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Ancient Geodynamics and Global-Scale Hydrology on Mars

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Science  30 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5513, pp. 2587-2591
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058701

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Abstract

Loading of the lithosphere of Mars by the Tharsis rise explains much of the global shape and long-wavelength gravity field of the planet, including a ring of negative gravity anomalies and a topographic trough around Tharsis, as well as gravity anomaly and topographic highs centered in Arabia Terra and extending northward toward Utopia. The Tharsis-induced trough and antipodal high were largely in place by the end of the Noachian Epoch and exerted control on the location and orientation of valley networks. The release of carbon dioxide and water accompanying the emplacement of ∼3 × 108 cubic kilometers of Tharsis magmas may have sustained a warmer climate than at present, enabling the formation of ancient valley networks and fluvial landscape denudation in and adjacent to the large-scale trough.

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