Glacial geomorphology, fluvial geomorphology, hillslope geomorphology, submarine geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology...

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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Martian geomorphology (and geology) update

The 1st June issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters is a special volume devoted to the Mars Express mission, and recent progress on our geological and geomorphological understanding of the Martian surface. The 28 articles include many specifically about geomorphology, including:

- Jaumann et al. describe multiple erosional events across 2.8 billion years, driven by very intermittent flow from multiple water sources, in the The Western Libya Montes Valley System

- Erkeling et al. report a similarly multi-genetic evolution of valley networks in the eastern Libya Montes, formed by a combination of surface runoff and groundwater-induced processes over ~800 million years

- Head et al. discuss evidence for debris-covered glaciers operating in the Late Amazonian period

- Dickson et al. take a detailed look at crater morphology at the Phlegra Montes (specifically overtopping by ice) to reveal occupation by ice 1 km thick in the Late Amazonian

- Kneissl et al. describe a detailed analysis of the distribution and orientation of gullies on the Martian surface, which revealed that formation mechanisms based on atmospheric water-ice deposition are more likely than processes related to groundwater flow

- Levy et al. contribute to the ongoing debate over the origin of gullies on Mars - dry granular flows and landslides, wet debris flows, or fluvial erosion and alluvial deposition? Their detailed morphological analysis of lobate structures in Protonilus Mensae indicates these at least were formed by wet debris flows

- Kleinhans et al. detail a simple numerical model for alluvial fan and delta development that indicates that features seen on Mars result from single flow events lasting days to years.