Research Article

Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars

Science  08 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5498, pp. 1927-1937
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1927

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Abstract

Layered and massive outcrops on Mars, some as thick as 4 kilometers, display the geomorphic attributes and stratigraphic relations of sedimentary rock. Repeated beds in some locations imply a dynamic depositional environment during early martian history. Subaerial (such as eolian, impact, and volcaniclastic) and subaqueous processes may have contributed to the formation of the layers. Affinity for impact craters suggests dominance of lacustrine deposition; alternatively, the materials were deposited in a dry, subaerial setting in which atmospheric density, and variations thereof mimic a subaqueous depositional environment. The source regions and transport paths for the materials are not preserved.

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