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Amazonian volcanism inside Valles Marineris on Mars

Brož, Petr and Hauber, Ernst and Wray, J.J. and Michael, G. (2017) Amazonian volcanism inside Valles Marineris on Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 473, pp. 122-130. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.06.003 ISSN 0012-821X

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X17303126

Abstract

The giant trough system of Valles Marineris is one of the most spectacular landforms on Mars, yet its origin is still unclear. Although often referred to as a rift, it also shows some characteristics that are indicative of collapse processes. For decades, one of the major open questions was whether volcanism was active inside the Valles Marineris. Here we present evidence for a volcanic field on the floor of the deepest trough of Valles Marineris, Coprates Chasma. More than 130 individual edifices resemble scoria and tuff cones, and are associated with units that are interpreted as lava flows. Crater counts indicate that the volcanic field was emplaced sometime between ∼0.4 Ga and ∼0.2 Ga. The spatial distribution of the cones displays a control by trough-parallel subsurface structures, suggesting magma ascent in feeder dikes along trough-bounding normal faults. Spectral data reveal an opaline-silica-rich unit associated with at least one of the cones, indicative of hydrothermal processes. Our results point to magma–water interaction, an environment of astrobiological interest, perhaps associated with late-stage activity in the evolution of Valles Marineris, and suggest that the floor of Coprates Chasma is promising target for the in situ exploration of Mars.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/116414/
Document Type:Article
Title:Amazonian volcanism inside Valles Marineris on Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Brož, Petrinstitute of geophysics, ascr, pragueUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, Ernsternst.hauber (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1375-304X
Wray, J.J.school of earth and atmospheric sciences, georgia institute of technology, atlanta, georgia, usaUNSPECIFIED
Michael, G.institute of geosciences, freie universität berlin, berlin , germanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
In DOAJ:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:473
DOI :10.1016/j.epsl.2017.06.003
Page Range:pp. 122-130
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0012-821X
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, volcanism, tectonism, water, Valles Marineris, hydrothermal processes
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):Project MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 14:48
Last Modified:30 Nov 2017 14:48

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