The Martian geomorphology as mapped by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC): Implications for Geological Processes and Climate Conditions.

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Thomas Roatsch1, Ralf Jaumann1, Gerhard Neukum2, Daniela Tirsch1, Ernst Hauber3, Harald Hoffmann1, Klaus Gwinner1, Frank Scholten1, Gaetano Di Achille4, Thomas C Duxbury5, Gino Erkeling6, Stefan vanGasselt2, Sanjeev Gupta7, James W Head III8, Harald Hiesinger9, Wing-Huen Ip10, Horst Uwe Keller11, Maarten G Kleinhans12, Thomas Kneisl2, Thomas B McCord13, Peter Muller14, John Murray15, Monica Pondrelli16, Thomas Platz2, Patrick Claude Pinet17, Dennis Reiss9, Angelo Pio Rossi18, Lutz Wendt2, David A Williams19, Nicolas Mangold20 and Tilman Spohn1, (1)German Aerospace Center DLR Berlin, Berlin, Germany, (2)Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany, (3)German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Berlin, Germany, (4)CNR National Institute for Astrophysics, Rome, Italy, (5)George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, United States, (6)Uni Muenster, Muenster, Germany, (7)Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, (8)Brown University, Providence, RI, United States, (9)University of Münster, Münster, Germany, (10)NCU National Central University of Taiwan, Jhongli, Taiwan, (11)Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany, (12)Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands, (13)Bear Fight Institute, Winthrop, WA, United States, (14)Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Dorking, United Kingdom, (15)Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, (16)University of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy, (17)IRAP, Toulouse, Italy, (18)Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany, (19)Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States, (20)LPGN Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, Nantes Cedex 03, France
After 10 years of ESA’s Mars Express orbiting the planet its High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) covered about 90 % of the surface in stereo and color with resolutions up to 10 m/pixel. Digital elevation models of up to 50 m grid spacing [1], generated from all suitable datasets of the stereo coverage, currently cover about 40 % of the surface [2]. The geomorphological analysis of surface features, observed by the HRSC indicate major surface modifications by endogenic and exogenic processes on all scales. Endogenic landforms (e.g., tectonic rifts, small basaltic shield volcanoes) were found to be very similar to their equivalents on Earth, suggesting that no unique processes are required to explain their formation. Volcanism may have been active up to the very recent past or even to the present, putting important constraints on thermal evolution models [e.g. 3]. The analysis of diverse landforms produced by aqueous processes revealed that surface water activity was likely episodic, but ranged in age from very ancient to very recent [e.g. 3]. Particularly important is prominent glaciation and periglacial features at several latitudes, including mountain glaciers [e.g. 3]. The identification of aqueous alteration minerals and their geological context has enabled a better understanding of paleoenvironmental conditions and pedogenetic processes [e.g. 4]. Dark dunes contain volcanic material and are evidence for the significantly dynamic surface environment, characterized by widespread erosion, transport, and redeposition [e.g. 3]. Since basically all geologic interpretations of extraterrestrial features require profound knowledge of the Earth as key reference, studies of terrestrial analogues are mandatory in planetary geology. Field work in Antarctica, Svalbard and Iceland [e.g. 5] provided a basis for the analysis of periglacial and volcanic processes, respectively.

References: [1] Jaumann et al., 2007, PSS 55; [2] Gwinner et al., 2010, EPSL 294; [3] Jaumann et al., 2014, PSS, subm., [4] Jaumann et al., 2014, PSS 98, [5] Hauber et al., 2011, Geol. Soc. Am. 483.