Spirit's Destination

This image, cropped from a larger panoramic image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera, shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the "Columbia Hills." The rover is currently positioned outside the view of this image, on the right. This image was taken on sols 68 and 69 of Spirit's mission (March 12 and 13, 2004) from the location the rover first reached on the western rim of the crater. The image is in approximate true color, based on a scaling of data from the red, green and blue (750 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 480 nanometers) filters.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Gusev crater is estimated to be 3 million yrs. based on cratering. Gusev is filled with plenty of other geologic stuff brought in form elsewere so its hard to do good geology. That is why they plan to go to the hills 3-4 Km away to view the shoreline and analyze for minerals there. If they find "goethite", it would be an undeniable aqueous lake salt.

I think you meen 3 Billion years old for the age of Gusev Crater.


This site says the rim of Gusev is ~4 Billion years old and the floor is about 1.8 bilion years old.

Or to use the new notation Million Years Ago (MYA)...

Gusev Rim 4000 MYA
Gusev Floor 1800 MYA

Something does not seem right. The base of the crater is lower and should represent older rocks no? Maybe it means that the region was formed 4000 MYA and the impact occurred 1800 MYA?

Maybe the crater was formed 4000 MYA and then whatever water event carved Ma'adim Vallis happened 1800 MYA and thus filled the floor of Gusev with new material.

Yeah that's right. Thanks. They define the Gusev floor as "Smooth surface interpreted to be deposits of fine-grained sediments transported into the crater by water from Ma'adim Vallis."

it seems we are looking to a dried Wadi after a seasonal run-off waters in spring?