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Wrinkle ridges, reverse faulting, and the depth penetration of lithospheric stress in lunae planum, MarsTectonic features on a planetary surface are commonly used as constraints on models to determine the state of stress at the time the features formed. Quantitative global stress models applied to understand the formation of the Tharsis province on Mars constrained by observed tectonics have calculated stresses at the surface of a thin elastic shell and have neglected the role of vertical structure in influencing the predicted pattern of surface deformation. Wrinkle ridges in the Lunae Planum region of Mars form a conentric pattern of regularly spaced features in the eastern and southeastern part of Tharsis; they are formed due to compressional stresses related to the response of the Martian lithosphere to the Tharsis bulge. As observed in the exposures of valley walls in areas such as the Kasei Valles, the surface plains unit is underlain by an unconsolidated impact-generated megaregolith that grades with depth into structurally competent lithospheric basement. The ridges have alternatively been hypothesized to reflect deformation restricted to the surface plains unit ('thin skinned deformation') and deformation that includes the surface unit, megaregolith and basement lithosphere ('thick skinned deformation'). We have adopted a finite element approach to quantify the nature of deformation associated with the development of wrinkle ridges in a vertically stratified elastic lithosphere. We used the program TECTON, which contains a slippery node capability that allowed us to explicitly take into account the presence of reverse faults believed to be associated with the ridges. In this study we focused on the strain field in the vicinity of a single ridge when slip occurs along the fault. We considered two initial model geometries. In the first, the reverse fault was assumed to be in the surface plains unit, and in the second the initial fault was located in lithospheric basement, immediately beneath the weak megaregolith. We are interested in the conditions underwhich strain in the surface layer and basement either penetrates or fails to penetrate through the megaregolith. We thus address the conditions required for an initial basement fault to propagate through the megaregolith to the surface, as well as the effect of the megareolith on the strain tensor in the vicinity of a fault that nucleates in the surface plains unit.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Zuber, M. T. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Baltimore, MD, 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 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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