essay on Mars' Gale Crater and Mount Sharp

Author Message
David Palmer

PostPosted: June 9, 2014 10:57 PM 

I just finished my essay on Mars, "An Interpretation of the Geology of Gale Crater & Mount Sharp, with Implications for the History & Habitability of Mars," which I have spent over one year researching and writing, and in which I present some original ideas. And I'm trying to publicize it prior to Curiosity reaching Mt. Sharp, as that will be a test of my theories, and I'm hoping to get some recognition if I'm right, so everybody is welcome to take a look at it:


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PostPosted: June 10, 2014 4:53 AM 

Hello David, thank you for sharing this extensive essay I will need to find time to read through it all and also welcome to this Blog.


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PostPosted: June 10, 2014 7:49 AM 

Wow I have just got through part 1 and 3 more to go, this is certainly more than an essay! You have put an amazing amount of work into this. Not sure if you have had a chance to read some of the threads here but on this one we have been discussing what appears to be seepage of some sort causing mini land slides, creating channels and making Curiosity's wheels rather muddy!


Kye Goodwin

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PostPosted: June 10, 2014 4:34 PM 

David Palmer, congratulations on finishing that effort. Its a lot all at once, and I can't get through the first paragraph of part 1 without quibbling. I think that Mars Science doesn't know the age of the Gale Crater impact event, because given all the burial and exhumation that has certainly taken place, crater counting can produce only an estimate of minimum age. If the original impact took place just a few hundred million years earlier than the estimate you cite, then a very simple possibility presents itself: Gale was filled by one or more of the impact events that created the big northern basins.


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PostPosted: June 11, 2014 10:47 AM 

David, have you posted this at unmannedspaceflight? You will get a lot of feedback there on your geological ideas, which I am enjoying when I have a few spare moments. I like the logic of your arguments and will comment eventually. Thank you.


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PostPosted: June 11, 2014 6:21 PM 

The link does not work today! Did you remove the "essay"?

David Palmer

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PostPosted: June 11, 2014 6:29 PM 

It works fine at this end, please try again:

(all I've done is to fix some minor errors and added some more photos).


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PostPosted: June 11, 2014 6:51 PM 

Great, this new link works. Now I can continue reading...Thanks

Joe Smith

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PostPosted: June 13, 2014 2:49 PM 

Palmer,, it will take Days to read this very interesting 4 part paper,, that is why I mentioned printing it. No ulterior motive here.

I see that Part two addresses the Boxlike structures at ~3600 meters,,, I notice you give references, so these will be examined also.

Hopefully this will advance/enhance your
career/pay scale.

For all of us on MRB I say Thanks!

David Palmer

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PostPosted: June 13, 2014 6:09 PM 

Actually, this is a hobby thing on my part, basically a labor of love, with no commercial expectations, and I'm making it freely available to everyone. I've been interested in Mars since I was inspired as a young boy in the 1960s by "The Exploration of Mars" with the artwork of Chesley Bonestell. And for a while I wanted to be a space artist, but that didn't work out, so once enough gorgeous photography became available from Mars, and I had an idea that I could run with that explained geology that no one else seemed to be able to explain (the features of Mt. Sharp, which I attempt to explain with my Artesian Hydrant Hypothesis), I set to work over a year ago to research a paper that I thought might take a couple of weeks to write. Little did I know! One thing led to another, and I ended up having to read hundreds of papers on Gale Crater and Mars, and go in directions and into a depth that I never imagined. And while I'm just an amateur geologist/scientist and have no degree or academic position, I'd like to think I can hold my own with the "big guns" in the field and that I have created my magnum opus here!

However, I have to say that the site on which I posted my essay,, has definite limitations, and doesn't display my manuscript like I originally intended. You mentioned that you're going to look at the references.....the reason that the font is smaller for some of them, has nothing to do with what I intended, and I can't figure out how to fix that. When I copied and pasted my manuscript on the website, other things were changed as well.....I originally wanted "block" paragraphing, but Tumblr eliminated the spaces between paragraphs, and so I had to resort to the old-fashioned indentation thing. PLUS, it won't display the wide panoramic pictures I originally intended (some much wider than the text in my original manuscript), and so I've had to resort to crops and zoom shots. AND, the resolution is lower than for the original pics. But I felt I was under the gun to get this out there, well before Curiosity reached the base of Mt. Sharp (which would test my hypotheses), so I had to work with what I had. I don't have experience with website design, but had to do it myself because the cost of a professional setting it up was prohibitive, and so I had to go with a pretty basic system that I was able to figure out, and none of the other do-it-yourself sites I looked up even came close to enabling me to format things the way I needed.

If someone would like the optimized manuscript in e-mail format, I'd be happy to send it, but it's a long download! (a lot of the original pics are several megabytes in size). And it will take me at least a few days to set that up, because in the revision process I've made text changes exclusively on Tumblr that I'll need to transfer back to my original manuscript.

Dave Palmer

Joe Smith

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PostPosted: June 13, 2014 11:55 PM 

Yes I signed up w/Tumbler just for the papers. I am going to print everything except the pictures. This makes great reading while I wait in the truck for my wife to buy groceries,, when I wait in the doctors office, motel reading at night when I travel, the bigger, the more detailed the better,, and it will take several readings,, there is absolutely no way a person can absorb this tome with just cursory reading. As someone else stated,, there are paragraphs that Insist you, lay the paper down and ponder.

I love it. Something new under the sun.

Did I say Thanks? Then I say it again,,,
like Hortonheardawho, you (Dave Palmer) have
shared a part of yourself to us. We are not worthy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

David Palmer

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PostPosted: June 27, 2014 11:51 PM 

"Newboy" suggested that I post a link to my essay at, and I did so, and a very lively discussion ensued! In fact it got so hot that the moderator was threatening to shut it down! The thread can be found at


Joe Smith

Posts: 86

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PostPosted: June 29, 2014 2:15 PM 

Most important of all ''DO NOT LET CRITICISM GET TO YOU'',,, especially over bulls**t,, such as the 'colour of the Martian sky',, duh,.

Serpens (as many on the MRB will agree,as he was at least for many months a member,here),
is very argumentive but seems to believe a very wet (submerged in places) Mount Sharp.

elakdawalla being an author herself will
eventually come around. Try to follow her advice.

There are many people on the blue forum who would endorse/congratulate you, were it not for the red ink administrator/dictator,, who we all know and love so well. Twisted Evil Crying or Very Sad Laughing

Don't pay him any attention,, if it were me
in your shoes I would not even reply to Ellison. He will continue to find fault, pick, pick, pick.

Just lost my spell checker, please forgive.

Serpens is very, very sharp. Read him carefully. If you can prove him mistaken, then he is man enough to admit it.
On the other hand, his post(s) to you can be
very beneficial. Repeat, Very Beneficial.

I am not even close to being in the same class as you and serpens,,
although I admire both of you.

Keep your chin up and a stiff upper lip!

You have worked this long on your paper, if
you have too, revise it yet again. I look forward to one day reading a condensed version in the Science journals.

Make it happen!


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PostPosted: July 17, 2014 11:27 PM 

David, your essay on Gale was interesting. Have you done a similar analysis of Meridiani?

David Palmer

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PostPosted: July 20, 2014 9:20 AM 

Not specifically. There was extensive upwelling of ground water in Meridiani, but it was a long time ago (around 3.8 billion years) and there is no potential for more recent outflows (due to the thick cryosphere), and there never was a concentration of outflow in a specific location (like I am hypothesizing for the artesian hydrant of Mt. Sharp). So it's quite a different situation from Mt. Sharp.

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