Evidence of volcanic and glacial activity in Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae, Mars

Icarus
By: , and 

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Abstract

Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae show numerous examples of enigmatic landforms previously interpreted to have been influenced by a water/ice-rich geologic history. These landforms include giant polygons bounded by kilometer-scale arcuate troughs, bright pitted mounds, and mesa-like features. To investigate the significance of the last we have analyzed in detail the region between 60°N, 290°E and 10°N, 360°E utilizing HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) images as well as regional-scale data for context. The mesas may be analogous to terrestrial tuyas (emergent sub-ice volcanoes), although definitive proof has not been identified. We also report on a blocky unit and associated landforms (drumlins, eskers, inverted valleys, kettle holes) consistent with ice-emplaced volcanic or volcano-sedimentary flows. The spatial association between tuya-like mesas, ice-emplaced flows, and further possible evidence of volcanism (deflated flow fronts, volcanic vents, columnar jointing, rootless cones), and an extensive fluid-rich substratum (giant polygons, bright mounds, rampart craters), allows for the possibility of glaciovolcanic activity in the region.Landforms indicative of glacial activity on Chryse/Acidalia suggest a paleoclimatic environment remarkably different from today's. Climate changes on Mars (driven by orbital/obliquity changes) or giant outflow channel activity could have resulted in ice-sheet-related landforms far from the current polar caps.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evidence of volcanic and glacial activity in Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae, Mars
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.01.004
Volume 212
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 25 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Icarus
First page 597
Last page 621
Other Geospatial Mars