Geomorphic evidence for former lobate debris aprons at low latitudes on Mars: Indicators of the Martian paleoclimate



[1] Circumferential depressions enclosing mesas and plateaus in the northern Kasei Valles and in the Tartarus Colles regions of Mars are interpreted as indicators of the former extent of lobate debris aprons, thought to be mixtures of ice and clastic particles. These former lobate debris aprons existed about 1 Ga ago and were embayed by lavas or other flow deposits. After the lobate debris aprons had been removed by sublimation and deflation, topographic depressions with a depth of 50 m and a width of several kilometers were left behind between the mesa or plateau scarp and the solidified flow materials. These depressions or moats are located equatorward of ±30° at significantly lower latitudes than generally observed for occurrences of modern, intact lobate debris aprons. This observation provides evidence that the paleoclimate at that time was different than today, probably due to a higher averaged obliquity of the planet's rotational axis.