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Book Chapter

Identifying Martian gully evolution

By
A. H. Aston
A. H. Aston
1
Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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S. J. Conway
S. J. Conway
2
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, CEPSAR, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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M. R. Balme
M. R. Balme
2
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, CEPSAR, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
3
Planetary Science Institute, Suite 106, 1700 East Fort Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Martian gullies are small-scale, geologically recent features characterized by the alcove-channel-apron morphology associated with flows with a component of liquid water. Theories advanced to explain Martian gully formation include groundwater processes and melting of near-surface ice due to climate variation. Gullies are often associated with ‘mantling terrain’ that drapes topography at mid to high latitudes and which has been proposed to be ice-rich.

We have morphologically classified Martian gullies into four groupings according to whether they form solely within the mantle (Type A), erode into ‘bedrock’ (Type B), and by how well developed they appear (1 or 2). Orientation, length, geological setting and latitude were also recorded, as well as whether more than one generation of gullies formed on a given slope (labelled ‘reactivated’).

About 25% of gullies form solely within the mantle; these are generally shorter than gullies that erode bedrock and the morphologically simplest gullies (A1) are the shortest. We present latitude and orientation trends for the most recent episode of gully formation. We suggest that this recent activity is probably controlled by either deposition of ice-rich material or degradation of pre-existing ice-rich material.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Martian Geomorphology

M. R. Balme
M. R. Balme
Open University, UK
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A. S. Bargery
A. S. Bargery
Lancaster University, UK
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C. J. Gallagher
C. J. Gallagher
University College Dublin, Ireland
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S. Gupta
S. Gupta
Imperial College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
356
ISBN electronic:
9781862396043
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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