Local late Amazonian boulder breakdown and denudation rate on Mars
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 14, pages 3527–3531, 28 July 2013
How to Cite
2013), Local late Amazonian boulder breakdown and denudation rate on Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3527–3531, doi:10.1002/grl.50726., , and (
- Issue published online: 22 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 JUL 2013 06:35PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 2 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAY 2013
- alluvial fan;
- late Amazonian
 Inactive fan surfaces become smoother and develop desert pavement over time by weathering and erosion. We use this mechanism to estimate late Amazonian boulder breakdown and surface denudation rates on a young (∼1.25 Ma) (Schon et al., 2009) fan on Mars. This is done by comparing boulder size and surface relief between lobes of different ages. The boulder breakdown rate is 3.5 m/Myr, surface smoothing (denudation) rate is approximated as 0.89 m/Myr. These rates exceed previous estimates for the Amazonian by orders of magnitude. We attribute this to locality, high initial smoothing rates after morphological activity and obliquity and eccentricity-driven variation in the availability of (metastable) liquid water, which acts as a catalyst for weathering during these periods. The results have major implications for process interpretation of Martian landforms, as they imply that typical small-scale morphology may be subdued within <1 Myr.