Oxia Planum

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Oxia Planum
Oxia Planum near Coogoon Vallis by HiRise.jpg
LocationOxia Palus quadrangle
Coordinates18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368Coordinates: 18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368

Oxia Planum is a plain located on Mars (near 18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368)[1] that has been chosen as a preferred landing location for the ExoMars rover,[2][3][4] with an elevation more than 3000 metres below the Martian mean.[5]


Oxia Planum contains one of the largest exposures of clay-bearing rocks and are around 3.9 billion years old.[6] The site is iron-magnesium rich clays, indicating that water once played a role here. The site sits in an area of valley systems with the exposed rocks exhibiting different compositions, indicating a variety of deposition and wetting environments.

Clay accumulation underneath the remnants of a fan or delta near the outlet of Coogoon Vallis may offer preservation for biosignatures against the planet's harsh radiation and oxidation environment.[6][7][8]

Oxia Planum - Location Map.
Oxia Planum - Geological Context - Morphology.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bridges, John (July 1, 2015). "Clay-Rich Terrain in Oxia Planum: A Proposed ExoMars Landing Site". Arizona University. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "Oxia Planum Favoured for ExoMars Surface Mission". www.esa.int. European Space Agency. November 9, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Amos, Jonathan (October 21, 2015). "ExoMars rover: Landing preference is for Oxia Planum". BBC News. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Atkinson, Nancy (October 21, 2015). "Scientists Want ExoMars Rover to Land at Oxia Planum". Universe Today. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  5. ^ ESA mission updates. Emily Lakdawalla; 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Durnham, R. (October 21, 2015). "ExoMars 2018 rover heading for Oxia Planum". Red Planet Report. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  7. ^ Thollot, P.; Quantin, C. (May 14, 2014). "Oxia Planum, landing site for Mars 2020" (PDF). Universite de Lyon, France. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Staff (October 1, 2014). "Possible Future Mars Landing Site in Oxia Planum - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment". The University of Arizona. Retrieved October 21, 2015.

External links[edit]