Coogoon Valles, western Arabia Terra: Hydrological evolution of a complex Martian channel system

Molina, A., López, I., Prieto Ballesteros, O., Fernández Remolar, D., De Pablo, M. A., Gómez, F. 2017. Coogoon Valles, western Arabia Terra: Hydrological evolution of a complex Martian channel system. Icarus 293, 27-44, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.04.002

Coogoon Valles is an intricate fluvial system, and its main channel was formed during the Noachian period through the erosion of the clay-bearing basement of the Western Arabia Terra. This region is characterized by a thinner crust compared to the rest of the highlands and by the occurrence of massive phyllosilicate-bearing materials. The origin of this region is still under discussion. Its surface has been exposed to a large-scale volcanism, and several episodes of extensive denudation were primarily controlled by fluvial activity. In this regard, the study of the oldest channels in Arabia Terra is crucial for understanding the global geological evolution of early Mars. The reactivation of the hydrological system by sapping followed by aeolian erosion had reshaped the channel, as well as exposed ancient materials and landforms. The examination of the bed deposits suggests an old episode of detrital sedimentation covering the Noachian basement followed by an erosive event that formed the current Coogoon Valles configuration. A complex system of deltas and alluvial fans is situated at the termination of this channel, which has been proposed as a landing site for the upcoming ExoMars and Mars 2020 missions. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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