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SPS Seminar - Joel Davis

Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 14:30 to 15:30

The formation and modification of sedimentary basins on Mars

When:  Thursday 23rd APRIL at 14.30

Where:  Microsoft Teams - Online

Speaker:  Joel Davis – Londons Natural History Museum

Hosted by:  Jack Wright & Matt Balme


Numerous erosional valley networks dissect the Martian surface and are interpreted to have formed due to fluvial erosion, mostly around the Noachian/Hesperian boundary (~3.7 Ga) under arid to semiarid conditions. However, models of the early Martian climate generally fail to predict an environment with temperatures above freezing, limiting the availability of liquid water. Depositional systems can record long‐term environmental conditions and climate change and are the primary source of deep time paleoenvironmental data on Earth. In the general absence of Earth-like tectonics, global basin formation and the creation of accommodation space for sediment on Mars was likely driven by the impact flux (with several exceptions). In this talk, I will show several sedimentary basins on Mars, which record a range of fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine environments, dating from the Noachian (4.1-3.7 Ga), Hesperian (3.7-3.0 Ga), and possibly Amazonian (3.0 Ga) periods. I will also show that after water-driven processed ceased, these basins continue to be modified by aeolian processes.

Joel’s bio: Joel is a currently a PDRA at London’s Natural History Museum, working on the geology and geomorphology of Mars, primarily using orbital remote sensing data. Joel previously completed both his PhD in planetary geology and his MSci in geology at UCL. His work focuses ancient fluvial, deltaic, and lacustrine systems on Mars, as well as active aeolian systems. He has been involved in the characterisation of both the ExoMars and NASA 2020 rover landing sites and is a member of the ExoMars PanCam and TGO CaSSIS science teams.


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