Lowland (Mars)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_492-1

Definition

The 25 % of the Martian surface north of the dichotomy boundary, roughly coinciding with the northern hemisphere.

Synonyms

Corresponding Stratigraphic Units

Lowlands are partially covered by the Vastitas Borealis Formation, the Medusae Fossae Formation, and the north polar layered deposits.

Description

The northern lowlands are a region on Mars, contrasting the southern, cratered highlands. This region consists of the northern plains and is characterized by a smooth, gently sloping surface. The northern lowlands formed early in Mars’ history, served as a repository both for sediments shed from the adjacent ancient southern highlands and for volcanic flows and deposits. Surface materials have been tectonically deformed and reworked through release of volatiles (Tanaka et al. 2003, 2005).

Morphometry

The northern lowlands are characterized by smooth plains crossed by numerous wrinkle ridges that form a pattern broadly concentric...

Keywords

Convection Depression Sedimentation Explosive Compaction 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Andrews-Hanna JC, Zuber MT, Banerdt WB (2008) The Borealis Basin and the origin of the Martian crustal dichotomy. Nature 453:1212–1215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buczkowski DL (2007) Stealth quasi-circular depressions (sQCDs) in the northern lowlands of Mars. J Geophys Res 112:E09002. doi:10.1029/2006JE002836Google Scholar
  3. Buczkowski DL, Seelos KD, Cooke ML (2012) Giant polygons and circular graben in western Utopia basin, Mars: exploring possible formation mechanisms. J Geophys Res 117:E08010. doi:08010.01029/02011JE003934Google Scholar
  4. Carr MH (1995) The Martian drainage system and the origin of valley networks and fretted channels. J Geophys Res 100:7479–7507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fairen AG, Dohm JM (2004) Age and origin of the lowlands of Mars. Icarus 168:277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Frey HV (2006) Impact constraints on, and a chronology for, major events in early Mars history. J Geophys Res 111, E08S91. doi:10.1029/2005JE002449Google Scholar
  7. Frey HV (2010) A minimum crater retention age for the proposed “Borealis Basin”. Lunar Planet Sci 41, abstract 1136, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  8. Frey H, Shultz RA (1988) Large impact basins and the mega-impact origin for the crustal dichotomy on Mars. Geophys Res Lett 15:229–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hartmann WK, Neukum G (2001) Cratering chronology and the evolution of Mars. Space Sci Rev 96:165–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Head JW III, Kreslavsky MA, Pratt S (2002) Northern lowlands of Mars: evidence for widespread volcanic flooding and tectonic deformation in the Hesperian Period. J Geophys Res 107:5003. doi:10.1029/2000JE001445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kerber L, Head JW, Madeleine J-B, Forget F, Wilson L (2012) The dispersal of pyroclasts from ancient explosive volcanoes on Mars: implications for the friable layered deposits. Icarus 219:358–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kreslavsky MA, Head JW (2002) Fate of outflow channel effluents in the northern lowlands of Mars: the Vastitas Borealis formation as a sublimation residue from frozen ponded bodies of water. J Geophys Res 107:5121. doi:10.1029/2001JE001831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marinova MM, Aharonson O, Asphaug E (2007) Do mega impacts leave craters? Characterizing mega impacts and their relation to the Mars hemispheric dichotomy. 7th international conference on Mars. Abstract 3354Google Scholar
  14. Marinova MM, Aharonson O, Asphaug E (2008) Mega-impact formation of the Mars hemispheric dichotomy. Nature 453:1216–1219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McGill GE, Squyres SW (1991) Origin of the Martian crustal dichotomy: evaluating hypotheses. Icarus 93:386–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nimmo F, Hart SD, Korycansky DG, Agnor CB (2008) Implications of an impact origin for the Martian hemispheric dichotomy. Nature 453:1220–1223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Oehler DZ, Allen CC (2010) Evidence for pervasive mud volcanism in Acidalia Planitia, Mars. Icarus 208:636–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Reese CC, Orth CP, Solomatov VS (2012) Impact origin for the Martian crustal dichotomy: half emptied or half filled? J Geophys Res 115:E05004. doi:10.1029/2009JE003506Google Scholar
  19. Roberts JH, Zhong S (2005) Degree-1 mantle convection and the origin of the Martian hemispheric dichotomy. Lunar Planet Sci Conf XXXVI, abstract #1399, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  20. Roberts JH, Zhong S (2006) Degree-1 convection in the Martian mantle and the origin of the hemispheric dichotomy. J Geophys Res 111:E06013. doi:10.1029/2005JE002668Google Scholar
  21. Searls ML, Banerdt WB, Phillips RJ (2006) Utopia and Hellas basins, Mars: twins separated at birth. J Geophys Res 111:E08005. doi:10.1029/2005JE002666Google Scholar
  22. Sharp RB (1973) Mars: troughed terrain. J Geophys Res 78:4063–4072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sleep NH (1994) Martian plate tectonics. J Geophys Res 99:5639–5655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tanaka KL, Skinner JA, Hare TM, Joyal T, Wenker A (2003) Resurfacing history of the northern plains of Mars based on geologic mapping of Mars Global Surveyor data. J Geophys Res 108:8043. doi:10.1029/2002JE001908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tanaka KL, Skinner JA Jr, Hare TM (2005) Geologic map of the Northern Plains of Mars. U.S. geological survey scientific investigation series map 2888. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/2005/2888/
  26. Tanaka KL, Rodriguez JAP, Skinner JA Jr, Bourke MC, Fortezzo CM, Herkenhoff KE, Kolb EJ, Okubo CH (2008) North polar region of Mars: advances in stratigraphy, structure, and erosional modification. Icarus 196:318–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Watters TR (2003) Thrust faults along the dichotomy boundary in the eastern hemisphere of Mars. J Geophys Res 108:5054. doi:10.1029/2002JE001934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wilhelms DE, Squyres SW (1984) The Martian hemispheric dichotomy may be due to a giant impact. Nature 309:138–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wise DU, Golombek MP, McGill GE (1979) Tectonic evolution of Mars. J Geophys Res 84:7934–7939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhong S, Zuber MT (2001) Degree-1 mantle convection and the crustal dichotomy on Mars. Earth Planet Sci Lett 189:75–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado School of MinesGoldenUSA