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Accession Number N20130001894
Title New Support for Hypotheses of an Ancient Ocean on Mars.
Publication Date 2013
Media Count 2p
Personal Author C. C. Allen D. Z. Oehler
Abstract A new analog for the giant polygons in the Chryse-Acidalia area suggests that those features may have formed in a major body of water - likely a Late Hesperian to Early Amazonian ocean. This analog -terrestrial polygons in subsea, passive margin basins derives from 3D seismic data that show similar-scale, polygonal fault systems in the subsurface of more than 50 terrestrial offshore basins. The terrestrial and martian polygons share similar sizes, basin-wide distributions, tectonic settings, and association with expected fine-grained sediments. Late Hesperian deposition from outflow floods may have triggered formation of these polygons, by providing thick, rapidly-deposited, fine-grained sediments necessary for polygonal fracturing. The restriction of densely occurring polygons to elevations below approx. -4000 m to -4100 m supports inferences that a body of water controlled their formation. Those same elevations appear to restrict occurrence of polygons in Utopia Planitia, suggesting that this analog may apply also to Utopia and that similar processes may have occurred across the martian lowlands.
Keywords Deposition

Source Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NTIS Subject Category 54B - Astronomy & Celestial Mechanics
84B - Extraterrestrial Exploration
Corporate Author National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, TX. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
Document Type Conference proceedings
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1319
Contract Number N/A

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