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Sublacustrine depositional fans in southwest Melas Chasma

Metz, Joannah M. and Grotzinger, John P. and Mohrig, David and Milliken, Ralph and Prather, Bradford and Pirmez, Carlos and McEwen, Alfred S. and Weitz, Catherine M. (2009) Sublacustrine depositional fans in southwest Melas Chasma. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 114 . E10002. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Two depositional fan complexes have been identified on the floor of southwest Melas Chasma. The western fan complex is located near the center of an enclosed basin in southwest Melas Chasma and is composed of multiple lobes with dendritic finger-like terminations. These fans are very flat and have a morphology unlike any other fan that has been previously identified on Mars. On the basis of the morphologic similarity of the western fan complex to the Mississippi submarine fan complex, we suggest that it may be a deep subaqueous fan depositional system. There are numerous channels on the surface of the western fan complex, and measurements of channel length, width, and sinuosity are consistent with channels observed on terrestrial submarine fans. The eastern Melas depositional fans are less well preserved and may be of deltaic or sublacustrine origin. Recognition of the fans supports earlier suggestions for the presence of a former lake in Melas Chasma and indicates that a significant body of water was present and stable at the surface of Mars for at least 10^2 to 10^4 years.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Mohrig, David0000-0003-1828-4526
Milliken, Ralph0000-0003-3240-4918
Weitz, Catherine M.0000-0002-4646-0825
Additional Information:© 2009 American Geophysical Union. Received 16 February 2009; accepted 24 June 2009; published 14 October 2009. We would like to thank Kevin Lewis and Terry Suer for making the digital elevation models of the Melas fans used in this study. We would also like to thank Douglas Jerolmack for advice on calculating timescales.
Subject Keywords:sublacustrine fan; delta; channels
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091105-132142875
Persistent URL:
Official Citation: Metz, J. M., J. P. Grotzinger, D. Mohrig, R. Milliken, B. Prather, C. Pirmez, A. S. McEwen, and C. M. Weitz (2009), Sublacustrine depositional fans in southwest Melas Chasma, J. Geophys. Res., 114, E10002, doi:10.1029/2009JE003365.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16590
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:13 Nov 2009 23:27
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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