Rocky Mountain (56th Annual) and Cordilleran (100th Annual) Joint Meeting (May 3–5, 2004)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


BAKER, Leslie, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Univ of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3022,

Geomorphic features on Mars such as branching valley networks and immense channels appear to have been formed by flowing water. However, other evidence for the long-term existence of bodies of water on the Martian surface is scarce. One possibility is that Mars was mostly cold and dry, but that it underwent occasional warm intervals during which the apparent fluvial features were formed. These questions are central to our understanding of the geologic history of Mars and to interpretation of spacecraft data on Martian surface features. New, detailed MOLA data make it possible to carry out GIS analysis on Martian surface features (e.g. Luo 2002). We are examining topographic distribution of branching valley networks in the Martian highlands. This distribution should reflect the conditions of valley network formation. The results of this work should have implications for the climatic history of Mars. Luo W (2002) JGR-Planets 107, 5071, doi: 10.1029/2001JE0015000.