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Proceedings Paper

Applications of time-of-flight lidar in crater geology
Author(s): Alain Berinstain; Gordon Osinski; John Spray; Pascal Lee; John Hahn; Arkady Ulitsky
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Paper Abstract

Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic (75°22’N, 89°41’W), is the largest uninhabited island on the planet. The climate is that of a polar desert; it is cold, dry, dusty, rocky, and almost void of any vegetation. The eastern part of the island is still covered by an ice cap, a remnant of the Inuitian Ice Sheet system that covered the bulk of the area during the last Glacial Maximum 8 000-10 000 years ago.. The island is rich in well-preserved geology, relatively free of erosion. The feature of highest scientific interest on Devon Island is the ~23-million-year-old (Miocene), ~24 km diameter Haughton impact structure.. There are few other craters on this planet as well preserved and exposed as Haughton, mainly due to the unique climate that slows down erosion common on the rest of the planet.The NASA Haughton-Mars project is an international planetary analog research project headquartered at NASA Ames Research Centre and managed by the SETI Institute. The lidar work described in this work is a collaborative activity between the SETI Institute, the University of Guelph, the University of New Brunswick, Optech Inc., and the Canadian Space Agency. Field activities were conducted under the auspices of the NASA HMP and of the CSA. Specific sites of geological interest within Haughton impact structure were imaged using an Optech Ilris 3-d ground-surveying unit. This very high-resolution, 3-dimensional data allows for the field geologist to "re-visit" a field site well after the field season has finished. In this work, we will present the results of 3-dimensional scans of an ejecta block and of impact-generated rock formations that contribute to furthering our understanding of impact cratering, a fundamental and universal process of planetary formation and evolution, and to studies of the erosional history of Haughton Crater and surrounding terrain on Devon Island. We will demonstrate how using this tool in the field can increase safety and allow for precise measurements to be made after the field season is completed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5086, Laser Radar Technology and Applications VIII, (21 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501696
Show Author Affiliations
Alain Berinstain, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
Univ. of Guelph (Canada)
Gordon Osinski, Univ. of New Brunswick (Canada)
John Spray, Univ. of New Brunswick (Canada)
Pascal Lee, SETI Institute (United States)
John Hahn, Optech Inc. (Canada)
Arkady Ulitsky, Optech Inc. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5086:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications VIII
Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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