The Oxia Palus quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Oxia Palus quadrangle is also referred to as MC-11 (Mars Chart-11).
The quadrangle covers the region of 0° to 45° west longitude and 0° to 30° north latitude on Mars. Mars Pathfinder landed in the Oxia Palus quadrangle at 19°08′N 33°13′W / 19.13°N 33.22°W / 19.13; -33.22, on July 4, 1997. Crater names in Oxia Palus are a Who's Who for famous scientists. Besides Galilaei and DaVinci, some of the people who discovered the atom and radiation are honored there: Curie, Becquerel, and Rutherford. Mawrth Vallis was strongly considered as a landing site for NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory. This quadrangle contains abundant evidence for past water in such forms as river valleys, lakes, springs, and chaos areas where water flowed out of the ground. A variety of clay minerals have been found in Oxia Palus. Clay is formed in water, and it is good for preserving microscopic evidence of ancient life. Recently, scientists have found strong evidence for a lake located in the Oxia Palus quadrangle that received drainage from Shalbatana Vallis. The study, carried out with HiRISE images, indicates that water formed a 30-mile-long canyon that opened up into a valley, deposited sediment, and created a delta. This delta and others around the basin imply the existence of a large, long-lived lake. Of special interest is evidence that the lake formed after the warm, wet period was thought to have ended. So, lakes may have been around much longer than previously thought.
Read more about Oxia Palus Quadrangle: Surface Appearance, Types of Rocks, Other Results From Pathfinder, River Valleys and Chaos, Lakes, Aram Chaos, Layered Sediments, Wrinkle Ridges, Faults, Springs, Mojave Crater, Other Craters, Vallis, Other Close-ups in Oxia Palus Quadrangle, See Also