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Iapygia quadrangle

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Title: Iapygia quadrangle  
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Iapygia quadrangle

Iapygia quadrangle
Map of Iapygia quadrangle from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data. The highest elevations are red and the lowest are blue. Terby (crater) contains many rock layers.
Image of the Iapygia Quadrangle (MC-21). Most of the region contains heavily cratered and dissected highlands. The west-central part contains Huygens Crater. The southern one-third includes the northern rim of the Hellas basin.

The Iapygia quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Iapygia quadrangle is also referred to as MC-21 (Mars Chart-21).[1]

The Iapygia quadrangle covers the area from 270° to 315° west longitude and from 0° to 30° south latitude on Mars. The largest crater in this quadrangle is Huygens. Some interesting features in this quadrangle are dikes,.[2] the many layers found in Terby Crater, and the presence of carbonates on the rim of Huygens Crater.[3]


Near Huygens, especially just to the east are a number of narrow ridges which appear to be the remnants of dikes, like the ones around Shiprock, New Mexico. The dikes were once under the surface, but have now been eroded. Dikes are magma-filled cracks that often carry lava to the surface. Dikes by definition cut across rock layers. Some dikes on earth are associated with mineral deposits.[4] Discovering dikes on Mars means that perhaps future colonists will be able to mine needed minerals on Mars, instead of transporting them all the way from the Earth.


Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them, in contrast volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits. [5] Sometimes craters will display layers. Since the collision that produces a crater is like a powerful explosion, rocks from deep underground are tossed unto the surface. Hence, craters can show us what lies deep under the surface.


Carbonates (calcium or iron carbonates) were discovered in a crater on the rim of Huygens Crater. The impact on the rim exposed material that had been dug up from the impact that created Huygens. These minerals represent evidence that Mars once was had a thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere with abundant moisture. These kinds of carbonates only form when there is a lot of water. They were found with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Earlier, the instrument had detected clay minerals. The carbonates were found near the clay minerals. Both of these minerals form in wet environments. It is supposed that billions of years age Mars was much warmer and wetter. At that time, carbonates would have formed from water and the carbon dioxide-rich amosphere. Later the deposits of carbonate would have been buried. The double impact has now exposed the minerals. Earth has vast carbonate deposits in the form of limestone. [6]

Evidence of rivers

There is enormous evidence that water once flowed in river valleys on Mars. Images of curved channels have been seen in images from Mars spacecraft dating back to the early seventies with the Mariner 9 orbiter. [7] [8] [9] [10] Vallis (plural valles) is the Latin word for valley. It is used in planetary geology for the naming of landform features on other planets, including what could be old river valleys that were discovered on Mars, when probes were first sent to Mars. The Viking Orbiters caused a revolution in our ideas about water on Mars; huge river valleys were found in many areas. Space craft cameras showed that floods of water broke through dams, carved deep valleys, eroded grooves into bedrock, and traveled thousands of kilometers.[5][11][12] Some valles on Mars (Mangala Vallis, Athabasca Vallis, Granicus Vallis, and Tinjar Valles) clearly begin at graben. On the other hand, some of the large outflow channels begin in rubble-filled low areas called chaos or chaotic terrain. It has been suggested that massive amounts of water were trapped under pressure beneath a thick cryosphere (layer of frozen ground), then the water was suddenly released, perhaps when the cryosphere was broken by a fault.[13][14][15]


See also


  1. ^ Davies, M.E.; Batson, R.M.; Wu, S.S.C. “Geodesy and Cartography” in Kieffer, H.H.; Jakosky, B.M.; Snyder, C.W.; Matthews, M.S., Eds. Mars. University of Arizona Press: Tucson, 1992.
  2. ^ Head, J. et al. 2006. The Huygens-Hellas giant dike system on Mars: Implications for Late Noachian-Early Hesperian volcanic resurfacing and climatic evolution. Geology. 34:4: 285-288.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Head, J. et al. 2006. The Huygens-Hellas giant dike system on Mars: Implications for Late Noachian-Early Hesperian volcanic resurfacing and climatic evolution. Geology. 34:4: 285-288.
  5. ^ a b Hugh H. Kieffer (1992). Mars. University of Arizona Press.  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Baker, V. 1982. The Channels of Mars. Univ. of Tex. Press, Austin, TX
  8. ^ Baker, V., R. Strom, R., V. Gulick, J. Kargel, G. Komatsu, V. Kale. 1991. Ancient oceans, ice sheets and the hydrological cycle on Mars. Nature 352, 589–594.
  9. ^ Carr, M. 1979. Formation of Martian flood features by release of water from confined aquifers. J. Geophys. Res. 84, 2995–300.
  10. ^ Komar, P. 1979. Comparisons of the hydraulics of water flows in Martian outflow channels with flows of similar scale on Earth. Icarus 37, 156–181.
  11. ^ Raeburn, P. 1998. Uncovering the Secrets of the Red Planet Mars. National Geographic Society. Washington D.C.
  12. ^ Moore, P. et al. 1990. The Atlas of the Solar System. Mitchell Beazley Publishers NY, NY.
  13. ^ Carr, M. 1979. Formation of martian flood features by release of water from confined aquifers. J. Geophys. Res. 84: 2995-3007.
  14. ^ ISBN 978-0-521-87501-0
  15. ^ Hanna, J. and R. Phillips. 2005. Tectonic pressurization of aquifers in the formation of Mangala and Athabasca Valles on Mars. LPSC XXXVI. Abstract 2261.

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