University of Arizona
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Data for "Analyzing Spatial Distributions and Alignments of Pitted Cone Features in Utopia Planitia on Mars"

posted on 2023-10-30, 16:37 authored by Mackenzie M MillsMackenzie M Mills, Alfred McEwen, Amanda Hughes, Chris Okubo, Ji-Eun Kim

The northern plains on Mars sit topographically low and were likely affected by processes involving surface fluids. Many of Mars’ northern basins (Chryse, Acidalia, Isidis, Utopia Planitiae) have been proposed to have contained large amounts of water in the geologic past attributable to outflow flood events or transient regional oceans. Surface features in the basins can be studied to understand past geology and possible fluid movements. Conical features with large central craters are named pitted cones. Pitted cones are proposed to have formed due to lava mixing with near-surface water and/or ice or through mud eruptions from subsurface reservoirs. We map pitted cones over two areas in Utopia Planitia (UP), and find they appear clustered together and form within certain elevation ranges in UP. The cones also appear to be statistically aligned with each other, indicating a link between their locations and the UP rim. This finding supports an important connection between the basin rim—possibly the topography or some other structural feature—and the cone populations.

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Effects of Subsurface Fluid Reservoirs on Martian Geomorphology in Utopia Planitia

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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