Analysis of a spectrally unique deposit in the dissected Noachian terrain of Mars

E. Z. Noe Dobrea, III F. Bell, T. H. McConnochie, M. Malin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We have analyzed a spectrally anomalous dark intracrater deposit and an adjacent lighter-toned fan-shaped deposit in the dissected Noachian terrain of Mars using a combination of high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing data sets. The spatial proximity of these two deposits and their dust-free spectral character make these prime targets for (1) determining whether the dark-toned deposit is derived from the fan-shaped deposit and (2) constraining the nature and mineralogy of the fan-shaped deposit. Stereo observations and derived digital elevation models of the of the fan-shaped deposit show a set of three flows lobes. Calculations of the yield strength, based on morphometry of the lobes, indicate yield strengths consistent with those of other volcanic flows on Mars, although an aqueous origin cannot be discounted. The dark deposit consists of a mantle that forms dunes at its thickest portions and extends as a thinner veneer. We find no obvious morphologic association between the dark deposit and adjacent fan. Multispectral imaging from the THEMIS VIS and IR instruments show that the two deposits have different spectral characteristics, probably caused by differences in their mineralogy rather than their physical properties. Finally, modeling of MGS/TES spectra of the combined deposits indicates a feldspar-rich composition that is possibly complemented by smaller quantities of alteration products such as carbonates, and possibly sulfates and clays. These results indicate that (1) there is no association between these deposits and (2) the combined deposits have a primarily igneous mineralogy, although some aqueous alteration may have occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE06007
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 20 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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