Mars - Geologic history of Eastern Elysium Planitia

March 7, 2013
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Our interpretation of the geologic history of Eastern Elysium Planitia. (a) Before the formation of Marte Vallis, the Cerberus Fossae fracture system cuts across the volcanic plains of Elysium Planitia. We see three seperate geologic layers betheath the surfase of the plains. (b) Floods erupt form Cerberus Fossea, the first phase of erosion carves channels around streamlined islands. (c) During the second phase, flow is concentrated in a single channel that is eroded below the level of the other channels. (d) After the floods, volcanic eruptions cover the surface of eastern Elysium Planitia with lava, which bury a portion of Cerberus Fossae and infill the Marte Vallis channels. With SHARAD, we have mapped out the subsurface boundaries between the three geologic layers. From identifying where there are incisions through one or two of these boundaries, we were able to map out the shape and scale of the channels. The surface was generated from modifying the NASA Viking Merged Color Mosaic data set Image Number: WEB12781-2013