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Evidence for Early Extension and Pressure Drop Related to Magma Plumbing in Noctis Labyrinthus (Mars)

Presentation #212.09 in the session Martian Geomorphology, Ice Layers, Crust, and Habitability (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Evidence for Early Extension and Pressure Drop Related to Magma Plumbing in Noctis Labyrinthus (Mars)

In order to constrain the deformational history of Noctis Labyrinthus, we have investigated the spatial distribution and orientation of faults, the morphology of pit chains, and the relationship between these two types of features. We mapped the faults and grabens using HRSC ND2 nadir channel basemaps and we adapted MOLA DEM for the topography. We found that the south district of the study area hosts several sets of faults with different trends, associated with pits and pit chains. The analysis of the faults crosscutting relationship led to identifying three fault systems: i) NS and NNE-SSW faults, mainly expressed in the north, and related to coeval lateral extension from regional stress tensor, ii) EW and ENE-WSW faults, intensively displayed on the south as concentric lineaments, generated by the radial oblate stress tensor associated to the flexural uplift, related to the formation of small shield volcanoes in Syria Planum, and iii) NNW-SSE and NW-SE faults, strictly connecting the pits and likely related to external driving process probably in the Tharsis province. Additionally, we classified the pits and pit chains into four evolutionary stages according to their shape and dimension. We explain that these steep-sided depressions are the results of post-faulting events inferred to be formed by a surface collapse after a pressure drop related to the magma chamber deflation associated to the formation of the Syria Planum volcanic province. In this paper, we propose a deformational model that can explain the formation history of Noctis Labyrinthus based on structural analysis of the faults distribution and a detailed morphometric studies of pits and pit chains.

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