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Debris flows and water tracks in northern Victoria Land, continental East Antarctica; a new terrestrial analogue site for gullies and recurrent slope lineae on Mars

Ernst Hauber, C. Sassenroth, J. P. de Vera, N. Schmitz, R. Jaumann, D. Reiss, H. Hiesinger and A. Johnsson
Debris flows and water tracks in northern Victoria Land, continental East Antarctica; a new terrestrial analogue site for gullies and recurrent slope lineae on Mars (in Martian gullies and their Earth analogs, Susan J. Conway (editor), J. L. Carrivick (editor), P. A. Carling (editor), T. de Haas (editor) and T. N. Harrison (editor))
Special Publication - Geological Society of London (April 2018) 467 (1): 267-287

Abstract

Although the present environmental conditions on Mars prohibit the generation of significant volumes of liquid water, observations of several very young landforms, such as gullies and recurrent slope lineae, have been interpreted as signals for aqueous processes. To explore the range of conditions under which such features can be formed on Earth, a field site in northern Victoria Land, East Antarctica, was geomorphologically investigated. Despite the small size of the ice-free area, the site displays gullies, water tracks and other traces of liquid water. The gullies show clear evidence of sediment transport by debris flows, and are typical of paraglacial processes on steep slopes in a recently deglaciated area. Water tracks appear in different forms, and seem to recur seasonally in the austral summer. Melting of snow and surface glacier ice is the major water source for both debris flows and water tracks. The observations presented here highlight the potential for hyperarid polar deserts to generate morphogenetically significant amounts of meltwater. The gullies are morphologically analogous to Martian gullies, and water tracks on steep slopes appear very similar to recurrent slope lineae. The observations suggest that even small ice-free sites in continental Antarctica may enable observations which can serve as a basis for working hypotheses in Mars analogue studies, and future field work should consider more areas in Antarctica in addition to the McMurdo Dry Valleys to search for Mars analogue landforms.


ISSN: 0305-8719
Coden: GSLSBW
Serial Title: Special Publication - Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 467
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Debris flows and water tracks in northern Victoria Land, continental East Antarctica; a new terrestrial analogue site for gullies and recurrent slope lineae on Mars
Title: Martian gullies and their Earth analogs
Author(s): Hauber, ErnstSassenroth, C.de Vera, J. P.Schmitz, N.Jaumann, R.Reiss, D.Hiesinger, H.Johnsson, A.
Author(s): Conway, Susan J.editor
Author(s): Carrivick, J. L.editor
Author(s): Carling, P. A.editor
Author(s): de Haas, T.editor
Author(s): Harrison, T. N.editor
Affiliation: Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut fuer Planetenforschung, Berlin, Germany
Pages: 267-287
Published: 20180403
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 119
Accession Number: 2018-037291
Categories: Extraterrestrial geologyGeomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
S71°49'60" - S71°30'00", E161°00'00" - E162°00'00"
S71°48'30" - S71°48'30", E162°00'36" - E162°00'36"
Secondary Affiliation: Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, DEU, GermanyUniversity of Gothenburg, DEU, Germany
Source Note: Online First
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201820
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