Influence of fault-controlled topography on fluvio-deltaic sedimentary systems in Eberswalde crater, Mars

Melissa S. Rice, Sanjeev Gupta, James Bell, Nicholas H. Warner

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Abstract

Eberswalde crater was selected as a candidate landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission based on the presence of a fan-shaped sedimentary deposit interpreted as a delta. We have identified and mapped five other candidate fluvio-deltaic systems in the crater, using images and digital terrain models (DTMs) derived from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX). All of these systems consist of the same three stratigraphic units: (1) an upper layered unit, conformable with (2) a subpolygonally fractured unit, unconformably overlying (3) a pitted unit. We have also mapped a system of NNE-trending scarps interpreted as dip-slip faults that pre-date the fluvial-lacustrine deposits. The post-impact regional faulting may have generated the large-scale topography within the crater, which consists of a Western Basin, an Eastern Basin, and a central high. This topography subsequently provided depositional sinks for sediment entering the crater and controlled the geomorphic pattern of delta development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL16203
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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