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Erosion rate and previous extent of interior layered deposits on Mars revealed by obstructed landslides

P. M. Grindrod and N. H. Warner
Erosion rate and previous extent of interior layered deposits on Mars revealed by obstructed landslides
Geology (Boulder) (September 2014) 42 (9): 795-798

Abstract

We describe interior layered deposits on Mars that have obstructed landslides before undergoing retreat by as much as 2 km. These landslides differ from typical Martian examples in that their toe height increases by as much as 500 m in a distinctive frontal scarp that mimics the shape of the layered deposits. By using crater statistics to constrain the formation ages of the individual landslides to between ca. 200 and 400 Ma, we conclude that the retreat of the interior layered deposits was rapid, requiring erosion rates of between 1200 and 2300 nm yr (super -1) . We suggest that the interior layered deposits are either extremely friable, if eroded strictly by wind, or composed of a material whose degradation has been enhanced by ice sublimation. These erosion rates also confirm that the interior layered deposits have been in a state of net degradation over the past 400 m.y., suggesting that the process that caused net deposition in the past has ceased or slowed substantially on Mars relative to erosion. Our results imply that interior layered deposits with a similar morphology across Mars, including the mound in Gale Crater, have probably undergone similar rapid erosion and retreat, suggesting that their total modern volume underrepresents the depositional record and thus sedimentary history of Mars.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Erosion rate and previous extent of interior layered deposits on Mars revealed by obstructed landslides
Affiliation: University of London-Birkbeck, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 795-798
Published: 201409
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 23
Accession Number: 2014-082783
Categories: Extraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2014287
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
Secondary Affiliation: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA, United States
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: 201443
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