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Ancient heat flow and crustal thickness at Warrego rise, Thaumasia highlands, Mars: Implications for a stratified crust

Ruiz Pérez, Javier and Williams, Jean-Pierre and Dohm, James M. and Fernández, Carlos and López, Valle (2009) Ancient heat flow and crustal thickness at Warrego rise, Thaumasia highlands, Mars: Implications for a stratified crust. Icarus (New York, N.Y. 1991) , 203 . pp. 47-57. ISSN 1054-1381

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Abstract

Heat flow calculations based on geological and/or geophysical indicators can help to constrain the thickness,
and potentially the geochemical stratification, of the martian crust. Here we analyze the Warrego
rise region, part of the ancient mountain range referred to as the Thaumasia highlands. This region has
a crustal thickness much greater than the martian average, as well as estimations of the depth to the brittle–
ductile transition beneath two scarps interpreted to be thrust faults. For the local crustal density
(2900 kg m3) favored by our analysis of the flexural state of compensation of the local topography,
the crustal thickness is at least 70 and 75 km at the scarp locations. However, for one of the scarp locations
our nominal model does not obtain heat flow solutions permitting a homogeneous crust as thick as
required. Our results, therefore, suggest that the crust beneath the Warrego rise region is chemically
stratified with a heat-producing enriched upper layer thinner than the whole crust. Moreover, if the mantle
heat flow (at the time of scarp formation) was higher than 0.3 of the surface heat low, as predicted by
thermal history models, then a stratified crust rise seems unavoidable for this region, even if local heatproducing
element abundances lower than average or hydrostatic pore pressure are considered. This
finding is consistent with a complex geological history, which includes magmatic-driven activity.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mars, Mars-Interior, Tectonics
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:10530
Deposited On:07 May 2010 07:50
Last Modified:07 May 2010 07:50

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