Malea and Hesperia Plana form large sectors of the rim of Hellas basin that display partly eroded volcanic shields and plains. These regions have topographic profiles that appear to be several hundred meters lower than those of adjacent rim sectors and lack prominent massifs of remnant basement that would be expected to stand above the lava plains. We interpret that before the volcanic edifices were constructed, these regions were denuded by an early stage of voluminous sill intrusion into friable, volatile-rich impact breccia. Magma-volatile interactions may have resulted in catastrophic generation of debris flows deposited into the adjacent basin, particularly if CO2 were involved. Later, lavas covered the eroded terrain; in turn, the lavas were eroded locally by volatile interactions. Across Mars, huge channel systems, erosional features in volcanic terranes, and vast layered deposits may be due to magma-volatile interactions.
Additional publication details
Catastrophic erosion of Hellas basin rim on Mars induced by magmatic intrusion into volatile-rich rocks