Geomorphic evidence for geologically recent groundwater flow associated with the Cerberus Fossae magmatic and volcanic system, Mars Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Geology)--University of Idaho, June 2015 | The Cerberus Fossae is one of the youngest large-scale tectonic landforms on Mars. An investigation of the geomorphology of the fossae margins and adjacent areas reveals a range of features indicative of surface modification. Volcanotectonic features indicate that dike intrusion was the driving mechanism behind fossae formation. Associated volcanic eruptions emplaced lavas that flowed away from the fossae down the regional slope. Volcanic deposits are incised by sapping features that formed along the fossae as a result of hydrothermal circulation. Magmatic heat may also have mobilized water to the surface where it combined with sediment to produce ice-rich flows that subsequently degraded in a similar manner to terrestrial periglacial features in response to seasonal thaw. The wide range of processes documented may provide context for the development of larger and more degraded fluvio-volcano-tectonic systems and expands our understanding of magma-surface interactions on Mars.

publication date

  • August 15, 2015