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Palaeoflow reconstruction from delta morphology on Mars

De Villiers, Germari and Kleinhans, Maarten and Hauber, Ernst and Postma, George (2010) Palaeoflow reconstruction from delta morphology on Mars. American Geophysical Union. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, 13–17 Dec 2010, San Francisco, California, USA.

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Official URL: http://agu-fm10.abstractcentral.com/planner?NEXT_PAGE=ITINERARY_ABS_DET_POP&SESSION_ABSTRACT_ID=722554&ABSTRACT_ID=959833&SESSION_ID=73591&PROGRAM_ID=2709

Abstract

Deltas on Mars record past hydrological conditions. Martian fan-shaped deposits vary greatly in terms of size, shape and morphology, but these deposits exhibit architectural elements similar to those of terrestrial analogues, e.g. lobes, terraces, and incised delta fronts. Our objective is to compare DTM data of Mars and of controlled laboratory experiments quantitatively with a morphological, physics-based model to infer sediment transport rate and formative duration. Volumes of deltas can be used to calculate flow and sediment dynamics as well as a minimum time of formation, with the use of flow and sediment transport predictors, a simple morphological model, and measured channel and delta dimensions. We present a quantitative morphological model for fan and delta formation that assumes as little as possible. The numerical model calculates the growth of a sedimentary body in a crater lake, represented by a low-gradient (subaerial) cone on top of a high-gradient (subaqueous) cone. The volume of the cone is constrained by the influx of sediment while the elevation of the break in slope, (shoreline) is constrained by the influx of water. The water and sediment fluxes were calculated with physics-based predictors based on the feeder channel. Only one combination of water and sediment supply in a given basin reproduce the long profile of the deposit. Laboratory experiments were conducted in the Eurotank facility to investigate the morphologic development of fans as well as the influence of different external factors which control delta morphology, such as water level, water discharge, and sediment type. We were able to recreate the morphologies of all different delta-types on Mars by merely varying these basic parameters. Results from these experiments are an independent test of the assumptions that are used in the numerical morphological model. Comparison between the experimental deltas and the model shows good agreement in morphology and formative duration. Minor differences are attributed to feeder channel wall collapse, which is not incorporated in the model, and to groundwater outflow, which effectively reduces the ratio of discharge and sediment flux. A direct comparison between the numerical model and DTM data for several Martian deltas demonstrates that single-event dilute flows of short duration (days to years) could have created these deposits. This has implications for the use of these features to infer past climatic conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/67591/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Palaeoflow reconstruction from delta morphology on Mars
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
De Villiers, GermariFaculty of Geosciences, Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Kleinhans, MaartenFaculty of Geosciences, Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, Ernsternst.hauber (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Postma, GeorgeFaculty of Geosciences, Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Date:2010
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:Abstract EP43C-0760
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, water, erosion, sedimantation, flow, modeling, climate
Event Title:2010 AGU Fall Meeting
Event Location:San Francisco, California, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:13–17 Dec 2010
Organizer:American Geophysical Union
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:07 Jan 2011 09:30
Last Modified:07 Jan 2011 09:30

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