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Machine-Learning-Driven New Geologic Discoveries at Mars Rover Landing Sites: Jezero Crater and NE Syrtis
  • Murat Dundar,
  • Bethany L Ehlmann,
  • Ellen Leask
Murat Dundar
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bethany L Ehlmann
California Institute of Technology
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Ellen Leask
California Institute of Technology
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A hierarchical Bayesian classifier is trained at pixel scale with spectral data from the CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) images. Its utility in detecting small exposures of uncommon phases is demonstrated with new geologic discoveries near the Mars-2020 rover landing site. Akaganeite is found in sediments on the Jezero crater floor and in fluvial deposits at NE Syrtis. Jarosite and silica are found on the Jezero crater floor while chlorite-smectite and Al phyllosilicates are found in the Jezero crater walls. These detections point to a multi-stage, multi-chemistry history of water in Jezero crater and the surrounding region and provide new information for guiding the Mars-2020 rover’s landed exploration. In particular, the akaganeite, silica, and jarosite in the floor deposits suggest either a later episode of salty, Fe-rich waters that post-date the Jezero crater delta or groundwater alteration of portions of the Jezero crater sedimentary sequence.