Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Dorsa Argentea Formation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_459

Definition

Southern circumpolar assemblage of smooth plains and distinct surface features that underlies polar layered terrain (Dickson and Head 2006) on Mars.

Formation

DAF represents the volatile-rich lag deposit of a decayed expansive circumpolar dust-rich ice sheet that formed in the Hesperian and underwent subsequent volcanically induced bottom-up and also top-down melting, sublimation, and retreat (Head et al. 2003). In this model sinuous ridges are eskers, sinuous valleys are meltwater transport channels, pits and cavi are localities of volatile loss (e.g.,  kettle holes in outwash plain), and pedestal craters formed by vertical degradation and volatile loss (Head and Pratt 2001). This is the currently favored formation model (Dickson and Head 2006; Ghatan and Head 2004).

Age

Hesperian (Tanaka and Scott 1987).

Distribution

280°E to 30°E and 60° to 80°S Mars, covering 2.96 × 10 6 km 2, displaying two lobes (Sisiphy and Angusti) (Head et al. 2003) (Fig. 1)
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References

  1. Dickson J, Head JW (2006) Evidence for an Hesperian-aged South Circum-Polar Lake Margin Environment on Mars. Planet Space Sci 54:251–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fastook JL, Head JW, Marchant DR, Forget F, Madeleine J-B (2012) Early Mars climate near the Noachian-Hesperian boundary: independent evidence for cold conditions from basal melting of the south polar ice sheet (Dorsa Argentea Formation) and implications for valley network formation. Icarus 219:25–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ghatan GJ, Head JW III (2004) Regional drainage of meltwater beneath a Hesperian-aged south circumpolar ice sheet on Mars. J Geophys Res 109:E07006. doi:10.1029/2003JE002196Google Scholar
  4. Head JW, Pratt S (2001) Extensive Hesperian-aged south polar ice sheet on Mars: evidence for massive melting and retreat, and lateral flow and ponding of meltwater. J Geophys Res 106(E6):12275–12299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Head JW, Ghatah GJ, Marchant D (2003) Extensive hesperian-aged south circumpolar ice sheet on Mars: Dorsa Argentea Formation synthesis. In: Third mars polar science conference, Alberta, Canada #8067Google Scholar
  6. Tanaka KL, Kolb EJ (2001) Geologic history of the polar regions of Mars based on Mars Global Surveyor data: I. Noachian and Hesperian periods. Icarus 154:3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Tanaka K, Scott D (1987) Geologic map of the polar regions of Mars, Miscellaneous investigations series map, I-1802-C. U.S. Geological Survey, DenverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.School of Computing and Information Science, and Climate Change InstituteUniversity of MaineOronoUSA