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Book Chapter

Morphological characterization of landforms produced by springtime seasonal activity on Russell Crater megadune, Mars

By
Gwenaël Jouannic
Gwenaël Jouannic
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
Present address: Département Ville et Territoire, 9 rue Viviane, BP 46223-44262, Nantes Cedex 2, France
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Susan J. Conway
Susan J. Conway
Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, CNRS UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, 2 chemin de la Houssinière, BP 92205, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
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Julien Gargani
Julien Gargani
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
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François Costard
François Costard
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
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Marion Massé
Marion Massé
Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, CNRS UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, 2 chemin de la Houssinière, BP 92205, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
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Olivier Bourgeois
Olivier Bourgeois
Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, CNRS UMR 6112, Université de Nantes, 2 chemin de la Houssinière, BP 92205, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
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John Carter
John Carter
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 121, 91405 Orsay, France
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Frédéric Schmidt
Frédéric Schmidt
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
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Chiara Marmo
Chiara Marmo
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
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Gian G. Ori
Gian G. Ori
International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Università ‘G. d’Annunzio’, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy
Ibn Battuta Centre, Université Cady Ayyad, Marrakech, Morocco
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Marion Nachon
Marion Nachon
Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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Kelly Pasquon
Kelly Pasquon
Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris-Sud and CNRS, Bâtiment 509, 91405 Orsay, France
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Published:
January 01, 2019

Abstract

We describe in detail an annual seasonal process that occurs on the surface of the Russell Crater megadune on Mars. We give these features the name ‘perennial rills’, because their surface topographical expression persists from year-to-year and they form a distinctive, downstream-branching network of small channels, or rills. We used time-series images, elevation data from stereophotogrammetry and spectral data to characterize the evolution of these features over 6 Mars years. Growth and modification of these networks occurs abruptly in spring (at a solar longitude of c. 200°) after most of the seasonal CO2 ice has sublimated. We find that the peculiar morphology of perennial rills seems to be the only aspect that sets them apart from active linear dune gullies. By comparison to terrestrial analogues, we identified two conditions favouring the production of such a network: (a) the presence of an impermeable layer; and (b) the repeated formation of obstacles in front of propagating channels. We find that the most plausible formation mechanisms that can explain the formation of both the perennial rills and the active linear dune gullies are levitating CO2 blocks or liquid debris flows of water/brine, but neither can completely satisfy all the observational evidence.

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Contents

Martian Gullies and their Earth Analogues
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS

S. J. Conway
S. J. Conway
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
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J. L. Carrivick
J. L. Carrivick
University of Leeds, UK
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P. A. Carling
P. A. Carling
University of Southampton, UK
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T. de Haas
T. de Haas
University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
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T.N. Harrison
T.N. Harrison
Arizona State University, USA
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Geological Society of London
Volume
467
ISBN electronic:
9781786203625
Publication date:
January 01, 2019

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