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Pressurized groundwater systems in Lunae and Ophir Plana (Mars): Insights from small-scale morphology and experiments

Marra, W. and Hauber, Ernst and de Jong, S. and Kleinhans, M. (2015) Pressurized groundwater systems in Lunae and Ophir Plana (Mars): Insights from small-scale morphology and experiments. GeoResJ, 8, pp. 1-13. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.grj.2015.08.001 ISSN 2214-2428

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214242815000388


Outflow channels on Mars reveal the past presence of water, possibly released from pressurized groundwater reservoirs. We aim to improve our understanding of such outflow systems in order to better constrain past hydrological conditions on Mars. We investigate the morphology of possible pressurized groundwater outflow systems on Mars and compare them to landscape evolution experiments. These experiments show that incised channels, like the classic outflow channels, form in a last, erosional, stage in morphological development. This is preceded by the formation of sedimentary lobes due to rapid water loss by infiltration. On Mars, we observe similar morphologies related to different stages of groundwater outflow in Lunae and Ophir Plana. In the experiments, pits formed by the pressure of the groundwater, whereas the pits in the source regions of the outflow channels relate to the regional tectonic structure and are not formed by groundwater alone. Faulting, subsidence and collapse likely triggered outflow from a pressurized aquifer. This scenario is consistent with the presence of one or several cryosphere-confined aquifers from the Early Hesperian to at least the middle Amazonian. A pronounced spatial trend of larger and further developed outflow systems at lower elevations suggests that features ranging from small lobes to large outflow channels were sourced from a common aquifer or from aquifers with similar pressures. The required cryosphere indicates a cold climate and enables groundwater outflow even under atmospheric conditions unfavorable for sustained presence of liquid water.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/100485/
Document Type:Article
Title:Pressurized groundwater systems in Lunae and Ophir Plana (Mars): Insights from small-scale morphology and experiments
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Marra, W.Faculty of Geosciences, Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands,UNSPECIFIED
Hauber, Ernsternst.hauber (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
de Jong, S.Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Kleinhans, M.Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:GeoResJ
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
DOI :10.1016/j.grj.2015.08.001
Page Range:pp. 1-13
Keywords:Mars, water, cryosphere, outflow channels, groundwater
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:04 Dec 2015 15:24
Last Modified:04 Dec 2015 15:24

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