Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


SCHNEIDER, Richard1, LANG, N.P.2 and DEFAZIO, Elizabeth1, (1)Department of Geology, Mercyhurst College, 501 E. 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546, (2)Department of Geology, Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA 16546,

The surface of Mars hosts a plethora of channels. Although the origin of many of the channels is seemingly unresolved, processes that may have resulted in channels include fluvial, ice, or volcanic. Here we use THermal EMission Imaging System visible (VIS) imagery together with Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) datasets to help elucidate the origin of channels at Apollinaris Patera. A summit caldera, a main edifice, and a fan deposit that covers the southern part of the main edifice are the features that make up the Apollinaris Patera volcano. The western flank channels and the southern flank, fan deposit, channels are the areas of focus. On average Apollinaris channel dimensions range from about 1.609 kilometers (km) wide, 16.09 km to 43.45 km long, and about 60.96 to 91.44 meters deep, and appear more v-shaped, close to their terminus, on the Western and Eastern flanks. V-shape of the channels would seem to suggest some fluvial shaping. The channels on the fan deposit making up the south flank are wider, less defined in topographic profiles, longer, are more u-shaped, and have a great sinuosity in comparison to the other flanks. Further examination of THEMIS VIS and MOC imagery shows that many of the channels originate from the volcano’s summit caldera and are devoid of deposits at their termini, though all of the channels appear to be partially filled with dune shaped deposits (likely aeolian in origin?); the interior margins of some channels also exhibit terraces. Though we are pushing the resolution limits of the MOLA dataset, topographic profiles drawn perpendicular to the channels indicate that many of them have U-shaped profiles. The presence of U-shaped channels would suggest that the channels are formed through volcanic processes, though the floors may be being smoothed out by the wind-sourced deposits that are observed in the THEMIS VIS and MOC imagery. When taken together, our observations suggest that not all channels may be created equally on the flanks of Apollinaris Patera.