Report of the Annual Mappers Meeting
Planetary Science Institute
June 28 and 29, 2007
Approximately 22 people attended this year’s mappers meeting, and many more submitted abstracts and maps in absentia. The 2007 meeting was convened by Tracy Gregg, Les Bleamaster, Steve Saunders, and Ken Tanaka and was hosted by David Crown and Les Bleamaster of the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) in Tucson, Arizona. Oral presentations and poster discussions took place on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29. This year’s meeting also included a unique opportunity to visit the operations centers of two active Mars missions; field trips to the University of Arizona took place on Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Outgoing Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS) chairperson, Tracy Gregg, commenced the meeting with an introduction and David Crown followed with a discussion of logistics and the PSI facility; Steve Saunders (Planetary Geology and Geophysics Discipline Scientist) then provided a brief program update. Science presentations kicked off with Venus mapper Vicki Hansen and graduate students Eric Tharalson and Bhairavi Shankar of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, showing a 3-D animation of the global distribution of tesserae and discussing the implications, a progress report for V-45 quadrangle mapping, and a brief discussion of circular lows. Les Bleamaster (PSI) followed with a progress report on mapping of the V-50 quadrangle and the 1:10M Helen Planitia quadrangle. David Crown (PSI) concluded the Venus presentations with a discussion of progress made on the V-30 quadrangle. The remainder of Thursday’s presentations jumped around the Solar System including Mars, Io, and Earth. Ken Tanaka of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began the afternoon with a general discussion of the status of the planetary mapping program at USGS. Buck Janes (University of Arizona) provided background information about the Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) and presented some new element maps, which may be useful for geologic mapping. Dave Williams of Arizona State University reported on the progress of his global Io map and James Dohm (University of Arizona) discussed results of terrestrial remote mapping studies. Thursday afternoon, the mappers were given a tour of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) operations facility and were given some basic information about how the images are obtained, processed, and publicly released.
With official GEMS transition completed at lunch on Thursday, incoming GEMS chair Leslie Bleamaster took the reigns of Friday’s meeting. Science presentations began with Ken Tanaka discussing 1:20M-scale global and 1:2M-scale polar mapping of Mars. Jim Zimbelman (Smithsonian Institution) described his 1:1M Medusae Fossae map (MC-8 SE), which is nearing completion, and new mapping (MC-16 NW and MC-23 NW) to further evaluate the Medusae Fossae. Brent Garry, also of the Smithsonian Institution, presented work on Ascraeus Mons. Peter Mouginis-Mark (University of Hawai‘i) reported progress on his 1:200K and larger maps of Tooting crater and of the Olympus Mons summit caldera. Laszlo Keszthelyi (USGS) presented mapping of Athabasca Valles, with much of the credit going to Windy Jaeger. Jim Skinner (USGS) introduced a new mapping project including nine MTM quadrangles in the Utopia Planitia region. Tracy Gregg finished off the day’s science presentations with discussion of Hesperia Planum. After discussion was complete, the group once again traveled to the University of Arizona - this time for a tour of the Mars Phoenix operations center. Principal Investigator Peter Smith beamed as he led mappers through the multi-million dollar facility.
A main topic of discussion throughout the entire meeting was that of nomenclature, specifically how to classify the individual depressions at the tops of volcanoes. Paterae, as has been used for Mars, Venus, and Io, was suggested, but introduces several problems with the classical and literal usage of the term over the past few decades. The group proposed that crater, like it is used for terrestrial volcanoes, would be the most appropriate term and suggested that GEMS, along with Jenny Blue (USGS), approach the xIAU to discuss this issue further.
The next mappers meeting will be held in Flagstaff, at the U.S. Geological Survey, tentatively on June 19 and 20, 2008.