Structural analysis of the Valles Marineris fault zone: Possible evidence for large-scale strike-slip faulting on Mars

lithosphere.gsapubs.org/content/4/4/286.abstract

lithosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/4/4/286.abstract

First published online June 4, 2012,
doi: 10.1130/​L192.1
Lithosphere August 2012 v. 4 no. 4 p. 286-330

Structural analysis of the Valles Marineris fault zone: Possible evidence for large-scale strike-slip faulting on Mars

1. An Yin*

– Author Affiliations

1.
Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Institute for Planets and Exoplanets (IPLEX), University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1567, USA, and Structural Geology Group, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China

Abstract

Despite four decades of research, the origin of Valles Marineris on Mars, the longest trough system in the solar system, remains uncertain. Its formation mechanism has been variably related to rifting, strike-slip faulting, and subsurface mass removal. This study focuses on the structural geology of Ius and Coprates Chasmata in southern Valles Marineris using THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System), Context Camera (CTX), and HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) images. The main result of the work is that the troughs and their plateau margins have experienced left-slip transtensional deformation. Syntectonic soft-sediment deformation suggests the presence of surface water during the Late Amazonian left-slip tectonics in Valles Marineris. The total left-slip motion of the southern Valles Marineris fault zone is estimated to be 150–160 km, which may have been absorbed by east-west extension across Noctis Labyrinthus and Syria Planum in the west and across Capri and Eos Chasmata in the east. The discovery of a large-scale (>2000 km in length and >100 km in slip) and rather narrow (<50 km in width) strike-slip fault zone by this study begs the question of why such a structure, typically associated with plate tectonics
on Earth, has developed on Mars.

* Received 14 December 2011.
* Revision received 1 April 2012.
* Accepted 3 April 2012.

Georef No.: 12-059602
Title: Structural analysis of the Valles Marineris fault zone; possible evidence for large-scale strike-slip faulting on Mars

Author: Yin, An
Corporate Source: University of California at Los Angeles, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Source: Lithosphere vol. Pre-Issue Publication
Date: 20120604 46 p.
Country of Publication: United States
ISSN: 1941-8264 Refs.: 99
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustrations: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
Language: English
URL: S _http://lithosphere.gsapubs.org/
Abstract: Despite four decades of research, the origin of Valles Marineris on Mars, the longest trough system in the solar system, remains uncertain. Its formation mechanism has been variably related to rifting, strike-slip faulting, and subsurface mass removal. This study focuses on the structural geology of Ius and Coprates Chasmata in southern Valles Marineris using THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System), Context Camera (CTX), and HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) images. The main result of the work is that the troughs and their plateau margins have experienced left-slip transtensional deformation. Syntectonic soft-sediment deformation suggests the presence of surface water during the Late Amazonian left-slip tectonics in Valles Marineris. The total left-slip motion of the southern Valles Marineris fault zone is estimated to be 150-160 km, which may have been absorbed by east-west extension across Noctis Labyrinthus and Syria Planum in the west and across Capri and Eos Chasmata in the east. The discovery of a large-scale (>2000 km in length and >100 km in slip) and rather narrow (<50 km in width) strike-slip fault zone by this study begs the question of why such a structure, typically associated with plate tectonics
on Earth, has developed on Mars.
Descriptors: Asia; California; Coprates Chasmata; Dead Sea Rift; Eos Chasmata; faults; HiRISE; interplanetary comparison; Mars; Middle East; Noctis Labyrinthus; planets; remote sensing; San Andreas Fault; strike-slip faults; structural analysis; Syria Planum; terrestrial planets; THEMIS; United States; Valles Marineris
Section Headings: 16 (Structural geology); 04 (Extraterrestrial geology);
Georef Update: 201215

GeoRef, Copyright 2012, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States

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Also found on SlideShare, sent by APODman2k Aug 11, 2012

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