thumbnail

Martian mud volcanism: Terrestrial analogs and implications for formational scenarios

Marine and Petroleum Geology

By:
,
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.02.006

Links

Abstract

The geology of Mars and the stratigraphic characteristics of its uppermost crust (mega-regolith) suggest that some of the pervasively-occurring pitted cones, mounds, and flows may have formed through processes akin to terrestrial mud volcanism. A comparison of terrestrial mud volcanism suggests that equivalent Martian processes likely required discrete sedimentary depocenters, volatile-enriched strata, buried rheological instabilities, and a mechanism of destabilization to initiate subsurface flow. We outline five formational scenarios whereby Martian mud volcanism might have occurred: (A) rapid deposition of sediments, (B) volcano-induced destabilization, (C) tectonic shortening, (D) long-term, load-induced subsidence, and (E) seismic shaking. We describe locations within and around the Martian northern plains that broadly fit the geological context of these scenarios and which contain mud volcano-like landforms. We compare terrestrial and Martian satellite images and examine the geological settings of mud volcano provinces on Earth in order to describe potential target areas for piercement structures on Mars. Our comparisons help to evaluate not only the role of water as a functional component of geological processes on Mars but also how Martian mud volcanoes could provide samples of otherwise inaccessible strata, some of which could contain astrobiological evidence.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Martian mud volcanism: Terrestrial analogs and implications for formational scenarios
Series title:
Marine and Petroleum Geology
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.02.006
Volume
26
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1866
Last page:
1878
Number of Pages:
13