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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-27
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
04 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
Deep-seated gravitational slope deformation scaling on Mars and Earth: same fate for different initial conditions and structural evolutions
Olga Kromuszczyńska1, Daniel Mège2,3,4, Krzysztof Dębniak1, Joanna Gurgurewicz1,2, Magdalena Makowska1, and Antoine Lucas5 1Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Research Centre in Wrocław, Podwale 75, 50-449 Wrocław, Poland
2Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
3Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université de Nantes, UMR CNRS 6112, 2 rue de la houssinière, Nantes, France
4Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers Nantes Atlantique, OSUNA CNRS UMS 3281, Nantes, France
5Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris, Diderot, Paris 75013, France
Abstract. Some of the most spectacular instances of deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DSGSD) are found on Mars in the Valles Marineris region. They provide an excellent opportunity to study DSGSD phenomenology using a scaling approach. The topography of selected DSGSD scarps in Valles Marineris and in the Tatra Mountains is investigated after their likely similar postglacial origin is established. The deformed Martian ridges are larger than the deformed terrestrial ridges by one to two orders, with however a similar height-to-width ratio, ~ 0.24. The measured finite strain of the Valles Marineris ridges is 3 times larger than in the Tatra Mountains, suggesting that starting from two different initial conditions, with steeper slopes in Valles Marineris, the final ridge geometry is now similar. Because DSGSD is expected to be now inactive in both regions, their comparison suggests that whatever the initial ridge morphology, DSGSD proceeds until a mature profile is attained. On both planets, strain is distributed over the same number (~ 5) of major scarps; fault displacements are therefore much larger on Mars. The large offsets make necessary reactivation of the DSGSD fault scarps in Valles Marineris, whereas single seismic events would be enough to generate DSGSD fault scarps in the Tatra Mountains. The required longer activity of the Martian faults may be correlated with a long succession of climate cycles generated by the unstable Mars obliquity. In spite of similar global geometry today, the studied ridges on Mars and Earth affected by DSGSD did not start from similar initial conditions and did not follow the same structural evolution.
Citation: Kromuszczyńska, O., Mège, D., Dębniak, K., Gurgurewicz, J., Makowska, M., and Lucas, A.: Deep-seated gravitational slope deformation scaling on Mars and Earth: same fate for different initial conditions and structural evolutions, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-27, in review, 2018.
Olga Kromuszczyńska et al.
Olga Kromuszczyńska et al.
Olga Kromuszczyńska et al.

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Short summary
Deep-seated gravitational spreading features are spectacular on Mars on the hillslopes of Valles Marineris, both in terms of freshness of landforms and size. This paper compares their dimensions and those in terrestrial analogue sites, in the Tatra Mountains. Gravitational spreading is thought to be now inactive in both locations. We find that height-to-width ratio, ~ 0.24, is similar, in spite of much larger strain in Valles Marineris. We explore the implications.
Deep-seated gravitational spreading features are spectacular on Mars on the hillslopes of Valles...
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