NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Evidence for Buried "Pre-Noachian" Crust Pre-Dating the Oldest Observed Surface Units on MarsEven though the Early Noachian (EN) used in geologic mapping is undefined at the early end, it is often assumed in absolute chronologies to extend back to 4.6 BYA. We explored this assumption by searching for evidence of buried impact basins, in the largest occurrences of Early Noachian terrain. The hypothesis is that if such basins exist, they indicate crust which must predate the surface units mapped as the oldest on Mars, and those units must then be less than 4.6 BY old. Alternatively, if no such buried features are seen, then the surface units may represent crust of the same age below, which could in principle be as old as Mars. Here we show the former alternative is true. There must be crust older than the oldest mapped surface units. We also show that a number of Noachian terrains on Mars appear to have a common total (visible + buried) crater retention age. This might be either the age of the original (planet-wide?) crust of Mars, or may indicate crater saturation.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Frey, H. V.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Frey, E. L.
(South River High School Edgewater, MD, United States)
Hartmann, W. K.
(Planetary Science Inst. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Tanaka, K. L. T.
(Geological Survey Flagstaff, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available