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


Accumulations of low albedo sediments on Mars.


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


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).
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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