The discovery of layered deposits in the walls of a deep trough in Lunae Planum has implications for the origin of similar-appearing deposits in some canyons of Valles Marineris. Although layering is visible in the competent, cliff-forming upper walls of the canyons, the dissimilarity in appearance between canyon walls and soft rounded hills of layered deposits on canyon floors, as well as their contrasting patterns of erosion, has been considered strong evidence that their modes of origin were different. Most workers agree that the wall rocks are volcanic flows derived from fissure vents and other volcanic sources in the region. However, several hypotheses have been advanced to account for the softer-appearing stratified floor deposits. Chief among them is the proposal that the floor deposits are waterlaid sediments that accumulated in large lakes within the canyons and include materials eroded from canyon walls, eolian deposits, and subaqueous volcanic eruptives.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- Pub Date:
- March 1993
- Mars Surface;
- Planetary Geology;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration