Long-lived volcanism within Argyie basin, Mars

Jean-Pierre Williams, James M. Dohm, Richard J. Soare, Jessica Flahaut, Rosaly M.C. Lopes, Asmin V. Pathare, Alberto G. Fairén, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Debra L. Buczkowski. 2017. Long-lived volcanism within Argyie basin, Mars. Icarus 293, 8-26, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.04.001

The Argyre basin, one of the largest impact structures on Mars with a diameter >1200 km, formed in the Early Noachian similar to 3.93 Ga. The basin has collected volatiles and other material through time, and experienced partial infilling with water evident from stratigraphic sequences, crater statistics, topography, and geomorphology. Although volcanism has not been previously associated with the Argyre basin, our study of the northwest portion of the basin floor has revealed landforms suggesting volcanic and tectonic activity occurred including Argyre Mons, a 50 km wide volcanic-structure formed 3 Ga. Giant polygons with a similar surface age are also identified on terrain adjacent to the base of Argyre Mons, indicating the structure may have formed in a water-rich environment. In addition to Argyre Mons, cones, vents, mounds, dikes, and cavi or hollows, many of which are associated with extensional tectonics, are observed in the region. Multiple features appear to disrupt icy (and largely uncratered) terrain indicating a relatively young, Late Amazonian, formation age for at least some of the volcanic and tectonic features. The discovery of Argyre Mons, along with additional endogenic modification of the basin floor, suggests that the region has experienced episodes of volcanism over a protracted period of time. This has implications for habitability as the basin floor has been a region of elevated heat flow coupled with liquid water, water ice, and accumulation of sediments of diverse provenance with ranging geochemistry, along with magma-water interactions. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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