Earth's Colorado Plateau and Loess Plateau (Ordos Basin) Comparing with Mars' Thaumasia Plateau: Evidence of Ancient Martian Lithospheric Mobility

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
James matthew Dohm, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan, Robert C Anderson, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, Goro Komatsu, University of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy, Victor R Baker, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States and Shigenori Maruyama, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
We have identified a terrestrial counterpart of the Colorado Plateau, western United States, called the Loess Plateau (including the Ordos Basin referred to hereafter as LPOB) based on size, shape, and spatial arrangement of landforms. LPOB is located to the west-southwest of Beijing China, and northeast of the Himalayas. Both the Colorado Plateau and LPOB display depressed central parts, rift systems along their southeastern margins, mountainous terrains along their margins, and expansive plains to their east. The Thaumasia Plateau of Mars also displays such features in a similar spatial arrangement. This includes Basin & Range-like terrain to the southwest, similar to the Colorado Plateau, and expansive plains to the east. Both the Colorado Plateau and LPOB occur among highly deformed terrains that have resulted from plate collision, subduction, major crustal shortening, contractional, extensional, and transtensional tectonism, basin formation, and magmatic upwelling and associated emplacement of both mafic and felsic rocks. At the meeting, we will detail the similarities among the Colorado Plateau, LPOB, and the Thaumasia Plateau, and make a case for why the latter may mark ancient lithospheric mobility with similarities to Earth’s plate tectonics.