Author Keywords

astrogeology, astro-tectonics, thermal emission imaging systems, Esri GIS software, J-Mars software, planetary geology, planetary tectonics


Past observations of Mars have led scientists to believe that tectonic kinematics stopped early in its planetary development. Recent exploration of Mars has led to new theories that support an active tectonic regime on the Tharsis rise. With the advancement of new satellite imagery and technologies such as Thermal Emission Imaging System, High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment satellite imagery, the Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter, and interactive software such as J-Mars and Esri GIS, we have identified additional large-scale surface features in the Tharsis Rise and surrounding areas. Large-scale Martian lineations, folds, and conjugate joints can be compared 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 the Tharsis Rise could accommodate transform motion between two plates. Our observations allow the designation of multiple potential plate margins in the region. We propose a tectonic model showing relative motions along plate boundaries in a potentially active multiple-plate system on Mars.