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Abstract

We conducted comparative morphological analysis of gullies within two high-latitude Martian craters (Domoni and Maricourt) in the northern hemisphere of Mars with (1) the debris-flow gully systems in the Ladakh Himalaya and (2) Istok Crater in the southern mid-latitudes of Mars where water-bearing debris-flow deposits have been previously reported. Our findings suggest that the debris-flow landforms preserved on gully and alluvial fans in the Ladakh Himalaya are potential analogues for the deposits preserved over the equator-facing slopes of Domoni and Maricourt Craters. Further, we found that the morphological attributes of channels and deposits (including overlapping terminal lobes, levées, tongue-shaped/lobate deposits and broad/small depositional deposits) within both the study craters and Istok Crater are similar. As a result, the studied craters emerge as additional sites in which possible evidence of water-bearing debris-flows are preserved on Mars. By comparison to our Earth analogue, we further propose that episodic melting of snow accumulated within the sheltered alcoves is the most likely source of water for the formation of such gullies. Taken together, our findings suggest that debris-flow may not be a rare process in gully formation on Mars and evidence may be preserved in other unexplored areas.

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