
  • Kiger gorge on Steens Mountain, showing U-shaped topographic profile indicative of glaciation.  The headwalls of this canyon extend up to the alpine climate zone, but glaciers last resided on Steens Mountain over 10,000 years ago.  U-shaped valleys are found on Mars.

Last Updated: June 13, 2019