Volatile-rich Crater Interior Deposits on Mars: An Energy Balance Model of ModificationSeveral craters on Mars are partially filled by material emplaced by post-impact processes. Populations of such craters include those in the circumsouth polar cap region, in Arabia Terra, associated with the Medusae Fossae Formation, and in the northern lowlands proximal to the north polar cap. In this study, crater fill material refers to an interior mound, generally separated from the interior walls of the crater by a trough that may be continuous along the crater s circumference (i.e. a ring-shaped trough), or may only partially contact the crater walls (i.e. a crescent-shaped trough). The fill deposit is frequently off-center from the crater center and may be asymmetric, (i.e. not circular) in plan view shape. Here we test the hypothesis that asymmetries in volatile fill shape, profile, and center-location within a crater result from asymmetries in local energy balance within the crater due mainly to variation of solar insolation and radiative effects of the crater walls over the crater interior. We first focus on Korolev crater in the northern lowlands. We can then apply this model to other craters in different regions. If asymmetry in morphology and location of crater fill are consistent with radiative-dominated asymmetries in energy budget within the crater, then 1) the volatile-rich composition of the fill is supported (this process should not be effective at shaping volcanic or sedimentary deposits), and 2) the dominant factor determining the observed shape of volatile-rich crater fill is the local radiative energy budget within the crater (and erosive processes such as eolian deflation are not necessary).
Russell, Patrick S. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Head, James W. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Hecht, Michael H. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)