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Gullies and debris-flows in Ladakh Himalaya, India: a potential Martian analogue

By
Rishitosh K. Sinha
Rishitosh K. Sinha
Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
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S. Vijayan
S. Vijayan
Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
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Anil D. Shukla
Anil D. Shukla
Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
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Priyabrata Das
Priyabrata Das
Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
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Falguni Bhattacharya
Falguni Bhattacharya
Institute of Seismological Research, Raisan, Gandhinagar, India
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Published:
January 01, 2019

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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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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