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Freezing-resistant liquid water in porous media, a possible mechanism to account for the fluidized transport of sediments on Mars: an example from East Gorgonum crater

Oyarzun Muñoz, Roberto and Viedma Molero, Cristóbal and Márquez González, Álvaro and Lillo Ramos, F. Javier (2003) Freezing-resistant liquid water in porous media, a possible mechanism to account for the fluidized transport of sediments on Mars: an example from East Gorgonum crater. Terra nova, 15 . pp. 238-242. ISSN 0954-4879

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-3121/

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Abstract

A mudflow-like deposit resting on the bottom of the East
Gorgonum Crater (Mars; 37.4S, 168.0W) may provide new
insight regarding the debate on the existence of water over the
Martian surface. Because water in a mudflow is confined to a
porous medium, we analyse this case from the perspective of
non-equilibrium systems. Fluids confined to porous media
behave in a special way, the system being ruled by kinetic
restrictions, which alter the expected thermodynamic equilibrium.
These non-equilibrium conditions allow the existence of
pure liquid water to temperatures as low as ) 40 C, and even
less if the system includes brines. Thus, application of the triple
point diagram of water on the Martian surface may constitute a
simplistic approach if we are dealing with confined, and yet
moving, water in the form of a mudflow. We further suggest
that the V-shaped channels excavated alongside the mudflow
may have been caused by water rejected by syneresis from the
moving sediment. We finally indicate that the series of deeply
entrenched channels and debris aprons that occur only in the
northern half of the crater might be related to the regional
slope, which decreases in altitude to the south.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:East Gorgonum crater; Mars; Sedimentology
Subjects:Sciences > Geology
ID Code:16578
Deposited On:01 Oct 2012 11:03
Last Modified:01 Oct 2012 11:03

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