Landform Hierarchy and Evolution in Gorgonum and Atlantis Basins, Mars
URL with Digital Object Identifier
This paper describes the evolution of landforms in Atlantis and Gorgonum basins, using a geomorphologic approach which interprets landform distribution and hierarchy. Rather than looking at the distribution of large-area (>106 km2) geologic sequences, this study focuses on interpreting the local-scale (<103 km2) cratered terrains, tectono-structural basins, and local manifestation of exogenic processes. Specifically, the evolution of fluvio-lacustrine landforms is interpreted as being functionally subordinated to the evolution of the cratered terrains and to the tectono-structural modifications of the landscape. Results show that three major phases of landscape evolution in Atlantis and Gorgonum basins can be identified: (a) major impact cratering during the heavy-bombardment period; (b) tectonic displacements in response to volcano emplacement in the Tharsis region, and simultaneous landform creation by fluvial and lacustrine processes; and (c) exogenic modification of the older landforms through weathering and eolian processes. Our results show that the smaller morphological features, which form on the older geological units, are not necessarily old themselves and can in fact be relatively recent (e.g. Amazonian). The main implication of these results is that martian morphology did not form only during a period immediately following the heavy bombardment, as commonly postulated, but rather that landform evolution continued throughout the entire martian history.