Hydrogeologic processes of large-scale tectonomagmatic complexes in Mongolia-southern Siberia and on Mars

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Large-scale tectonomagmatic complexes are common on Earth and Mars. Many of these complexes are created or at least influenced by mantle processes, including a wide array of plume types ranging from superplumes to mantle plumes. Among the most prominent complexes, the Mongolian plateau on Earth and the Tharsis bulge on Mars share remarkable similarities in terms of large domal uplifted areas, great rift canyon systems, and widespread volcanism on their surfaces. Water has also played an important role in the development of the two complexes. In general, atmospheric and surface water play a bigger role in the development of the present-day Mongolian plateau than for the Tharsis bulge, as evidenced by highly developed drainages and thick accumulation of sediments in the basins of the Baikal rift system. On the Tharsis bulge, however, water appears to have remained as ground ice except during periods of elevated magmatic activity. Glacial and periglacial processes are well documented for the Mongolian plateau and are also reported for parts of the Tharsis bulge. Ice-magma interactions, which are represented by the formation of subice volcanoes in parts of the Mongolian plateau region, have been reported for the Valles Marineris region of Mars. The complexes are also characterized by cataclysmic floods, but their triggering mechanism may differ: mainly ice-dam failures for the Mongolian plateau and outburst of groundwater for the Tharsis bulge, probably by magma-ice interactions, although ice-dam failures within the Valles Marineris region cannot be ruled out as a possible contributor. Comparative studies of the Mongolian plateau and Tharsis bulge provide excellent opportunities for understanding surface manifestations of plume-driven processes on terrestrial planets and how they interact with hydro-cryospheres. ?? 2004 Geological Society of America.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hydrogeologic processes of large-scale tectonomagmatic complexes in Mongolia-southern Siberia and on Mars
Series title Geology
DOI 10.1130/G20237.2
Volume 32
Issue 4
Year Published 2004
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geology
First page 325
Last page 328
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