Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars: Facies and process variability

Monica Pondrelli, Angelo Pio Rossi, Laetitia Le Deit, Frank Fueten, Stephan van Gasselt, Mihaela Glamoclija, Barbara Cavalazzi, Ernst Hauber, Fulvio Franchi, Riccardo Pozzobon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the equatorial layered deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra, Mars, in Firsoffcrater and on the adjacent plateau. We produced a detailed geological map that included a survey of the relative stratigraphic relations and crater count dating. We reconstructed the geometry of the layered deposits and inferred some compositional constraints. ELDs drape and onlap the plateau materials of late Noachian age, while they are unconformably covered by early and middle Amazonian units. ELDs show the presence of polyhydrated sulfates. The bulge morphology of the Firsoff crater ELDs appears to be largely depositional. The ELDs on the plateau display a sheet-drape geometry. ELDs show different characteristics between the crater and the plateau occurrences. In the crater they consist of mounds made of breccia sometimes displaying an apical pit laterally grading into a light-toned layered unit disrupted in a meter-scale polygonal pattern. These units are commonly associated with fissure ridges suggestive of subsurface sources. We interpret the ELDs inside the craters as spring deposits, originated by fluid upwelling through the pathways likely provided by the fractures related to the crater formations, and debouching at the surface through the fissure ridges and the mounds, leading to evaporite precipitation. On the plateau, ELDs consist of rare mounds, flatlying deposits, and cross-bedded dune fields. We interpret these mounds as possible smaller spring deposits, the flat-lying deposits as playa deposits, and the cross-bedded dune fields as aeolian deposits. Groundwater fluctuations appear to be the major factor controlling ELD deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1089
Number of pages26
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Volume127
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2015

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crater
Mars
plateau
dune field
fissure
geometry
eolian deposit
playa
breccia
evaporite
upwelling
sulfate
groundwater
fluid

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

Cite this

Pondrelli, M., Rossi, A. P., Le Deit, L., Fueten, F., van Gasselt, S., Glamoclija, M., ... Pozzobon, R. (2015). Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars: Facies and process variability. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 127(7-8), 1064-1089. https://doi.org/10.1130/B31225.1
Pondrelli, Monica ; Rossi, Angelo Pio ; Le Deit, Laetitia ; Fueten, Frank ; van Gasselt, Stephan ; Glamoclija, Mihaela ; Cavalazzi, Barbara ; Hauber, Ernst ; Franchi, Fulvio ; Pozzobon, Riccardo. / Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars : Facies and process variability. In: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 2015 ; Vol. 127, No. 7-8. pp. 1064-1089.
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Pondrelli, M, Rossi, AP, Le Deit, L, Fueten, F, van Gasselt, S, Glamoclija, M, Cavalazzi, B, Hauber, E, Franchi, F & Pozzobon, R 2015, 'Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars: Facies and process variability', Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, vol. 127, no. 7-8, pp. 1064-1089. https://doi.org/10.1130/B31225.1

Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars : Facies and process variability. / Pondrelli, Monica; Rossi, Angelo Pio; Le Deit, Laetitia; Fueten, Frank; van Gasselt, Stephan; Glamoclija, Mihaela; Cavalazzi, Barbara; Hauber, Ernst; Franchi, Fulvio; Pozzobon, Riccardo.

In: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 127, No. 7-8, 10.03.2015, p. 1064-1089.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Rossi, Angelo Pio

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AU - Fueten, Frank

AU - van Gasselt, Stephan

AU - Glamoclija, Mihaela

AU - Cavalazzi, Barbara

AU - Hauber, Ernst

AU - Franchi, Fulvio

AU - Pozzobon, Riccardo

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N2 - We investigated the equatorial layered deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra, Mars, in Firsoffcrater and on the adjacent plateau. We produced a detailed geological map that included a survey of the relative stratigraphic relations and crater count dating. We reconstructed the geometry of the layered deposits and inferred some compositional constraints. ELDs drape and onlap the plateau materials of late Noachian age, while they are unconformably covered by early and middle Amazonian units. ELDs show the presence of polyhydrated sulfates. The bulge morphology of the Firsoff crater ELDs appears to be largely depositional. The ELDs on the plateau display a sheet-drape geometry. ELDs show different characteristics between the crater and the plateau occurrences. In the crater they consist of mounds made of breccia sometimes displaying an apical pit laterally grading into a light-toned layered unit disrupted in a meter-scale polygonal pattern. These units are commonly associated with fissure ridges suggestive of subsurface sources. We interpret the ELDs inside the craters as spring deposits, originated by fluid upwelling through the pathways likely provided by the fractures related to the crater formations, and debouching at the surface through the fissure ridges and the mounds, leading to evaporite precipitation. On the plateau, ELDs consist of rare mounds, flatlying deposits, and cross-bedded dune fields. We interpret these mounds as possible smaller spring deposits, the flat-lying deposits as playa deposits, and the cross-bedded dune fields as aeolian deposits. Groundwater fluctuations appear to be the major factor controlling ELD deposition.

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Pondrelli M, Rossi AP, Le Deit L, Fueten F, van Gasselt S, Glamoclija M et al. Equatorial layered deposits in Arabia Terra, Mars: Facies and process variability. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 2015 Mar 10;127(7-8):1064-1089. https://doi.org/10.1130/B31225.1