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Classification of Martian deltasWater-borne sediments in streams are deposited, upon eventual cessation of flow, either as deltas or as alluvial fans or plains. Deltas and alluvial fans share a common characteristic; both may be described as deposition Al plains at the mouth of a river or stream. A delta is formed where a stream or river deposits its sedimentary load into a standing body of water such as an ocean or lake. An alluvial fan is produced where a stream loses capacity by a greatly decreased gradient. A delta has subaerial and subaqueous components, but an alluvial fan is entirely subaerial. In terrestrial conditions, deltas and alluvial fans are reasonably distinct landforms. The juxtaposition of concomitant features composition and internal structure are sufficiently explicit as to avoid any confusion regarding their proper identification on Mars, the recognition of deltas and their distinction from alluvial fans is made difficult by low resolution imaging. Further, although it may be demonstrated that standing bodies of water existed on the surface of Mars, many of these bodies may have existed for extremely short periods of time (a few days to months); hence, distinctive shoreline features were not developed. Thus, in an attempt to derive a Martian classification of deltas, the inclusion of wholly subaerial deposits may be unavoidable. A simple, broad, morphological classification of Martian deltas, primarily on planimetric shape, includes digitate deltas, fan-shaped deltas, and re-entrant deltas. A fourth, somewhat problematical class includes featureless plains at the end of many valley systems.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dehon, R. A.
(Northeast Louisiana State Coll. Monroe, LA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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