Abstract

High-resolution imagery reveals unprecedented lines of evidence for the presence of deformation band clusters in layered sedimentary deposits in the equatorial region of Mars. Deformation bands are a class of geologic structural discontinuity that is a precursor to faults in clastic rocks and soils. Clusters of deformation bands, consisting of many hundreds of individual subparallel bands, can act as important structural controls on subsurface fluid flow in terrestrial reservoirs, and evidence of diagenetic processes is often preserved along them. Deformation band clusters are identified on Mars based on characteristic meter-scale architectures and geologic context as observed in data from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The identification of deformation band clusters on Mars is a key to investigating the migration of fluids between surface and subsurface reservoirs in the planet's vast sedimentary deposits. Similar to terrestrial examples, evidence of diagenesis in the form of light- and dark-toned discoloration and wall-rock induration is recorded along many of the deformation band clusters on Mars. Therefore, these structures are important sites for future exploration and investigations into the geologic history of water and water-related processes on Mars.

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