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Paleohydrologic Implications of Valley Networks of MarsValley networks in the heavily cratered terrains of Mars represent an ancient epoch of hydrologic conditions greatly different from those of today. Available crater counts on the valley networks indicate formation during the high flux of impacting bodies charaterizing the early heavy bombardment phase of Martian history. Two populations of valleys are recognized in the equatorial regions of Mars: pristine and degraded. The latter probably formed at the very end of the heavy bombardment phase, extending into the post-heavy bombardment by formation in the intercrater plains. Pristine valleys generally form segments of larger networks with degraded components. This suggests that valley formation was a prolonged process coeval with the heavy bombardment period and extending just beyond that period in martian history. The pristine networks and pristine portions of compound networks on Mars show morphological attributes consistent with an origin by headward growth through spring sapping. On Earth spring sapping occurs where groundwater out-streamflow can be generated by insolation changes associated with orbital parameters or with geothermal effects, such as might be associated with impact or with the volcanic emplacement of the intercrater plains. Thus, it is appropriate to specify the most conservation deviation from modern hydrologic conditions on Mars that could account for the ancient epoch of valley formation.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Baker, V. R.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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