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Acheron Fossae, Mars: Tectonic rifting, volcanism, and implications for lithospheric thickness

Kronberg, Peter and Hauber, Ernst and Grott, Matthias and Werner, Stephanie C. and Schäfer, Tanja and Gwinner, Klaus and Giese, Bernd and Masson, Philippe and Neukum, Gerhard (2007) Acheron Fossae, Mars: Tectonic rifting, volcanism, and implications for lithospheric thickness. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (E4), E04005. AGU. DOI: 10.1029/2006JE002780

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Official URL: http://www.agu.org/journals/je/je0704/2006JE002780/

Abstract

The Acheron Fossae region is an ancient crustal block exposed in the northwestern Tharsis province on Mars. It is named after the Acheron Fossae, a particularly well-developed system of extensional tectonic grabens. This study is the first to describe the tectonic inventory in detail, using topographic and image data from the Global Surveyor and Mars Express missions. We see the extensional tectonics along the east–west trending topographic high of Acheron Fossae as a surface expression of upwelling asthenospheric material that initiated regional uplift, crustal extension and breakup, and associated volcanic activity in Noachian time. The tectonic architecture and the dimensions of the extensional structures are comparable to those of terrestrial continental rifts. An area of elevated topography and strong erosion, which constitutes a regional landmark in the eastern Acheron Fossae region, is interpreted as a rift-related center of volcanism, caused by local magmatic uprise and involvement of the lithosphere. The extension across the Acheron Fossae reaches values between 1.2 km and 8.7 km, comparable to young continental rifts on Earth. Crater statistics indicate an absolute cratering model age between ∼3.9 Ga and 3.7 Ga for the rifting. The uplift observed on the flanks of the Acheron Fossae indicates a fairly thin and thus hot lithosphere. Using flexural analysis, we have constrained the elastic lithosphere thickness at the time of rifting to 8.9–11.3 km, corresponding to thermal gradients between 28 and 41 K km<sup>−1</sup>. These heat flows are substantially larger than Noachian heat flow values previously reported, but are consistent with the presence of rift-related volcanism and a magmatically very active environment.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/48174/
Document Type:Article
Title:Acheron Fossae, Mars: Tectonic rifting, volcanism, and implications for lithospheric thickness
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Kronberg, PeterTU ClausthalUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, ErnstUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Grott, MatthiasUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Werner, Stephanie C.FU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Schäfer, TanjaTU ClausthalUNSPECIFIED
Gwinner, KlausUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Giese, BerndUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Masson, PhilippeLaboratoire Orsayterre (CNRS FRE 2566), Université Paris-SudUNSPECIFIED
Neukum, GerhardFU BerlinUNSPECIFIED
Date:April 2007
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Open Access:No
In DOAJ:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:112
DOI :10.1029/2006JE002780
Page Range:E04005
Publisher:AGU
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, tectonics, faulting, extension, lithosphere, HRSC
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 - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Hauber, Ernst
Deposited On:09 May 2007
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:24

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