A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars

Alberto G. Fairén, Chris R. Stokes, Neil S. Davies, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, J. Alexis P Rodríguez, Alfonso F. Davila, Esther R. Uceda, James M. Dohm, Victor Baker, Stephen M. Clifford, Christopher P. McKay, Steven W. Squyres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gale crater is a ~154-km-diameter impact crater formed during the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian at the dichotomy boundary on Mars. Here we describe potential evidence for ancient glacial, periglacial and fluvial (including glacio-fluvial) activity within Gale crater, and the former presence of ground ice and lakes. Our interpretations are derived from morphological observations using high-resolution datasets, particularly HiRISE and HRSC. We highlight a potential ancient lobate rock-glacier complex in parts of the northern central mound, with further suggestions of glacial activity in the large valley systems towards the southeast central mound. Wide expanses of ancient ground ice may be indicated by evidence for very cohesive ancient river banks and for the polygonal patterned ground common on the crater floor west of the central mound. We extend the interpretation to fluvial and lacustrine activity to the west of the central mound, as recorded by a series of interconnected canyons, channels and a possible lake basin. The emerging picture from our regional landscape analyses is the hypothesis that rock glaciers may have formerly occupied the central mound. The glaciers would have provided the liquid water required for carving the canyons and channels. Associated glaciofluvial activity could have led to liquid water running over ground ice-rich areas on the basin floor, with resultant formation of partially and/or totally ice-covered lakes in parts of the western crater floor. All this hydrologic activity is Hesperian or younger. Following this, we envisage a time of drying, with the generation of polygonal patterned ground and dune development subsequent to the disappearance of the surface liquid and frozen water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-118
Number of pages18
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume93-94
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Mars craters
craters
crater
Mars
glaciers
patterned ground
rock glacier
ice
canyons
lakes
canyon
liquid
lake ice
rocks
water
dunes
ice lake
dichotomies
river bank
liquid surfaces

Keywords

  • Fluvial erosion
  • Gale crater
  • Glacial/periglacial modification
  • Glacio-fluvial activity
  • Ground ice
  • Mars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Fairén, A. G., Stokes, C. R., Davies, N. S., Schulze-Makuch, D., Rodríguez, J. A. P., Davila, A. F., ... Squyres, S. W. (2014). A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars. Planetary and Space Science, 93-94, 101-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002

A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars. / Fairén, Alberto G.; Stokes, Chris R.; Davies, Neil S.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Rodríguez, J. Alexis P; Davila, Alfonso F.; Uceda, Esther R.; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor; Clifford, Stephen M.; McKay, Christopher P.; Squyres, Steven W.

In: Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 93-94, 2014, p. 101-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fairén, AG, Stokes, CR, Davies, NS, Schulze-Makuch, D, Rodríguez, JAP, Davila, AF, Uceda, ER, Dohm, JM, Baker, V, Clifford, SM, McKay, CP & Squyres, SW 2014, 'A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars', Planetary and Space Science, vol. 93-94, pp. 101-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002
Fairén AG, Stokes CR, Davies NS, Schulze-Makuch D, Rodríguez JAP, Davila AF et al. A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars. Planetary and Space Science. 2014;93-94:101-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002
Fairén, Alberto G. ; Stokes, Chris R. ; Davies, Neil S. ; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk ; Rodríguez, J. Alexis P ; Davila, Alfonso F. ; Uceda, Esther R. ; Dohm, James M. ; Baker, Victor ; Clifford, Stephen M. ; McKay, Christopher P. ; Squyres, Steven W. / A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars. In: Planetary and Space Science. 2014 ; Vol. 93-94. pp. 101-118.
@article{43f11a0dbac14420bb54ce2ee9208acd,
title = "A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars",
abstract = "Gale crater is a ~154-km-diameter impact crater formed during the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian at the dichotomy boundary on Mars. Here we describe potential evidence for ancient glacial, periglacial and fluvial (including glacio-fluvial) activity within Gale crater, and the former presence of ground ice and lakes. Our interpretations are derived from morphological observations using high-resolution datasets, particularly HiRISE and HRSC. We highlight a potential ancient lobate rock-glacier complex in parts of the northern central mound, with further suggestions of glacial activity in the large valley systems towards the southeast central mound. Wide expanses of ancient ground ice may be indicated by evidence for very cohesive ancient river banks and for the polygonal patterned ground common on the crater floor west of the central mound. We extend the interpretation to fluvial and lacustrine activity to the west of the central mound, as recorded by a series of interconnected canyons, channels and a possible lake basin. The emerging picture from our regional landscape analyses is the hypothesis that rock glaciers may have formerly occupied the central mound. The glaciers would have provided the liquid water required for carving the canyons and channels. Associated glaciofluvial activity could have led to liquid water running over ground ice-rich areas on the basin floor, with resultant formation of partially and/or totally ice-covered lakes in parts of the western crater floor. All this hydrologic activity is Hesperian or younger. Following this, we envisage a time of drying, with the generation of polygonal patterned ground and dune development subsequent to the disappearance of the surface liquid and frozen water.",
keywords = "Fluvial erosion, Gale crater, Glacial/periglacial modification, Glacio-fluvial activity, Ground ice, Mars",
author = "Fair{\'e}n, {Alberto G.} and Stokes, {Chris R.} and Davies, {Neil S.} and Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Rodr{\'i}guez, {J. Alexis P} and Davila, {Alfonso F.} and Uceda, {Esther R.} and Dohm, {James M.} and Victor Baker and Clifford, {Stephen M.} and McKay, {Christopher P.} and Squyres, {Steven W.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "93-94",
pages = "101--118",
journal = "Planetary and Space Science",
issn = "0032-0633",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A cold hydrological system in Gale crater, Mars

