Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-geometry and neural maps
Article first published online: 4 AUG 2004
Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 31, Issue 15, August 2004
How to Cite
2004), Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-geometry and neural maps, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L15604, doi:10.1029/2004GL020359., and (
- Issue published online: 4 AUG 2004
- Article first published online: 4 AUG 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 29 JUN 2004
- Manuscript Received: 26 APR 2004
 We compare morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth in order to confine the formation process of Martian valley networks. Basins on both planets are computationally extracted from digital topography. Integral-geometry methods are used to represent each basin by a circularity function that encapsulates its internal structure. The shape of such a function is an indicator of the style of fluvial erosion. We use the self-organizing map technique to construct a similarity graph for all basins. The graph reveals systematic differences between morphologies of basins on the two planets. This dichotomy indicates that terrestrial and Martian surfaces were eroded differently. We argue that morphologies of Martian basins are incompatible with runoff from sustained, homogeneous rainfall. Fluvial environments compatible with observed morphologies are discussed. We also construct a similarity graph based on the comparison of basins' hypsometric curves to demonstrate that hypsometry is incapable of discriminating between terrestrial and Martian basins.