Geology Report – February 4th

Geology Report
Prepared by: Sai Arun Dharmik Bhoga
Sol: 06
Earth Date: 02.04.2017
The primary goal was to study the distribution of magnetic minerals in the rock types present in the MDRS site. The field study of surface minerals for geological study is important as more specific applications such as resource extraction, ecology, engineering (civil), geophysical and geochemical research. The challenging part is to develop the field procedures and study the geology of the region wearing the simulated space suits and carrying life support system.
The previous studies done at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) reveals that the magnetic susceptibility did not vary much in the regions near the Hab site. Hence, I chose to visit the locations of various geological formations to study the distribution of magnetic minerals.
In our first EVA, we chose to visit the haematite concretions (Blueberries). The morphology of these concretions are similar to the ones found in Meridiani Planum on Mars. As the bulk susceptibility of the rock depends on the magnetic minerals present, we expected to get some good results. But the first ever EVA of the crew turned out to be slightly disappointing due to heavy fogging issues on helmet and GPS failure due to low battery. I couldn’t collect any samples from the haematite concretions. While few samples were collected near turtle hills region, that being a good landmark. They were sandstones, siltstones and occasionally flint.
In our second EVA, Saroj Kumar and myself went to the Dinosaur quarry to explore the locations and mark them. We found some Martian Flora in the Dinosaur quarry, along with some conglomerates and chert. The region was mostly under the influence of exfoliation. Enroute to dinosaur quarry, I have seen many stratified rock layers in exposed hillsides.The GPS was working, so I have marked the locations of rock samples collected near the reservoir as well as sedimentary outcrops and marked those locations. Those were primarily Basalt (porphyritic), Calcite, sandstone and siltstone.  It was more of a recce to mark the locations of interest to study the magnetic susceptibility of minerals in those regions in the following EVA’s.
The primary aim for the follow-up EVA’s would be to visit the Haematite concretions, Sedimentary outcrops, Cattle grid regions and study the variation of magnetic susceptibility with variable humidity and temperature. If the time permits, I would be happy to explore Kissing camel ridge, Candor Chasma and White rock canyon to find any fruitful results.