Paper No. 46
Presentation Time: 8:15 PM
MARTIAN PLATE MOTIONS IN THE VICINITY OF VALLES MARINERIS AND THARSIS RISE
Previous researchers have proposed a two-plate tectonic regime on Mars based on left-lateral transform displacement along Valles Marineris and divergence along Tharsis Rise. Using technologies such as Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) satellite imagery, High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) satellite imagery, digital elevation models, and interactive software (e.g. Google Mars), we have identified additional large-scale surface features in the vicinity of Valles Marineris and Tharsis Rise. Despite the much slower rates of tectonism on Mars, we can compare Martian lineations, folds, and conjugate joints to similar structures on Earth to interpret potential plate boundaries. For example, a northeast-trending set of lineations with significant left-lateral strike-slip displacement and conjugate jointing located to the northeast of Tharsis Rise could accommodate transform motion between two plates. Our observations allow the designation of at least two additional potential plate margins in the region. We propose a tectonic model showing relative motions along plate boundaries that shows a multiple-plate system on Mars.