Tectonic history of the Syria Planum province of Mars

Journal of Geophysical Research
By:  and 


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We attribute most of the development of extensive fractures in the Tharsis region to discrete tectonic provinces within the region, rather than to Tharsis as a single entity. One of these provinces is in Syria Planum. Faults and collapse structures in the Syria Planum tectonic province on Mars are grouped into 13 sets based on relative age, areal distribution, and morphology. According to superposition and fault crosscutting relations and crater counts we designate six distinct episodes of tectonic activity. Photoclinometric topographic profiles across 132 grabens and fault scarps show that Syria Planum grabens have widths (average of 2.5 km, and most range from 1 to 6 km) similar to lunar grabens, but the Martian grabens have slightly higher side walls (average abour 132 m) and gentler wall slopes (average of 9?? and range of 2??-25??) than lunar grabens (93 m high and 18?? slopes). Estimates of the amount of extension for individual grabens range from 20 to 350 m; most estimates of the thickness of the faulted layer range from 0.5 to 4.5 km (average is 1.5 km). This thickness range corresponds closely to the 0.8- to 3.6-km range in depth for pits, troughs, and canyons in Noctis Labyrinthus and along the walls of Valles Marineris. We propose that the predominant 1- to 1.5-km values obtained for both the thickness of the faulted layer and the depths of the pits, troughs, and theater heads of the canyons reflect the initial depth to the water table in this region, as governed by the depth to the base of ground ice. Maximum depths for these features may indicate lowered groundwater table depths and the base of ejecta material. -from Authors
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Tectonic history of the Syria Planum province of Mars
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume 93
Issue B12
Year Published 1988
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Geophysical Research
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