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

Sara Martínez-Alonso, Michael T. Mellon, Maria E. Banks, Laszlo P. Keszthelyi, Alfred S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-621
Number of pages25
JournalIcarus
Volume212
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Geological processes
  • Mars
  • Mars, Surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Martínez-Alonso, S., Mellon, M. T., Banks, M. E., Keszthelyi, L. P., & McEwen, A. S. (2011). Evidence of volcanic and glacial activity in Chryse and Acidalia Planitiae, Mars. Icarus, 212(2), 597-621. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2011.01.004