We report results from a field survey performed on a recently discovered impact field in the southwestern Egyptian desert, using a 270 MHz Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR). This hyperarid region has significant similarities to the Martian heavily eroded mid-latitude cratered terrains in terms of crater density, size, and geomorphology. Profiles across small-buried craters revealed a coherent sequence of tilted layers constituting the cratonic infill resulting from aeolian deposits. In the intercrater areas the radargram revealed a poorly-defined subsurface stratigraphy and the presence of shallow structural elements associated with potential evidences of the consequences of the shock effects, i.e., faulting, fractures, and chaotic bedrock. The radar-penetration depth varied from 2 to 15 m, depending mainly on the amplitude of the volume and multiple scattering in the subsurface, caused by fractures and debris created by the impacts. We conclude that mid-frequency GPR onboard future Martian rovers can successfully perform similar structural mapping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)