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SPS Seminar - “Unravelling Mars source-to-sink processes in Iceland through the SAND-E Mars analog mission.”

Dates
Thursday, November 25, 2021 - 14:00 to 15:00

When:  Thursday 25 November at 14.00

Where:  Microsoft Teams – Online

Speaker:  Candice Bedford - NASA Johnson Space Center and Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas

Hosted by: Alexander Barrett

Abstract:

Sediments carry geochemical fingerprints of their journey from their eroded bedrock to the environment under which they were transported and deposited. As such, being able to identify these geochemical fingerprints allows us to gain a better understanding of the geological history of an area, especially in relation to crustal diversity and paleoenvironmental conditions. Source-to-sink studies have become particularly important for field sites on Mars where access to the sediment source rocks is not possible and our understanding of the geological record comes from image, geochemical, and mineralogical data acquired during the rover traverse. However, most of our understanding of sedimentary geochemistry comes from studies on continental crust on the Earth which is geochemically and mineralogically different to the largely basaltic crust on Mars. Earth-based source-to-sink studies also use very different techniques compared to what is available to a Mars rover. The SAND-E (Semi-autonomous Navigation in Detrital Environments) mission is a Mars analog mission that has had two field campaigns in Iceland in 2019 and 2021 with the aim to investigate source-to-sink processes using Mars rover techniques. Iceland is largely basaltic and is host to glacial, river, and aeolian sedimentary systems similar to what has been identified to exist or have existed on Mars. In this talk, we will discuss some of the recent results from the SAND-E missions field campaigns and their implications for the current hypotheses on Mars source-to-sink processes.

BIO:

Dr Candice Bedford is a Mars geochemist at the NASA Johnson Space Center and Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr Bedford completed her PhD in Planetary Science at The Open University in 2019 and has been a foreign collaborator on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory science team since 2016. In addition to her research on Mars, Dr Bedford is also involved in several Mars analog missions (SAND-E and DIGMARS) where she focuses on understanding how different styles of volcanism (e.g., explosive versus effusive) has impacted the sediments analyzed at the field sites.

 

 

 

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