36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 31 Mars Express
Special Session, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 1:45-4:15pm, Lewis

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[31.01] Mars as seen by the HRSC experiment: Recent and episodic volcanic, hydrothermal, and glacial activity

G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany), R. Jaumann, H. Hoffmann, E. Hauber (DLR, Berlin, Germany), J. W. Head III. (Brown University, Providence, USA), A.T. Basilevsky (Vernadsky Institute- RAS, Moscow, Russia), B. A. Ivanov (IDG-RAS, Moscow, Russia), S. C. Werner, S. van Gasselt (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany), J. B. Murray (Open University, Milton Keynes U.K), T. McCord (University of Hawaii, USA), HRSC Co-Investigator Team

The HRSC Experiment on the ESA Mars Express Mission has obtained new evidence for recent and episodic volcanic resurfacing activity on Mars, with eruptions as young as 2 Ma. It appears that the more recent volcanic activity on both the Tharsis and Elysium volcanoes clustered around 100-200 Ma ago, practically coinciding with radiometric ages of several Martian meteorites. Glacial deposits at the base of the Olympus Mons escarpment show evidence for repeated phases of activity over the last 5% of Martian history, with the latest phase occurring as recently as about 4 Ma ago. Bright deposits on the flanks of Olympus Mons, on the top of the scarp and on high-standing plateaus at the edge of the western scarp are interpreted to be remnants of ice and dust accumulations dating from times of a few 100 Ma ago and even earlier periods as old as 3.8 Ga ago. Morphological evidence is found that snow/ice deposition on the Olympus construct at elevations more than 7000 m high led to episode(s) of glacial activity at this height. The data suggest that water ice protected by an insulating layer of dust may now be present at high altitudes at the edge of the Olympus Mons shield.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.