Australian Space Science Conference 2011
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Joseph Leach

BASE SURGE ERUPTION IN THE TUFF RINGS OF SOUTH EAST AUSTRALIA: Possible implications for the interpretation of Martian surfical geology.

Joseph Leach
Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melb

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     Last modified: July 15, 2011

The volcanic province of South East Australia consists of a large plain of flood basalt. The original eruption points of the majority of the basalt flows are obscure but later stage eruption points include shield volcanoes, scoria cones and tuff rings. The tuff rings are a type of maar and they exhibit a particular sequence of eruption events and deposits which conatain many of the same features as sedimentry deposits. These include dune forms, cross bedding and even ripples. These volcanoes also exhibit an eruption sequence which produces features similar to those seen by Opportunity in Endurance Crater. The possibility that layered deposits with cross bedding could be the results of volcanic emplacement needs to be considered when interpreting image data from Mars.
It is not here suggested that any of the layered deposits seen in crater walls the the current rovers are in fact maar deposits but only that this is a possibility which needs to be further explored. This is especiallt true in the light of the interpretation of “home Plate’as an explosive maar. If a region contains one maar crater, the likelihood is that it will contain others also. This has implications not only for Martian climatic history but also for surface chronology based on crater counts.

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