37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 32 Mars' Surface
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[32.06] Geological characteristics of the central Noachis Terra, Mars

M. Aittola, J. Korteniemi (Department of Physical Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland), T. Ohman (Department of Geosciences, University of Oulu, Finland)

The studied area is located in the central part of the Noachis Terra (36-46S and 20-30E), which is located on the southern highlands of Mars, to the west of Hellas basin. We have studied the area using the freshest data sets - Themis and MOC - to clear out what input they can give to the geological analysis of this highland region. The first observation was that the tectonic features are clearly oriented. They appear to be more or less parallel to the Hellespontus Montes as well as to the large graben system, which is located 1900-2500 km to west and northwest from the Hellas basin center. This may indicate that the local tectonics is controlled by the Hellas impact event, which interpretation was concluded also from the study of polygonal craters in the Hellas area (Ohman et al., 2005). Furthermore, the area displays many features, which can be seen as an indicator of water/ice. There are, for example, number of smaller channels, which in some cases are associated with craters with smooth floors as well as depressions of the region. This suggests the existence of water reservoirs in some point of regional geological history. There are also few possible candidates for lake chains, which are quite common features in the Hellas region (Lahtela et al., 2005). There are two areas in the studied region, which appear to locate lower than the surrounding terrain. These depressions show also different characteristics than the highlands with layered deposits and smooth floors with smaller amount of impact craters. According to this preliminary study, the Noachis Terra has been modified by several geological processes, which characterize unforeseeably versatile geological history of the region.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: marko.aittola@oulu.fi

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
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