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The Timing of Alluvial Fan Formation on Mars

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Samuel J. Holo, Edwin S. Kite, Sharon A. Wilson, Alexander M. Morgan

The history of rivers on Mars is an important constraint on Martian climate evolution. The timing of relatively young, alluvial fan-forming rivers is especially important, as Mars' Amazonian atmosphere is thought to have been too thin to consistently support surface liquid water. Previous regional studies suggested that alluvial fans formed primarily between the Early Hesperian and the Early Amazonian. In this study, we describe how a combination of a global impact crater database, a global geologic map, a global alluvial fan database, and statistical models can be used to estimate the timing of alluvial fan formation across Mars. Using our global approach and improved statistical modeling, we find that alluvial fan formation likely persisted into the last ~2.5 Gyr, well into the Amazonian period. However, the data we analyzed was insufficient to place constraints on the duration of alluvial fan formation. Going forward, more crater data will enable tighter constraints on the parameters estimated in our models and thus further inform our understanding of Mars' climate evolution.

Comments: Accepted by The Planetary Science Journal

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph)

Cite as: arXiv:2109.05407 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2109.05407v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Edwin KiteĀ 

[v1] Sun, 12 Sep 2021 02:35:13 UTC (16,379 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/2109.05407

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