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From hot to cold? Hydrothermal activities as a source for icy-debris flows on Dryas Mons, Terra Sirenum, Mars

Voelker, Martin and Ruiz, J. and Parro, L.M. and Hauber, Ernst and Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro and Martin, P. (2022) From hot to cold? Hydrothermal activities as a source for icy-debris flows on Dryas Mons, Terra Sirenum, Mars. Icarus, 372, p. 114698. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114698. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019103521003535


During an extensive grid-mapping campaign on Mars’ southern hemisphere, we have detected so-called sheet flow deposits, which are defined by distinctive lobate fronts, thin and mostly planar layers, and faint sub-parallel surface lineations. They originate from the high plains of Dryas Mons, a large massif of impact and tectonic origin, and follow the topographic gradient down into the adjacent basins. Their sources often coincide with steep and multi-layered outcrops. This work addresses the formation of these deposits, and if they are related to the unique tectonic and endogenic environment of Dryas Mons. We applied photogeological mapping, age determinations by crater counts, as well as topographic and heat flow measurements in order to reconstruct the evolution of these landforms. The calculated ages (mid to late Amazonian), their location in the mid-latitudes, as well as some specific morphologies like lobate flow fronts are typical for standard viscous-flow features on Mars. In contrast to such viscous-flow features, the sheet flow deposits occur isolated in the Dryas Mons region. Aside from that, major other landforms, typical for viscous-flow features are lacking, like sublimation pits, brain terrain or arcuate deformations. Considering these similarities and differences, we suggest that both landforms viscousflow features and the sheet flow deposits of Dryas Mons were formed by the involvement of volatiles; however, at varying amounts and by different emplacement processes. As the formation of the sheet flow deposits is located in an area with one of the highest heat flow values planet-wide, we calculated if the heat flow could be a potential trigger for the release of outcropping volatile-rich layers. However, our calculations have shown that the heat flow is still insufficient to enable near-surface melting. Instead, we suggest that the volatiles originate from deep layers affected by magmatic and/or intrusive activities in a tectonically active environment. These conditions led to melting and mobilisation of the volatiles by advective hydrothermal processes. Thus, the volatiles migrated upward along hypothesized deep-seated fault systems, formed by Noachian/Hesperian impacts and tectonic activities, until they reached conductive layers outcropping at Dryas Mons, enabling them to drain. After their release to the cold Amazonian atmosphere, this mixture of volatiles and solids partially froze, resulting in a comparatively high viscosity, and hence, a slow and laminar (non-turbulent) movement. This flow behaviour might have led to the formation of the lineations at their surface along shear zones. Hence, we suggest that the sheet flow deposits may have originally formed as slowly moving icy debris flows during the mid- to late Amazonian.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/148013/
Document Type:Article
Title:From hot to cold? Hydrothermal activities as a source for icy-debris flows on Dryas Mons, Terra Sirenum, Mars
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Voelker, MartinEuropean Space Astronomy Center, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, Villanueva de la Canada, E-28692 Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Ruiz, J.Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Parro, L.M.Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, ErnstErnst.Hauber (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1375-304X
Cardesin Moinelo, AlejandroEuropean Space Agency, ESAC, Villanueva de la Canada, SpanienUNSPECIFIED
Martin, P.ESA/ESAC, Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Date:September 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114698
Page Range:p. 114698
Keywords:Mars, water, ice, HRSC, climate, hydrothermalism, glaciers, debris flows, Geology, mass wasting, layering
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Mars Express HRSC
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:06 Jan 2022 11:52
Last Modified:06 Jan 2022 11:52

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