Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Dark Deposits (Mars)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_98

Definition

Accumulations of low albedo sediments on Mars.

Synonyms

 Basaltic dune;  Dark aeolian sediments;  Dark dune; Ergs; Mare (Mars) (albedo feature)

Description

Dark deposits on Mars are blackish- to grayish-colored aeolian sand accumulations that are composed of poorly weathered fine-grained basaltic material. Most of the dark sediments are deposited inside impact craters and build individual dunes or dune fields (intracrater dark deposits) (Fig. 1). The dark sediment is mainly composed of pyroxene and olivine and is, thus, thought to be ancient volcanic ash. Its unweathered nature indicates that it has never experienced significant contact to liquid water or was subject to aqueous alteration (Edgett and Christensen 1991; Edgett 2002; Poulet et al. 2003; Tirsch 2009; Tirsch et al. 2011).
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bagnold RA (1954) The physics of blown sand and desert dunes, 4th edn. Dover Publications, MineolaGoogle Scholar
  2. Baratoux D, Mangold N, Arnalds O, Bardintzeff JM, Platevoët B, Grégoire M, Pinet P (2011) Volcanic sands of Iceland – diverse origins of aeolian sand deposits revealed at Dyngjusandur and Lambahraun. Earth Surf Process Landf 36(13):1789–1808. doi:10.1002/esp.2201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beish JD (2005) Surface features of Mars. In: Observing the Planet Mars. http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/jbeish/Observing_Mars.html, last update 2013
  4. Burr DM, Zimbelman JR, de Silva SL, Bridges NT, Chojnacki M, Qualls FB (2012) Testing the volcaniclastic hypothesis for martian dune sediments: the Medusae Fossae Formation, Mars, and Andean ignimbrites, Earth. LPI Contrib 1673:17–18Google Scholar
  5. Chaikin AL, Maxwell TA, El-Baz F (1981) Temporal changes in the Cerberus region of Mars: Mariner-9 and Viking comparisons. Icarus 45:167–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chojnacki M, Moersch JE, Burr DM, Wray JJ (2012) Potential sediment sources and pathways in Valles Marineris dune fields: implications for Martian aeolian systems. LPI Contributions 1673:21–22Google Scholar
  7. Christensen PR (1988) Global albedo variations on Mars: implications for active aeolian transport, deposition, and erosion. J Geophys Res 93:7611–7624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edgett KS (1990) Sand on Mars: the properties of dark intracrater deposits. Thesis, Arizona State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  9. Edgett KS (2002) Low-albedo surfaces and eolian sediment: Mars Orbiter Camera views of western Arabia Terra craters and wind streaks. J Geophys Res (Planets) 107:5038CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edgett KS, Christensen PR (1991) The particle size of Martian aeolian dunes. J Geophys Res 96(E5):22,762–22,776Google Scholar
  11. Edgett KS, Lancaster N (1993) Volcaniclastic aeolian dunes: terrestrial examples and application to Martian sands. J Arid Environ 25:271–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gifford FA (1964) The Martian canals according to a purely aeolian hypothesis, Icarus 3, 130–135Google Scholar
  13. Gooding JL (1982) Petrology of dune sand derived from basalt on the Ka’u Desert, Hawaii. J Geol 90:97–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greeley R, Iversen JD (1985) Wind as a geological process on Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greeley R, Leach R, White B, Iversen J, Pollack JB (1980) Threshold windspeeds for sand on Mars: wind tunnel simulations. Geophys Res Lett 7(2):121–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Herkenhoff KE, Squyres SW, Arvidson R, Bass DS, Bell JF, Bertelsen P, Cabrol NA, Gaddis L, Hayes AG, Hviid SF, Johnson JR, Kinch KM, Madsen MB, Maki JN, McLennan SM, McSween HY, Rice JW, Sims M, Smith PH, Soderblom LA, Spanovich N, Sullivan R, Wang A (2004) Textures of the soils and rocks at gusev crater from Spirit’s microscopic imager. Science 305:824–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hooper DM, McGinnis RN, Necsoiu M (2012) Volcaniclastic aeolian deposits at Sunset Crater, Arizona: terrestrial analogs for Martian dune forms. Earth Surf Process Landf. doi:10.1002/esp.3238Google Scholar
  18. McLaughlin DB (1955) The volcanic-aeolian hypothesis of Martian features. Publ Astron Soc Pac 68(402):211Google Scholar
  19. Mustard JF, Erard S, Bubring J-P, Head JW, Hurtrez S, Langevin Y, Pieters CM, Sotin CJ (1993) The surface of Syrtis Major: composition of the volcanic substrate and mixing with altered dust and soil. J Geophys Res 98(E2):3387–3400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Poulet F, Mangold N, Erard S (2003) A new view of dark Martian regions from geomorphic and spectroscopic analysis of Syrtis Major. Astron Astrophys 412:L19–L23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pye K, Tsoar H (1990) Aeolian sand and sand dunes. Unwin Hyman, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sagan C, Veverka J, Fox P, Russell D et al (1972) Variable features on Mars: preliminary Mariner 9 television results. Icarus 17:346–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schultz PH, Mustard JF (2004) Impact melts and glasses on Mars. J Geophys Research 109. doi:10.1029/2002JE002025Google Scholar
  24. Sullivan R, Arvidson R, Bell JF, Gellert R, Golombek M, Greeley R, Herkenhoff K, Johnson J, Thompson S, Whelley P, Wray J (2008) Wind-driven particle mobility on Mars: insights from Mars Exploration Rover observations at “El Dorado” and surroundings at Gusev Crater. J Geophys Res (Planets) 113. doi:10.1029/2008JE003101Google Scholar
  25. Thomas P (1984) Martian intracrater splotches: occurrence, morphology, and colors. Icarus 57:205–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tirsch D (2009) Dark dunes on Mars – analyses on origin, morphology and mineralogical composition of the dark material in martian craters. Dissertation, Freie Universität Berlin. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000008848
  27. Tirsch D, Jaumann R (2012) On the sources of dark dune sands on Mars. LPI Contrib 1673:93–94Google Scholar
  28. Tirsch D, Jaumann R, Pacifici A, Poulet F (2011) Dark aeolian sediments in Martian craters: composition and sources. J Geophys Res (Planets) 116. doi:10.1029/2009je003562Google Scholar
  29. Tirsch D, Craddock RA, Platz T, Maturilli A, Helbert J, Jaumann R (2012) Spectral and petrologic analyses of basaltic sands in Ka’u Desert (Hawaii) – implications for the dark dunes on Mars. Earth Surf Process Landf 37(4):434–448. doi:10.1002/esp.2266CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany