Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Planning

Committee Chairperson

Megan Heckert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marc Gagne, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gary Coutu, Ph.D.


The northwestern region of the Gale crater experienced flooding in the past. Delineation of stream networks for the northwestern region of Gale Crater, Mars employing geographic information systems (GIS) techniques is applied. The stream network produced by the algorithm in the study traverses the clay unit in Gediz Vallis, and visual HiRISE imagery analysis correlates with a topologic cross section of an inverted river channel of 750 meters wide and 90 meters deep. HiRISE imagery analysis further confirms a sulfate and clay stratigraphic unit in a stream 125 meters wide and 25 meters deep. Lastly, data smoothing procedures in the analysis are cross referenced by examining the Curiosity rover landing site. This area is visually analyzed via a HiRISE stamp and the stream network, which suggests minimal change in elevation.

The findings of this work and the reliability of the results suggest implementation of GIS tools for continued surficial planetary exploration. The production of thematic hydrologic maps for larger regions on Mars and other rocky planets will serve as a dependable educational tool for mission planning as well as pedagogic benefit.