jeudi 10 août 2017

Preserving the stress of volcanic uprise on Mars












ESA - Mars Express Mission patch.

10 August 2017

Thaumasia mountains

An ancient mountain range on Mars preserves a complex volcanic and tectonic past imprinted with signs of water and ice interactions. 

The images, taken on 9 April by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express, show the Thaumasia mountains and Coracis Fossae, which fringe the huge Solis Planum volcanic plateau from the south.

Thaumasia mountain range in context

The region lies to the south of the vast Valles Marineris canyon system and towering Tharsis volcanoes, and is strongly linked to the tectonic stresses that played out during their formation over 3.5 billion years ago.

As the Tharsis bulge swelled with magma during the planet’s first billion years, the surrounding crust was stretched, ripping apart and eventually collapsing into troughs. While Valles Marineris is one of the most extreme results, the effects are still seen even thousands of kilometres away, such as in the Coracis Fossae region observed in this image where near-parallel north–south faults are visible primarily to the left.

Thaumasia mountain topography

Tectonic structures like these can control the movement of magma, heat and water in the subsurface, leading to hydrothermal activity and the production of minerals.

Light-toned deposits, which might be clay minerals formed in the presence of water, stand out in the right part of the colour image and at the rim of the large crater. Similar deposits were identified in the nearby Lampland crater.

Perspective view of crater in Thaumasia mountain range

There is also evidence for valley formation by groundwater erosion and surface runoff occurring at the same time as when the active tectonics shaped the landscape. The water-based erosion means the troughs have been partially buried and heavily modified.

The region was later modified by glacial processes, seen in the flow-like lineated patterns in the flat floors of the large craters.

Thaumasia mountains in 3D

As a representative of the ancient highlands of Mars, this region holds a wealth of information about the Red Planet’s geological history.

Related links:

Mars Express: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express

Mars Webcam: http://blogs.esa.int/vmc

Robotic exploration of Mars: http://exploration.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=118

Mars Express overview: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express_overview

Mars Express in-depth: http://sci.esa.int/marsexpress

ESA Planetary Science archive (PSA): http://www.rssd.esa.int/PSA

High Resolution Stereo Camera: http://berlinadmin.dlr.de/Missions/express/indexeng.shtml

HRSC data viewer: http://hrscview.fu-berlin.de/

Behind the lens... http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Behind_the_lens

Frequently asked questions: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Frequently_asked_questions

Images, Text, Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO/NASA MGS MOLA Science Team.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire