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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Structural Evolution of Martin Crater Thaumasia Planum, Mars
by Dolan, Daniel J., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 68; 10606452
Abstract (Summary)

A detailed structural map of the central uplift of Martin Crater in western Thaumasia Planum, Mars, reveals highly folded and fractured geology throughout the 15-km diameter uplift. The stratigraphy in the central uplift of the crater has been rotated to near vertical dip and imaged by high-definition cameras aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). These unique factors allow individual geologic beds in Martin Crater to be studied and located across the length of the uplift.

Bedding in Martin Crater primarily strikes SSE-NNW and dips near vertically. Many units are separated by a highly complex series of linear faults, creating megablocks of uplifted material. Faulting is dominantly left-slip in surface expression and strikes SW-NE, roughly perpendicular to bedding, and major fold axes plunge toward the SW. Coupled with infrared imagery of the ejecta blanket, which shows an “exclusion zone” northeast of the crater, these structural indicators provide strong support for a low-angle impactor (approximately 10–20°) originating from the northeast.

Acoustic fluidization is the prevailing theoretical model put forth to explain complex crater uplift. The theory predicts that uplifted megablocks in craters are small, discrete, separated and highly randomized in orientation. However, megablocks in Martin Crater are tightly interlocked and often continuous in lithology across several kilometers. Thus, the model of acoustic fluidization, as it is currently formulated, does not appear to be supported by the structural evidence found in Martin Crater.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kelty, Thomas K.
Commitee: Behl, Richard J., Yin, An
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Geological Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Planetology, Remote sensing
Keywords: Crater, Geology, Mapping, Planetary, Structural
Publication Number: 10606452
ISBN: 978-0-355-31865-4
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