Desiccation Crack Polygon
Drying-induced fractures in a geologic material aligned in a polygonal pattern.
Polygonal pattern outlined by a network of desiccation cracks or fissures developed in fine-grained soil material (El Maarry et al. 2012). They typically intersect at right angles, exhibiting T-junctions (Weinberger 1999*). Their morphology can be 4, 3, 5, and 6 sided (in the order of decreasing abundance); they can be oriented or arcuate (Picard and High 1973, pp. 105–110). Mud shrinkage cracks often have curled rims (Kargel 2004, p. 271) or mud curls formed by peeling (Style et al. 2011). Their morphology is similar to that of thermal contraction crack polygons.
KeywordsImpact Crater Shrinkage Crack Desiccation Crack Crater Floor Hydrological Indicator
- El Maarry MR, Markiewicz J, Meon MT, Goetz W, Dohm JM, Pack A (2010) Crater floor polygons: desiccation patterns of ancient lakes on Mars? J Geophys Res 115(E10), CiteID E10006Google Scholar
- El Maarry MR, Kodikara J, Wijessoriya S, Markiewicz WJ, Thomas N (2012) Desiccation mechanism for formation of giant polygons on Earth and intermediate-sized polygons on Mars: results from a pre-fracture model. Earth Planet Sci Lett 323–324:19–26. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.01.016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hargitai (2008) MDRS Expedition Giude, Geography Final Report of MDRS Crews 42 and 71 (HungaroMars2008) http://planetologia.elte.hu/mdrs-geo-low.pdf
- Kargel JS (2004) Mars: a warmer, wetter planet. Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Osterloo MM, Anderson FS, Hamilton VE, and Hynek BM (2010) Geologic context of proposed chloride-bearing materials on Mars. J Geophys Res 115:E10012. doi:10.1029/2010JE003613 DOI:10.1029/2010JE003613#Link to external resource: 10.1029/2010JE003613Google Scholar
- Picard MD, High LR Jr (1973) Sedimentary structures of ephemeral streams. Elsevier, Amsterdam/New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Style RW, Peppin SSL, Cocks ACF (2011) Mud peeling and horizontal crack formation in drying clays. J Geophys Res 116:F01025. doi:10.1029/2010JF001842Google Scholar
- Watters WA, Squyres SW (2012) Pattern and distribution of shrinkage fractures at meridiani planum. 43rd lunar and planetary science conference, abstract #2915Google Scholar