AU - Fairén, Alberto G.

AU - Stokes, Chris R.

AU - Davies, Neil S.

AU - Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

AU - Rodríguez, J. Alexis P

AU - Davila, Alfonso F.

AU - Uceda, Esther R.

AU - Dohm, James M.

AU - Baker, Victor

AU - Clifford, Stephen M.

AU - McKay, Christopher P.

AU - Squyres, Steven W.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Gale crater is a ~154-km-diameter impact crater formed during the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian at the dichotomy boundary on Mars. Here we describe potential evidence for ancient glacial, periglacial and fluvial (including glacio-fluvial) activity within Gale crater, and the former presence of ground ice and lakes. Our interpretations are derived from morphological observations using high-resolution datasets, particularly HiRISE and HRSC. We highlight a potential ancient lobate rock-glacier complex in parts of the northern central mound, with further suggestions of glacial activity in the large valley systems towards the southeast central mound. Wide expanses of ancient ground ice may be indicated by evidence for very cohesive ancient river banks and for the polygonal patterned ground common on the crater floor west of the central mound. We extend the interpretation to fluvial and lacustrine activity to the west of the central mound, as recorded by a series of interconnected canyons, channels and a possible lake basin. The emerging picture from our regional landscape analyses is the hypothesis that rock glaciers may have formerly occupied the central mound. The glaciers would have provided the liquid water required for carving the canyons and channels. Associated glaciofluvial activity could have led to liquid water running over ground ice-rich areas on the basin floor, with resultant formation of partially and/or totally ice-covered lakes in parts of the western crater floor. All this hydrologic activity is Hesperian or younger. Following this, we envisage a time of drying, with the generation of polygonal patterned ground and dune development subsequent to the disappearance of the surface liquid and frozen water.

AB - Gale crater is a ~154-km-diameter impact crater formed during the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian at the dichotomy boundary on Mars. Here we describe potential evidence for ancient glacial, periglacial and fluvial (including glacio-fluvial) activity within Gale crater, and the former presence of ground ice and lakes. Our interpretations are derived from morphological observations using high-resolution datasets, particularly HiRISE and HRSC. We highlight a potential ancient lobate rock-glacier complex in parts of the northern central mound, with further suggestions of glacial activity in the large valley systems towards the southeast central mound. Wide expanses of ancient ground ice may be indicated by evidence for very cohesive ancient river banks and for the polygonal patterned ground common on the crater floor west of the central mound. We extend the interpretation to fluvial and lacustrine activity to the west of the central mound, as recorded by a series of interconnected canyons, channels and a possible lake basin. The emerging picture from our regional landscape analyses is the hypothesis that rock glaciers may have formerly occupied the central mound. The glaciers would have provided the liquid water required for carving the canyons and channels. Associated glaciofluvial activity could have led to liquid water running over ground ice-rich areas on the basin floor, with resultant formation of partially and/or totally ice-covered lakes in parts of the western crater floor. All this hydrologic activity is Hesperian or younger. Following this, we envisage a time of drying, with the generation of polygonal patterned ground and dune development subsequent to the disappearance of the surface liquid and frozen water.

KW - Fluvial erosion

KW - Gale crater

KW - Glacial/periglacial modification

KW - Glacio-fluvial activity

KW - Ground ice

KW - Mars

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84898457300&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84898457300&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002

DO - 10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.002

M3 - Article

VL - 93-94

SP - 101

EP - 118

JO - Planetary and Space Science

JF - Planetary and Space Science

SN - 0032-0633

ER -