Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published 2013 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Sedimentary Processes on Earth, Mars, Titan, and Venus


The production, transport and deposition of sediment occur to varying degrees on Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan. These sedimentary processes are significantly influenced by climate that affects production of sediment in source regions (weathering), and the mode by which that sediment is transported (wind vs. water). Other, more geological, factors determine where sediments are deposited (topography and tectonics). Fluvial and marine processes dominate Earth both today and in its geologic past, aeolian processes dominate modern Mars although in its past fluvial processes also were important, Venus knows only aeolian processes, and Titan shows evidence of both fluvial and aeolian processes. Earth and Mars also feature vast deposits of sedimentary rocks, spanning billions of years of planetary history. These ancient rocks preserve the long-term record of the evolution of surface environments, including variations in climate state. On Mars, sedimentary rocks record the transition from wetter, neutral-pH weathering, to brine-dominated low-pH weathering, to its dry current state.

Additional Information

© 2014 University of Arizona Press. Funding was provided by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and Mars Science Laboratory Project to J.P.G., and by the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science to A.G.H. S.M.M. was supported by NASA Mars Data Analysis and Mars Fundamental Research grants. J. Griffes and K. Stack helped with construction of Figs. 1, 2, and 4. Thanks to D. Burr, L. Sklar, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of this chapter.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023