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Hydrothermal activity recorded in post Noachian-aged impact craters on Mars

Turner, Stuart M. R. and Bridges, John C. and Grebby, Stephen and Ehlmann, Bethany L. (2016) Hydrothermal activity recorded in post Noachian-aged impact craters on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 121 (4). pp. 608-625. ISSN 2169-9097. doi:10.1002/2015JE004989.

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Hydrothermal systems have previously been reported in ancient Noachian and Hesperian-aged craters on Mars using CRISM but not in Amazonian-aged impact craters. However, the nakhlite meteorites do provide evidence of Amazonian hydrothermal activity. This study uses CRISM data of 144 impact craters of ≥7 km diameter and 14 smaller craters (3–7 km diameter) within terrain mapped as Amazonian to search for minerals that may have formed as a result of impact-induced hydrothermal alteration or show excavation of ancient altered crust. No evidence indicating the presence of hydrated minerals was found in the 3–7 km impact craters. Hydrated minerals were identified in three complex impact craters, located at 52.42°N, 39.86°E in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle, at 8.93°N, 141.28°E in Elysium, and within the previously studied Stokes crater. These three craters have diameters 20 km, 62 km, and 51 km. The locations of the hydrated mineral outcrops and their associated morphology indicate that two of these three impact craters—the unnamed Ismenius Lacus Crater and Stokes Crater—possibly hosted impact-induced hydrothermal systems, as they contain alteration assemblages on their central uplifts that are not apparent in their ejecta. Chlorite and Fe serpentine are identified within alluvial fans in the central uplift and rim of the Ismenius Lacus crater, whereas Stokes crater contains a host of Fe/Mg/Al phyllosilicates. However, excavation origin cannot be precluded. Our work suggests that impact-induced hydrothermalism was rare in the Amazonian and/or that impact-induced hydrothermal alteration was not sufficiently pervasive or spatially widespread for detection by CRISM.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemNASA Planetary Data System Geoscience Node - CRISM data ItemHiRISE images ItemCTX images ItemUSGS Planetary GIS Web Server - MOLA data
Bridges, John C.0000-0002-9579-5779
Ehlmann, Bethany L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Additional Information:© 2016. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use,distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Manuscript Received: 11 December 2015. Manuscript Revised: 26 February 2016. Manuscript Accepted: 10 March 2016. Accepted manuscript online: 16 March 2016. Version of record online: 15 April 2016. Issue online: 12 May 2016. Turner was funded by a joint STFC-NERC (British Geological Survey) CASE studentship. Grebby publishes with the permission of the Executive Director, British Geological Survey (NERC). We would like to thank MRO and MOLA science teams for their work in acquiring and processing the data. CRISM data used in this paper are available from the NASA Planetary Data System Geoscience Node (, HiRISE images are available from the University of Arizona HiRISE website (, CTX images are available from the Image Explorer on the Arizona State University website (, and MOLA data are available from the United States Geological Survey Planetary GIS Web Server ( We thank Cong Pan and an anonymous reviewer for their comments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)UNSPECIFIED
British Geological SurveyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mars; CRISM; impact crater; Amazonian; hydrothermal
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160902-080315729
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Official Citation:Turner, S. M. R., J. C. Bridges, S. Grebby, and B. L. Ehlmann (2016), Hydrothermal activity recorded in post Noachian-aged impact craters on Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, 608–625, doi:10.1002/2015JE004989.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:70137
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Sep 2016 16:41
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:24

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