Paleohydrology and flood geomorphology of Ares Vallis

G. Komatsu, Victor Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ares Vallis is a Martian outflow channel which is about 1500 km long and locally exceeds 100 km in width and 1000 m in depth. We estimate the channel's paleoflow capacity using paleohydraulic techniques. At a constricted and unusually deep reach, not affected by tributaries or secondary inflows, the estimated possible maximum peak discharges are of the order of 108-109 m3/s. These values are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude larger than any known terrestrial floods. These high-discharge flows were theoretically capable of transporting boulders larger than 10 m in diameter. The downstream depositional plain, where Ares debauches into the Chryse Planitia, displays geomorphological features indicative of high erosional capacity by the flooding. In this area, site of the proposed Pathfinder landing, we expect to find a complex sequence of sediments created by varying paleoflood flow hydraulics, sediment transport characteristics, and probable secondary modification of the primary flood landforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number96JE02564
Pages (from-to)4151-4160
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume102
Issue numberE2
StatePublished - 1997

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Geomorphology
geomorphology
paleohydrology
paleoflood
tributaries
Landforms
landforms
channel capacity
geomorphological feature
sediment transport
Sediment transport
landing
peak discharge
Channel capacity
Landing
plains
hydraulics
landform
tributary
Sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Paleohydrology and flood geomorphology of Ares Vallis. / Komatsu, G.; Baker, Victor.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 102, No. E2, 96JE02564, 1997, p. 4151-4160.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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