31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 39. Mars Surface: Evidence of Change
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Thursday, October 14, 1999, 8:30-9:50am, Sala Plenaria

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[39.05] Variability of Surface Processes on Mars and Their Implication on the Geological and Climatic History

G. G. Ori (IRSPS, Pescara, Italy)

The surface of Mars has been shaped by a variety of processes that have been also present on the Earth. Differences in scale, magnitude and general setting can be identified and analysed on order to discern the variation between the Earth and Martian exogenic events. Purported lacustrine deposits are extensively recognised and feature strongly suggest wave action and deltaic formations. Fluvial channels show a large variability from single straight to large outflow channels. This channel variability is matched by the large number of channel types occurring on the Earth. A comparative study between Martian and Earth river systems has slowly progressed because the present day rivers on Earth are from a planet with a large biosphere. No attempt has been done to compare Martian and pre-Silurian Earth river deposits which formed in an environment with no terrestrial biosphere. Another difference that must be taken into account in analysing the difference between the processes in these two planets is the global physiography and topography. Mountain ranges and sedimentary basins are not present on Mars and strongly influence the development of drainage patterns. Finally, it is quite probable that several mechanisms of release of water at the surface of mars occurred during its geological history. The surface of Mars show evidence of lakes and standing bodies of water, rivers, deltas, purported glaciers and other water-derived features. There is not reasons to think that, at least at places during the long geological history of the planet, real hydrological cycles, similar to the Earth, have been active. Sedimentary bodies and processes changed on Mars as they changed on Earth, suggesting a quite complex paleoclimatic history.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ggori@sci.unich.it

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