Aeolis Dorsa is a topographic depression, ∼800 km east of Gale Crater, located along the Mars’ dichotomy boundary. This area hosts a set of fluvial sedimentary rocks displaying an exceptional record of depositional environments and fluvial channels patterns that suggest the presence of a large amount of surface and/or subsurface water. We interpreted the plain as an ancient waterlogged environment, a sedimentary basin passing into distal depositional environments. Regional mapping of the area revealed the presence of a large-scale fluvial system that points to a long-term and extensive hydrological cycle. A significant wet period with changing environmental conditions in Hesperian/Amazonian occurred in the study area diverging from the present-day climate. Our map (Main Map) contributes to the understanding of past climatic conditions on Mars. Moreover, it provides an interesting perspective for future missions looking for evidence of present-day and/or past extraterrestrial organisms as the life as we know it needs liquid water.

Geology of Aeolis Dorsa alluvial sedimentary basin, Mars

Ilaria Di Pietro;Gian Gabriele Ori;Monica Pondrelli;Francesco Salese
2018

Abstract

Aeolis Dorsa is a topographic depression, ∼800 km east of Gale Crater, located along the Mars’ dichotomy boundary. This area hosts a set of fluvial sedimentary rocks displaying an exceptional record of depositional environments and fluvial channels patterns that suggest the presence of a large amount of surface and/or subsurface water. We interpreted the plain as an ancient waterlogged environment, a sedimentary basin passing into distal depositional environments. Regional mapping of the area revealed the presence of a large-scale fluvial system that points to a long-term and extensive hydrological cycle. A significant wet period with changing environmental conditions in Hesperian/Amazonian occurred in the study area diverging from the present-day climate. Our map (Main Map) contributes to the understanding of past climatic conditions on Mars. Moreover, it provides an interesting perspective for future missions looking for evidence of present-day and/or past extraterrestrial organisms as the life as we know it needs liquid water.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/690552
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