Deformation band clusters on Mars and implications for subsurface fluid flow

Geological Society of America Bulletin
By: , and 



High-resolution imagery reveals unprecedented lines of evidence for the presence of deformation band clusters in layered sedimentary deposits in the equatorial region of Mars. Deformation bands are a class of geologic structural discontinuity that is a precursor to faults in clastic rocks and soils. Clusters of deformation bands, consisting of many hundreds of individual subparallel bands, can act as important structural controls on subsurface fluid flow in terrestrial reservoirs, and evidence of diagenetic processes is often preserved along them. Deformation band clusters are identified on Mars based on characteristic meter-scale architectures and geologic context as observed in data from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The identification of deformation band clusters on Mars is a key to investigating the migration of fluids between surface and subsurface reservoirs in the planet's vast sedimentary deposits. Similar to terrestrial examples, evidence of diagenesis in the form of light- and dark-toned discoloration and wall-rock induration is recorded along many of the deformation band clusters on Mars. Therefore, these structures are important sites for future exploration and investigations into the geologic history of water and water-related processes on Mars.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Deformation band clusters on Mars and implications for subsurface fluid flow
Series title Geological Society of America Bulletin
DOI 10.1130/B26421.1
Volume 121
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geological Society of America Bulletin
First page 474
Last page 482
Other Geospatial Mars