Dynamic river channels suggest a long-lived Noachian crater lake on Mars
Article first published online: 19 MAY 2005
Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 32, Issue 10, May 2005
How to Cite
2005), Dynamic river channels suggest a long-lived Noachian crater lake on Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L10201, doi:10.1029/2005GL022747., , , and (
- Issue published online: 19 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 19 MAY 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 APR 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 24 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Received: 17 FEB 2005
 Recent images of the Noachian-age Holden Northeast Crater show spectacular meandering channels that form a complex 150 meter thick lacustrine river delta deposit confined to the northwest margin of the crater. We identify 11 major avulsion events in the topmost layer and suggest an avulsion frequency of a few hundred years. The meandering nature of the channels and numerous avulsions is incompatible with deposition on an alluvial fan and clearly reflects a complex history of multiple sustained flows. Assuming an average sedimentation rate of 1mm/year, we suggest that Holden NE Crater contained a lake that persisted for at least 150,000 years. Our analysis is incompatible with this feature being the result of a major bolide impact that would have released a catastrophic flood by groundwater sapping and supports the hypothesis that early Mars was both warmer and wetter during the Noachian.