Below is the text of the FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT sent out by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (Houston, Texas) regarding the Channeled Scablands Trip.


Mars Pathfinder Landing Site Workshop II:

Characteristics of the Ares Vallis Region


Field Trip to the

Channeled Scablands

September 24-30, 1995

Spokane, Washington

This workshop is for all interested scientists to discuss the characteristics of the Ares Vallis outflow area and general environs. Mars Pathfinder, our next mission to arrive at Mars, will place a single lander on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997, following a December 1996 launch. The lander is outfitted with a small rover to explore the local area and will carry a lander-based multispectral stereo camera for imaging the landing site, determining local mineralogy, and performing a variety of atmospheric measurements; an alpha proton X-ray spectrometer on the rover for measuring the elemental composition of rocks, soil, and surface materials; and an atmospheric structure instrument/meteorology package for obtaining an atmospheric profile and for monitoring the boundary layer after landing. Following the very successful first "Mars Pathfinder Landing Site Workshop" held last April at LPI, project scientists and engineers have selected the Ares Vallis outflow channel in Chryse Planitia as the primary landing site. This location (see image above) is where a large catastrophic outflow channel debouches into the northern lowlands. Landing on the material deposited by the flood (a so-called "grab bag" site) provides the opportunity to analyze a variety of different rocks that make up the martian crust (ancient Noachian highlands as well as Hesperian ridged plains).

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a focus for learning as much as we can about the Ares Vallis region on Mars before we land there. The rationale is that the more we learn about the general area prior to landing, the better we will be able to interpret the observations made by the lander and rover and place them in the proper geologic context. The capabilities of the lander and rover are detailed in the technical report from the first workshop (LPI Technical Report 94-04; additional project information is available on the World-Wide Web, URL The workshop solicits abstracts and presentations on any aspect of the Ares Vallis site, including but not limited to the geology, geomorphology, paleohydrology, cratering, surface characteristics, atmosphere, and paleobiology. The workshop not only seeks to learn as much as possible about the specific landing site itself, but also to learn about the processes and characteristics of the general region, which will aid the interpretation of observations made at the landing site (a simple example might be the characterization of sources for rocks at the Ares site).

The field trip is to investigate on Earth features similar to those present at the landing site to better understand them. The field trip will include overflights and surface investigations of the Channeled Scablands (Cheney-Palouse, Dry Falls, Ephrata Fan, and Quincy Basin regions), focusing on areas particularly analogous to Ares Vallis and the landing site. The field trip is primarily directed at educational outreach involving K-12 teachers (from Washington and Idaho only) and selected Mars Pathfinder personnel, but a limited number of slots will be made available to interested scientists. The field trip will be led by Vic Baker (University of Arizona) and convened by Ken Edgett and Jim Rice (Arizona State University).

The field trip, scheduled for September 25-27, 1995, will be based out of Spokane and Moses Lake, Washington. A pre-field trip introduction and orientation will take place on Sunday evening, September 24, in Spokane. The workshop will be held September 28-29, 1995, in Spokane; workshop participants are not required to attend the field trip. If there is sufficient interest, a single-day field trip to the Missoula Lake break-out could be held on Saturday, September 30, 1995.

Please complete and return the enclosed indication of interest form (NOTE- contact LPI for form) by March 31, 1995. Please indicate your interest in attending (1) the preworkshop field trip to the Channeled Scablands, (2) the workshop itself, and/or (3) the postworkshop field trip to the Missoula Lake breakout. Please indicate also a tentative title and short description of your workshop presentation. A second announcement will be sent to all respondents in mid April; this mailing will include field trip and workshop registration forms, logistical information, and abstract preparation instructions. A final announcement is planned for early August; it will include the preliminary workshop program and more detailed logistical information.

Questions about the technical content of the workshop should be directed to:

Matthew Golombek
Mars Pathfinder Project Scientist
Mail Stop 230-235
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Questions about the field trip should be directed to:

Kenneth Edgett or James Rice
Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program
Department of Geology, Box 871404
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-1404

Requests concerning workshop logistics should be directed to:

Pathfinder II Workshop
Publications and Program Services Department
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston, Texas  77058-1113
phone: 713-486-2158
fax: 713-486-2160


March 31	Indication of Interest forms 
		due at LPI.

mid April	Second announcement (including
		field trip and workshop 
		registration forms, logistical
		information, and abstract
		preparation instructions) to
		be mailed.

June 16		Deadline for field trip
		registration and deposit

July 10		Deadline for abstract

early August	Final Announcement (including
		preliminary program and more
		detailed logistical information)
		to be mailed.

September 1	Deadline for registration for
		workshop and/or balance of
		field trip registration fee.

Sept. 24-27	Field Trip to Channeled Scablands

Sept. 28-29	Workshop in Spokane, Washington

September 30	Field trip to Missoula Lake
		break-out (tentative).

Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program, 26 March 1995