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Similar curvature-to-width ratios for channels and channel belts: Implications for paleo-hydraulics of fluvial ridges on Mars

Hayden, Alistair T. and Lamb, Michael P. and Carney, Alexander J. (2021) Similar curvature-to-width ratios for channels and channel belts: Implications for paleo-hydraulics of fluvial ridges on Mars. Geology . ISSN 0091-7613. doi:10.1130/G48370.1. (In Press) https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210407-094457378

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Abstract

The surface of Mars contains abundant sinuous ridges that appear similar to river channels in planform, but they stand as topographic highs. Ridges have similar curvature-to-width ratios as terrestrial meandering rivers, which has been used to support the hypothesis that ridges are inverted channels that directly reflect channel geometry. Anomalously wide ridges, in turn, have been interpreted as evidence for larger rivers on Mars compared to Earth. However, an alternate hypothesis is that ridges are exhumed channel-belt deposits—a larger zone of relatively coarse-grained deposits formed from channel lateral migration and aggradation. Here, we measured landform wavelength, radius of curvature, and width to compare terrestrial channels, terrestrial channel belts, and martian ridges. We found that all three landforms follow similar scaling relations, in which ratios of radius of curvature to width range from 1.7 to 7.3, and wavelength-to-width ratios range from 5.8 to 13. We interpret this similarity to be a geometric consequence of a sinuous curved line of finite width. Combined with observations of ridge-stacking patterns, our results suggest that wide ridges on Mars could indicate fluvial channel belts that formed over significant time rather than anomalously large rivers.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1130/g48370.1DOIArticle
https://doi.org/10.1130/GEOL.S.14233523DOISupplemental material
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Hayden, Alistair T.0000-0003-3540-7807
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Carney, Alexander J.0000-0002-0246-1105
Additional Information:© 2021 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received 4 September 2020; Revised manuscript received 17 January 2021; Manuscript accepted 21 January 2021. This work was supported by NASA (grant NNX16G to Lamb and graduate fellowship 80NSSC17K0492 to Hayden). The manuscript benefited greatly from feedback from John Swartz and two anonymous reviewers.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANNX16G
NASA80NSSC17K0492
DOI:10.1130/G48370.1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210407-094457378
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210407-094457378
Official Citation:Alistair T. Hayden, Michael P. Lamb, Alexander J. Carney; Similar curvature-to-width ratios for channels and channel belts: Implications for paleo-hydraulics of fluvial ridges on Mars. Geology 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G48370.1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108643
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Apr 2021 22:46
Last Modified:08 Apr 2021 22:46

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