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Deepwater Erosional Shadow Remnants as Terrestrial Analogs for Teardrop-Shaped Islands on Mars: Implications for Outflow Channel Formation

Moscardelli, Lorena G.*1; Wood, Lesli 1
(1) Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

Discovery of geomorphological elements such as valleys and channellike features on the surface of Mars has prompted debate over alternative origins for these morphologies, including erosion by lava, liquid CO2, glaciation, and mass wasting events. Similarities between Martian geomorphological elements and those of certain terrestrial environments suggest that water processes were involved in the formation of some visible Martian landscapes. Recent advances in three-dimensional seismic reflectivity imaging techniques, drawn mainly from oil and gas exploration activities in deepwater regions of the world, have allowed us to describe a variety of internal stratigraphic architectures that resemble some geomorphological features observed in the circum-Chryse Planitia region of Mars. For instance, erosional shadow remnants (ESRs) that have been described as components of deepwater mass transport deposits (MTD) in the eastern offshore margin of Trinidad closely resemble teardrop-shaped islands (TSI) that have been described at the downstream end of outflow channels within the circum-Chryse Planitia region. These observations suggest that the TSIs might have been formed as a result of catastrophic submarine mass movements similar to those documented within continental margins on Earth.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California