Chaotic terrains are broad regions on Mars characterized by the disruption of the basaltic bedrock into polygonal blocks separated by deep fractures. To date, the proposed genetic scenarios often involve the occurrence of subsurface ice or liquid H2O. Nevertheless, similar features also occur within some craters on the Moon, namely floor-fractured craters (FFCs), where water ice reservoirs are not present. We propose a new formation mechanism for Martian chaotic terrains as well as for lunar and Martian FFCs. The proposed mechanism does not require a major role of water but multiple cycles of inflation and deflation of a buried magma chamber. This process results in a particular type of caldera collapse, called the piecemeal (or chaotic) caldera collapse. A series of analog experiments show both geometrical and quantitative correspondence with natural case studies: Arsinoes Chaos (Mars), an unnamed FFC (Mars), and Komarov crater (FFC on the Moon).

Caldera Collapse as the Trigger of Chaos and Fractured Craters on the Moon and Mars

Massironi M.;Pozzobon R.;
2021

Abstract

Chaotic terrains are broad regions on Mars characterized by the disruption of the basaltic bedrock into polygonal blocks separated by deep fractures. To date, the proposed genetic scenarios often involve the occurrence of subsurface ice or liquid H2O. Nevertheless, similar features also occur within some craters on the Moon, namely floor-fractured craters (FFCs), where water ice reservoirs are not present. We propose a new formation mechanism for Martian chaotic terrains as well as for lunar and Martian FFCs. The proposed mechanism does not require a major role of water but multiple cycles of inflation and deflation of a buried magma chamber. This process results in a particular type of caldera collapse, called the piecemeal (or chaotic) caldera collapse. A series of analog experiments show both geometrical and quantitative correspondence with natural case studies: Arsinoes Chaos (Mars), an unnamed FFC (Mars), and Komarov crater (FFC on the Moon).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3406238
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