Buried Impact Basins and the Earliest History of MarsThe "Quasi-Circular Depressions" (QCDs) seen in MOLA data which have little or no visible appearance in image data have been interpreted as buried impact basins on Mars. These have important implications for the age of the lowland crust, what mechanisms could produce the crustal dichotomy, and the existence of crust older than the oldest observed surface units on Mars. A global survey of large QCDs using high resolution MOLA data now available has provided further details of the earliest history of Mars. The lowlands are of Early Noachian age, slightly younger than the buried highlands and definitely older than the exposed highland surface. A depopulation of large visible basins at diameters 800 to 1300 km suggests some global scale event early in martian history, maybe related to the formation of the lowlands and/or the development of Tharsis. A suggested early disappearance of the global magnetic field can be placed within a temporal sequence of formation of the very largest impact basins.
Frey, H. V. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
August 21, 2013
January 1, 2003
Publication: Sixth International Conference on Mars