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J. Alexis Rodriguez

During the last year my research has been focused on the investigation of the Martian outflow channels using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) high resolution image data, which allows for the identification of landforms a few meters to a few tens of meters in scale. The Martian outflow channels comprise some of the largest channels in the Solar System and their formation is considered as having led to the development of oceans in the planet’s northern lowlands. Thus, understanding their formative history remains a fundamental aspect in the Martian hydrogeologic history. Results of my investigation include the identification of bedforms analogous in both scale and shape to those that occur within Channeled Scablands, Washington, USA as well as landforms that appear to have resulted glacial flow [Rodriguez et al., under review at Icarus].  Channeled Scablands comprise the best documented system of terrestrial channels known to have formed as a consequence of catastrophic flooding.   Impact crater statistics show that these surfaces formed ~600 million years ago [Rodriguez et al., under review at Icarus], a surprisingly young age for outflow channel activity, which is widely considered as having mostly occurred ~3000 million years ago.  Thus, this investigation reveals evidence for relatively recent catastrophic flooding and glaciation occurring within some of the largest Martian outflow channels. During this investigation, I have also mapped and categorized larger systems of bedforms that range from several hundred meters to a few kilometers in scale [Rodriguez et al., submitted to GRL]. Results presented in this paper indicate that early outflow channel formation resulted from catastrophic floods that led to the extensive dissection in the highland plateaus of southern circum-Chryse.  In contrast, we also find that the latest stage of regional outflow channel activity was dominated by widespread sedimentary deposition, most likely by debris flows.  This stage of extensive sedimentation appears to have shortly followed the stage of catastrophic flooding documented in Rodriguez et al. [under Review at Icarus]. I have also performed extensive work related to the geologic history of the Martian polar caps. A key finding is evidence for very recent shrinkage of the south polar cap, which appears to have occurred approximately 100 million years ago [Rodriguez et al., in review at Icarus Note], which is consistent with numerous recent publications that call for recent climate change on Mars. 
 
 
Peer-reviewed journals
Davila, A.F. et al., (including J.A.P. Rodriguez), Evidence for Hesperian glaciations along the Martian dichotomy boundary. Geology, 41, 755-758, 2013. 
Pellicer, X.M., et al., (including J.A.P. Rodriguez), Morpho-stratigraphic characterization of a tufa mound complex in the Spanish Pyrenees using ground penetrating radar and trenching, implications for studies in Mars, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 388, 197–210, 2014.
Rodriguez, J.A.P., et al., Evidence for Middle Amazonian catastrophic flooding and glaciation on Mars, Icarus (under review). 
Rodriguez, J.A.P., et al., Evidence for Late Amazonian zonal shrinkage of the Martian south polar plateau,  Icarus (under review).
Rodriguez, J.A.P., et al., Evidence for Late Amazonian zonal shrinkage of the Martian south polar plateau,  Icarus (under review).
Rodriguez, J.A.P., et al., Nature of outflow channel activity within Simud, Tiu and Ares Valles, Mars,  GRL (submitted).
Book chapter
Rodriguez, J.A.P. and Platz, T. (2013). Types and formational mechanisms of south polar troughs, Mars. In: Fairén, A.G. (ed.). Mars: Evolution, Geology and Exploration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (ISBN: 978-1-62618-102-1).
Abstracts
Rodriguez J. A. P. and V. Gulick, Determining the cessation of catastrophic surface discharges from eastern to central Valles Marineris, Mars, ESPSC #281, 2013. 
Rodriguez J. A. P., V. Gulick, V. Baker, T. Platz, and A.G. Fairén, Evidence for multiple stages of extensive low outflow channel floor resurfacing in southern circum-Chryse, Mars, LPSC #2917, 2014. 
Rodriguez J. A. P., V. Gulick, V. Baker, T. Platz, and A.G. Fairén, Evidence for multiple stages of extensive low outflow channel floor resurfacing in southern circum-Chryse, Mars, LPSC #2917, 2014. 
 Fortezzo C.M., K. L. Tanaka, T. Platz, J.A.P. Rodriguez and P.S. Kumar, Geologic mapping of central Valles Marineris, Mars, LPSC, 2014.
 
 
During the last year I also reviewed 1 article for Icarus and 1 for JGR.  I also took part in a NASA review panel. 
 
 
 
Research Year: 
2013
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