Groundwater processes in Hebes Chasma, Mars

Grindrod, Peter M. and Balme, Matthew R. (2010). Groundwater processes in Hebes Chasma, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(L13202) pp. 1–5.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL044122

Abstract

We describe a conceptual model of groundwater processes at Hebes Chasma, Mars, which can account for the distribution of hydrated minerals and their subsequent evolution. At Hebes Chasma, pressure gradients set up by the large central mound, Hebes Mensa, could cause groundwater to be sourced predominantly from beneath the central region, if such water were present. Evaporation of upwelling groundwater would cause monohydrates to form at or near the surface through efflorescence, and polyhydrates to form inside the central mound through subflorescence. This crystallization could lead to an excess pore pressure, causing large-scale weakening and subsequent collapse that can reveal the interior polyhydrated deposits. If evaporation is high compared to groundwater inflow, then increased crystallization would promote the formation of collapse zones. If evaporation is low compared to groundwater inflow then there would be a greater chance for water reaching the surface and the possible formation of karst landforms.

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