Tharsis-triggered flood inundations of the northern plains of Mars

Alberto G. Fairén, James M. Dohm, Miguel Ángel De Pablo, Victor R. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Throughout the recorded history of Mars, liquid water has shaped its landscape into a number of distinct morphologic types, including prominent features such as the circum-Chryse and recently identified northwestern slope valleys (NSVs, refe. 2, 3) outflow channel systems and the extremely flat northern plains topography at the distal reaches of these outflow channel systems. Paleotopographic reconstructions of the Tharsis magmatic complex in the western hemisphere of Mars have revealed the existence of an enormous Noachian drainage basin/aquifer system in eastern Tharsis; the basin is proposed to source the magmatic-triggered outburst floods that sculpted the circum-Chryse and NSVs outflow channel systems, entrained boulders, rock, and sediment during passage, and ponded to form sequentially through time various hypothesized oceans, seas, and lakes. The water supply of the Noachian basin/aquifer system, however, is thought to have dwindled over time with each endogenic-driven event (insufficient recharge), and thus floods and water bodies (inundations of the northern plains) are expected to be progressively smaller with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-510
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number518
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
EventProceedings of the Second European Workshop on Exo-Astrobiology - Graz, Austria
Duration: Sep 16 2002Sep 19 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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