Pebbly Rocks on Mars Testify to Old Stream Bed

Rock outcrop on Mars
Detailed analysis and review have borne out researchers’ initial interpretation of pebble-containing slabs that NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity investigated last year: They are part of an ancient stream bed.

The rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain stream bed gravel. The sizes and shapes of the gravel embedded in these conglomerate rocks — from the size of sand particles to the size of golf balls — enabled researchers to calculate the depth and speed of the water that once flowed at this location.

To learn more about the challenges the Mars Science Laboratory team faced during Curiosity’s landing, also known as the “seven minutes of terror”, check out NASA Now: Forces and Motion: Curiosity—Entry, Descent and Landing. You can access this classroom video on the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus.

To read more about this discovery by Curiosity on Mars, visit

One thought on “Pebbly Rocks on Mars Testify to Old Stream Bed”

  1. Thanks for posting this interesting piece of news and I am also curious to know about the type of conglomerate that was revealed by this Rover mission. Depending on the type of conglomerate such as matrix-or-clast supported type, one can narrow down the environment of deposition. I assume some of these conglomerates could be matrix-supported and largely due to alluvial fan environment that might have existed in the past. I wait for detailed field analysis in order to confirm ancient depositional environment.

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