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High-resolution elastic thickness variation across Tharsis and Valles Marineris: Results from a space-domain convolution method and the implications for the structure and evolution of the lithosphere
  • R.T. Kumar Ratheesh-Kumar,
  • Dhananjay Ravat
R.T. Kumar Ratheesh-Kumar
1. University of Kentucky & 2. Cochin University of Science and Technology

Corresponding Author:ratheesh.geo@gmail.com

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Dhananjay Ravat
University of Kentucky
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We derived high-resolution spatial variation of elastic thickness (Te) and crustal thickness (Tc) models across the crustal dichotomy in and around the Tharsis-Valles Marineris provinces on Mars by using a space-domain convolution technique. In the Tharsis volcanic province, large-Te (55-60 km) and Tc (66-73 km) characteristics of the large volcanoes are consistent with the idea that most of their volcanic loads were emplaced on an old-cold-thicker and hence mechanically stronger lithosphere in a geologically later period (i.e., Amazonian). A relatively small-Te and thinned crustal structure in the central part of the Valles Marineris with the inferred layered plutons, flood basalts, and mafic dikes are suggestive of a rift-like evolution. However, rifting ultimately may have failed because of the presence of mechanically stronger lithospheric segments in its western and eastern extremities. The results mainly suggest that the crustal dichotomy also reflects rheological differences between northern lowlands and southern highlands such that the low-Te and thinned crustal structure of the northern lowlands and large variations in Te and Tc structure in the southern highlands correspond to a simple-layered and complex/multi-layered lithospheric setting, respectively. Also, variations and patterns of Te characterizes unmodified, plume-affected, and impact affected lithosphere, which substantiate the published geological and geophysical constraints on the evolution and geodynamic setting of complex geological structures/provinces in the study area.