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The origin and timing of fluvial activity at Eberswalde crater, Mars

Mangold, N. and Kite, E. S. and Kleinhans, M. G. and Newsom, H. and Ansan, V. and Hauber, E. and Kraal, E. and Quantin, C. and Tanaka, K. (2012) The origin and timing of fluvial activity at Eberswalde crater, Mars. Icarus, 220 (2). pp. 530-551. ISSN 0019-1035.

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The fan deposit in Eberswalde crater has been interpreted as strong evidence for sustained liquid water on early Mars with a paleolake formed during the Noachian period (>3.7 Gy). This location became a key region for understanding the Mars paleo-environment. Eberswalde crater is located 50 km north of the rim of the 150 km diameter crater Holden. Stratigraphic relationships and chronology obtained using recent Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera images show that Eberswalde fluvial activity crosscuts Holden ejecta and thus postdates Holden crater, whose formation age is estimated from crater counts as Late Hesperian (∼3.5 Gy, depending on models). Fluvial modeling shows that short term activity (over several years to hundreds of years) involving dense flows (with sediment:water ratio between 0.01 and 0.3) may be as good an explanation of the fluvial landforms as dilute flow over longer durations. Modeling of the thermal effect of the Holden impact in the Eberswalde watershed is used to evaluate its potential role in aqueous activity. The relative timing of the Holden impact and Eberswalde’s fan is a constraint for future studies about the origin of these landforms. Holden ejecta form a weak and porous substrate, which may be easy to erode by fluvial incision. In a cold climate scenario, impact heating could have produced runoff by melting snow or ground ice. Any attempt to model fluvial activity at Eberswalde should take into account that it may have formed as late as in the Late Hesperian, after the great majority of valley network formation and aqueous mineralization on Mars. This suggests that hypotheses for fan formation at Eberswalde by transient and/or localized processes (i.e. impact, volcanism, unusual orbital forcing) should be considered on a par with globally warmer climate.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Mangold, N.0000-0002-0022-0631
Kite, E. S.0000-0002-1426-1186
Newsom, H.0000-0002-4358-8161
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier Inc. Received 19 September 2011. Revised 2 May 2012. Accepted 22 May 2012. Available online 31 May 2012. French authors thank the CNES and the INSU/CNRS through the PNP Program and the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche through the Grant ANR-08-JCJC-0126 "MADMACS". E.S.K. was supported by the O.K. Earl Fellowship at Caltech and by NASA Grants NNX08AN13G and NNX09AN18G. M.G.K. gratefully acknowledges support from NWO-ALW/Netherlands Space Office. Modeling in Section 5.4 done by M.G.K., modeling in Section 7.3 done by E.S.K. Authors thank John Grant and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. We thank Melissa Rice for sharing a pre-publication Eberswalde manuscript. Initial results of this study were presented at the Fall 2010 (4th) and Spring 2011 (5th) Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) landing site selection workshops. Authors acknowledge the intellectual stimulation created by these workshops, and discussions generated by members of the fluvial "Tiger Team" of the MSL site selection, especially R.P. Irwin III for productive suggestions, without implying agreement with all ideas in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-08-JCJC-0126
Caltech O. K. Earl FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars, surface; Mars, climate; Impact processes; Geological processes
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121005-105350922
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Official Citation:N. Mangold, E.S. Kite, M.G. Kleinhans, H. Newsom, V. Ansan, E. Hauber, E. Kraal, C. Quantin, K. Tanaka, The origin and timing of fluvial activity at Eberswalde crater, Mars, Icarus, Volume 220, Issue 2, August 2012, Pages 530-551, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.026. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34711
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:05 Oct 2012 18:50
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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