Positive identification of lake strandlines in Shalbatana Vallis, Mars
Article first published online: 16 JUL 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 14, July 2009
How to Cite
2009), Positive identification of lake strandlines in Shalbatana Vallis, Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L14201, doi:10.1029/2009GL038854., , and (
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 16 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 26 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Received: 23 APR 2009
 Remote sensing studies of possible Martian paleolakes have hinted at the presence of paleoshorelines on Mars, although have never been unequivocally identified. Recently-acquired sub-meter scale High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of Shalbatana Vallis reveal the first direct evidence of strandlines along a delta formed within an intravalley lake during the Hesperian epoch (3.4 Ga). HiRISE images show where water from a 57-km-long valley built a delta, flowed over its subaerial plain, and finally debouched into a more than 450-m-deep lake, forming chutes in the subaqueous part of the deposit. At present, the studied system contains some of the most pristine, distinctive, and recent lacustrine evidence among all the candidate Martian paleolakes. The associated sedimentary deposits provide a valuable target for future in-situ analyses aimed at the characterization of the hydrology, climate, and biological potential of ancient Mars.