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The large Thaumasia graben on Mars: Is it a rift?

Hauber, Ernst and Kronberg, Peter (2005) The large Thaumasia graben on Mars: Is it a rift? Journal of Geophysical Research, 110 (E7). American Geophysical Union. doi: 10.1029/2005JE002407.

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Official URL: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2005JE002407.shtml


We investigate the morphology and topography of one of the largest fault-bounded tectonic structures on Mars, a complex, approximately N-S trending system of troughs and scarps at the western border of the Thaumasia plateau in the Claritas region (hereinafter referred to as “Thaumasia graben,” or TG). It is located between 15°S and 38°S latitude and at ∼255°E longitude. No detailed investigation of its morphotectonic setting has been performed yet. The region is a complexly fractured area with a number of different fault sets, including simple and complex graben. The TG extends over more than 1000 km along its trend, averaging 100 km in width and 1.6 km in depth. Crustal extension is accommodated by the formation of a system of asymmetric graben, or halfgraben. On the basis of fault orientation and trough depth, the TG can be subdivided in a north-south direction into three segments. Except for the northernmost segment, the predominant master fault system is located along the eastern flank of the TG, highlighting the overall asymmetric architecture. Fault length segments vary from 50 to 90 km with observable displacements of 1.3–2.2 km. Crustal extension, inferred from gridded MOLA topography across scarp offsets, varies along trend between 0.5 km and ∼4 km, assuming a fault dip of 60°. This is relatively moderate extension if compared to terrestrial continental rifts, but consistent with extension measured across the Tempe Rift on Mars. We find that the Thaumasia graben displays some characteristics which are common to terrestrial continental rifts, whereas other properties are distinctively not rift-like.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/19863/
Document Type:Article
Title:The large Thaumasia graben on Mars: Is it a rift?
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Kronberg, PeterInstitute of Geology and Paleontology, Technical University Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Keywords:Mars, Tectonics, Rifting
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):W - Vorhaben Vergleichende Planetologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:30 Nov 2005
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:08

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