Geology of Hebes Chasma, Valles Marineris, Mars
Hebes Chasma is an 8 km deep, 126 by 314 km, isolated basin that is partially filled with interior layered deposits (ILD), massive deposits of water altered strata. By analyzing the ILD’s structure, stratigraphy and mineralogy, as well as the perimeter faults exposed in the plateau adjacent to the chasma, the evolution and depositional history of Hebes Chasma is interpreted. Three distinct ILD units were found and are informally referred to as the Lower, Upper and Late ILDs. These units have differing layer thicknesses, layer attitudes, mineralogies and erosional landforms. Based on observations of the plateau, wall morphology and slump blocks within the chasma’s interior, chasma evolution appears to be controlled by cross-faults that progressively detached sections of the wall. A scenario involving the loss of subsurface volume and ash fall events is proposed as the dominant setting throughout Hebes’ geologic history.