Date and time: 28 April 2012, 1100 hrs to 16 hrs
Written by: Ali Harley, Crew 118, MSP

Crew members:

Hari Mogosanu, Mike Bodnar, Annalea Beattie, Don Stewart, Bruce Ngataierua, Ali Harley and Jon Rask


Just east of Engineering Bay, Lith Canyon, Box Canyon, Henry Mountains

Site Location:

Lith Canyon Road WP 248 

Box Canyon, elev. 1408 UTM 4256366, 12S 02520470

Henry Mountains

Transit Mode:

Pressurised Rover and on foot from there


To orient the crew with the geologic context and importance of the entire MDRS area.

(1) Hab ridge (concretions, endoliths, sedimentary features, fossils, geologic overview)
(2) fossil sites 
(3) endolith sites
(4) hypolith sites
(5) inverted river channel
(6) microbial mats and soil crust field sites
(7) the Henry Mountains. 


Just east of the engineering bay, Jon showed us hypoliths and explained the selection process, plus the importance of studying them for Mars.

At Lith Canyon we saw the cross bedding (water flow in different directions) bands in the sandstone where the bands with bigger pebbles represent faster flowing water and the bands with finer sediment represents a slower current when the sediment was laid down.  Jon described how the 'desert pavement' is formed.

At Box Canyon (elev. 1408 UTM 4256366, 12S02520470) Jon showed and described the native indian artefacts (tool napping slags).  

The flints/cherts were lying on the lag surface at the top of the canyon. There were sinkholes near the edge of the canyon, and the sandstone sounded hollow beneath our feet at certain points.

Just beyond the canyon is the braided river bed of Muddy Creek.

The canyon shows Summerville formation (which was laid down under frequent inundation) is soft and silty, contains gypsum, and is iron-rich.

Jon also talked about the crypto organic soil crust (living soil) and its importance for keeping the soil in place.

At Henry Mountains we got a view of the entire site in context: the uplifting of the Henry Mountains West-East, and the slope of the area to the south.  

Found a nice specimen of porphyry.


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