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Aquifers in Nirgal Vallis

Reiss, D. and Jaumann, R. (2002) Aquifers in Nirgal Vallis. XXVII European Geophysical Society General Assembly, Nice, France, April 21-26, 2002.

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Abstract

The topographic information provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been used in combination with the Mars Observer Camera imagery to estimate the topographic position of sapping pits and gully heads on the rim of Nirgal Vallis. Hence Nirgal Vallis is understood to be formed by groundwater sapping an aquifer is proposed as water supply. Gullies in the northern rim of Nirgal Vallis as discovered in Mars Observer Camera (MOC) images proof the existence of such an aquifer. Further evidence for sapping in Nirgal Vallis is demonstrated by short hanging tributaries with amphitheater-like heads. The basis of these sapping pits defines the contact of aquifer to aquiclude during the valley formation. The gully heads are much deeper under the local surface and the correlation of their topographic position with the valley depth indicate the subsidence of the groundwater level following the vertical erosion of the valley. This implies the existence of different groundwater tables over time confined by impermeable layers, whereas the gully head level is the most recent groundwater table which still may be erosional active under the conditions of increasing water pressure and ice barrier failure. The occurrence of more than one tilted sapping level at different topographic positions which are time-correlated with the erosional notching of the valley, either indicates different aquifers with lithological aquicludes or a climate controlled subsidence of the permafrost layer acting as confining layer.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2003,
Title:Aquifers in Nirgal Vallis
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Reiss, D.UNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, R.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2002
Status:Published
Event Title:XXVII European Geophysical Society General Assembly, Nice, France, April 21-26, 2002
Organizer:European Geophysical Society
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institut für Weltraumsensorik und Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: Susanne Pieth
Deposited On:16 Sep 2005
Last Modified:14 Jan 2010 19:21

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