Jarntimarra Database (JNT-DB)

Document cover sheet


How the database was created

Use of the database

The database

Climate data




This document contains catalogued data for Australian localities identified as analogous in one or more ways to the surface of Mars. The database is intended to become a valuable tool for Mars researchers and mission planners interested in making use of analogue features provided by Australia.


This document is intended to:

  1. Provide a list of localities of interest for Mars analogue activities,
  2. Provide comprehensive information for these localities, to help Mars researchers assess the value of these to their activities and facilitate their use for analogue research,
  3. Demonstrate pro-active leadership by MSA and strengthen its scientific credentials with a view to establishing closer links with organisations planning Mars missions,
  4. Provide a basis for locality selection for MSA field operations


Each entry includes references. Refer to MSA-TEC-MNG-STD-02-01-Glossary-ver1.doc for a Glossary of Terms. All climate data and images have been obtained from http://www.bom.gov.au 


The specification MSA-TEC-JNT-PM-01-01-Initial_brief-ver1 outlines the motivation and data fields initially envisaged.

Jarntimarra field expeditions will help expand and verify site information by collecting local knowledge and developing contacts. As each locality is better characterised, new data fields may be created. We expect many more localities will be identified.


This database will provide international and local Mars researchers with a "one stop shop", initially providing ready access to information allowing selection of analogue sites in central Australia. This will facilitate an Australian role in future Mars missions, providing the basis for a greatly expanded version including Mars analogue sites from all over the world including North America, Antarctica and the deserts of Northern Africa and the Middle East.

The database should always be considered a "work in progress".

Project Jarntimarra will develop an online, searchable version of the database, providing a better medium for entering, editing, managing and accessing a larger number of entries, more detailed data and additional high resolution images.


This section will keep a running list of database contributors:

Table 1 Jarntimarra database contributors

Jason Hoogland Initial concept, specification, site data/images and first drafts.
Dr Jonathan Clarke First draft locality data and geology and Jarntimarra Expedition datasheets
Dr Graham Mann Jarntimarra Expedition data sheets
Dr Vic Gostin Jarntimarra Expedition data sheets
Guy Murphy Technical development of database


MSA is an Australian not-for-profit incorporated association organisation affiliated with the private not-for-profit US organisation The Mars Society. This database is currently Unrestricted for a period of one (1) year from 5 August 2001 to 5 August 2002.  MSA welcomes donations or funding support to help cover costs of its continuing development.  For more information, contact the MSA Fundraising Director.

At the end of this Unrestricted period, the MSA Board will consider licensing access (using a password) to the complete database for organisational users.   A limited database will remain publicly available.


For the purpose of identifying and cataloguing localities, the following categories are proposed:

Table 2 Locality Categorisation

1 Point < 10 m (101 m) Identifying a survey or GPS point
2 Site < 100 m (102 m) Identifying a locality with high localised scientific features of interest (e.g. fossiliferous rock)
3 Location < 1 km (103 m) A locality containing points of interest or relevant features (e.g. geomorphology)
4 Area < 10 km (104 m) A locality containing locations of interest or having analogue value (e.g. rover and suit testing)
5 Range < 100 km (105 m) A locality containing localised sites of interest or having analogue value (e.g. free ranging field simulations)
6 Region < 1,000 km (106 m) A region containing multiple regional sites and having general relevance for Mars analogue field studies.
7 Continent > 1,000 km (107 m) For continental identification

LC is the Locality Category, being the log10 value of the site radius rounded upwards. The radius is order-of-magnitude only and each locality is associated with a rectangular map section bounded by a pair of longitude and latitude values. Localities with LC = 1 can be identified with a unique latitude and longitude pair. All localities with LC >= 2 can be identified by a hierarchical name string, for example a site near the Henbury Craters:


Figure 1 illustrates the hierarchy scheme. Each locality will have associated with it an exclusive topographical definition.

LC 1 +

North America



LC 2 + WA_NW
+ WA_N
LC 3 + Bloods_Range
+ Lake_Amadeus
- Henbury
LC 4 + Crater_1
+ Crater_2
- Crater_3
LC 5 + Location_A
+ Location_B
- Location_C
LC 6 + Site_01
+ Site_04
- Site_32
LC 7 - Point_X
- Point_Y

This scheme is not yet implemented in this version.