A Caltech Library Service

The Oligocene‐Miocene Guadalope‐Matarranya Fan, Spain, as an Analog for Long‐Lived, Ridge‐Bearing Megafans on Mars

Hayden, A. T. and Lamb, M. P. and Myrow, P. M. and Mohrig, D. and Williams, R. M. E. and Cuevas Martínez, J. L. and Cardenas, B. T. and Findlay, C. P. and Ewing, R. C. and McElroy, B. J. (2021) The Oligocene‐Miocene Guadalope‐Matarranya Fan, Spain, as an Analog for Long‐Lived, Ridge‐Bearing Megafans on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 126 (12). Art. No. e2021JE006993. ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1029/2021je006993.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Numerous sedimentary fans on Mars have been studied to better understand the early martian hydrological system. Of particular interest is to estimate the duration of fluvial activity from alluvial fan size by dividing deposit volume by bankfull sediment flux. However, such a calculation requires an intermittency factor—a parameter relating sediment discharge from channel-filling (bankfull) floods to the long-term mean sediment discharge—which is poorly constrained. Here, we investigated fluvial fan deposits from the Oligocene–Miocene Caspe Formation, Spain, as an analog to fans on Mars because it has exhumed channel belts that create sinuous ridges in the modern topography, similar to those observed on Mars that are used for paleohydraulics. We made measurements of the thicknesses of dune and bar cross sets within exhumed channel belts at nine field sites to reconstruct bankfull channel depth (∼1.4 m) and bankfull sediment flux (∼0.48 m3/s). We estimated total bed-material sediment volume of the fan (362 km3) from stratigraphic thickness, the area containing exhumed channel belts, porosity and sand fraction. Combined with previous constraints on depositional timespan (∼6 Myr), we calculated a sediment-transport intermittency factor of 0.004 (range: 0.0004–0.04). Our approach can be applied to Mars by using remote sensing measurements of fluvial ridge morphology, which indicates the possibility of long depositional timespans exceeding millions of years for martian fans.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hayden, A. T.0000-0003-3540-7807
Lamb, M. P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Myrow, P. M.0000-0003-3253-3699
Mohrig, D.0000-0003-1828-4526
Williams, R. M. E.0000-0003-1571-6952
Cardenas, B. T.0000-0001-7246-219X
Findlay, C. P.0000-0002-2831-9596
Ewing, R. C.0000-0001-6337-610X
McElroy, B. J.0000-0002-9683-4282
Additional Information:© 2021. American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 06 December 2021. Version of Record online: 06 December 2021. Accepted manuscript online: 19 November 2021. Manuscript accepted: 03 November 2021. Manuscript revised: 28 September 2021. Manuscript received: 16 July 2021. This work was supported by NASA (grant NNX16AQ81G1960 to MPL and graduate fellowship support 80NSSC17K0492 to ATH), Project SEROS and Grup de Recerca Consolidat 2017-SGR467 of the Generalitat de Catalunya to JLCM. The authors have no financial conflicts of interest. We are grateful to Mackenzie Day and an anonymous reviewer for excellent feedback that improved the manuscript. Data Availability Statement. The Supporting Information document includes additional description of the field sites. All data are included here:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship80NSSC17K0492
Generalitat de Catalunya2017‐SGR467
Subject Keywords:Ebro Basin; inverted channel; sinuous ridge
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211209-229321000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hayden, A. T., Lamb, M. P., Myrow, P. M, Mohrig, D., Williams, R. M. E., Cuevas Martínez, J. L., et al. (2021). The Oligocene-Miocene Guadalope-Matarranya fan, Spain, as an analog for long-lived, ridge-bearing megafans on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 126, e2021JE006993.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112338
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Dec 2021 20:00
Last Modified:01 Feb 2022 22:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page