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A study of the interior deposits of the central Valles Marineris has led to the discovery of a sequence of deposits that cover the chasma floors and range in thickness from that of thin dust to several kilometers. The emplacement of the deposits was the last major event in the history of the Valles Marineris, following deposition of older layered interior beds, warping, faulting, erosion, and landslide emplacement. The young deposits are of three major types: (1) dark patches typically occurring along faults; (2) light-colored deposits locally associated with craters; and (3) rugged, mottled deposits with, in places, light-colored lobate fronts. These young materials may be of volcanic origin, as suggested by the low albedo and spectrally gray colors of some, their association with faults and possible volcanic craters and calderas, and their embayment relations and lobate margins. No other mechanism explains all the observed features and relations as well as volcanism. If these deposits are volcanic, implications are that (1) volcanism was associated with rifting in the Valles Marineris, (2) the volcanism was explosive in places, and (3) the volcanism may be as young as the late Tharsis volcanism and, locally, may well be recent. ?? 1990.
Additional Publication Details
Young volcanic deposits in the Valles Marineris, Mars?