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Retreat of a giant cataract in a long-lived (3.7-2.6 Ga) Martian outflow channel

Nicholas H. Warner, Sanjeev Gupta, Jung-Rack Kim, Shih-Yuan Lin and Jan-Peter Muller
Retreat of a giant cataract in a long-lived (3.7-2.6 Ga) Martian outflow channel
Geology (Boulder) (September 2010) 38 (9): 791-794


We describe the evolution of an approximately 600-m-deep tributary outflow channel to Ares Vallis, Mars. High-resolution topography, image analysis, and crater statistics indicate that this tributary canyon developed by the upstream migration of a large, approximately 300-m-tall cataract during multiple flood events that span approximately 1 b.y. of Mars history (3.7-2.6 Ga). Issuing from Hydapsis Chaos, these floods were initiated at a similar time and occurred over a similar time range to flooding in Ares Vallis, suggesting a potential regional control on flood initiation and chaos formation. In addition, we provide evidence that cataract retreat and significant incision within the tributary canyon occurred only after a series of downcutting events within Ares Vallis. Topography data and crater statistics taken from the floor of Ares Vallis indicate an approximately 300 m base-level drop that coincides temporally with an Early Amazonian (ca. 2.6 Ga) flood event and cataract formation within the tributary canyon. The results both confirm the hypothesis of long-term, multiple flood events within martian outflow channels and demonstrate the influence of base-level change on their incision.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Retreat of a giant cataract in a long-lived (3.7-2.6 Ga) Martian outflow channel
Affiliation: Imperial College London, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 791-794
Published: 201009
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 21
Accession Number: 2010-077590
Categories: Extraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010223
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201041
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