11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
[PPS04-11] Hydration state of the Martian lithosphere constrained from gravity and topography
Keywords:Mars, Flexure, Gravity
Using the gravity anomalies associated with notable topographic features, such Olympus Mons, as well as the global gravity and topography, we construct yield strength envelopes for hydrous and anhydrous end-member crustal sections, and derive the predicted elastic thicknesses, Te, a proxy for the long-term lithospheric strength of Mars. We also use spherical harmonic coefficients that describe the Martian gravity anomaly and topography fields to quantify the role of isostasy in contributing to crustal and upper mantle structure. Power spectra of these fields reveal that the gravity effect of topography and its flexural compensation contributes significantly to the observed free-air gravity anomaly spectra for spherical harmonic degree 8 < n < 50, corresponding to wavelength 300 < \lambda < 3000 km. The best-fit global average is for an elastic plate (flexure) model with Te of ~126 km. All isostatic models under-predict the spectra at 2 < n < 5, and we interpret the low-order Martian gravity field, at least in part, to be the result of processes that formed the Northern Basin. By comparing the observed Martian Te to that predicted for our metamorphic mineral assemblages, we iterate on the water content until convergence. In short, we show the bending strength of Mars places constraints on the amount of hydration of the Martian crust, which in turn we use to calculate the planetary water budget. Notably, the stiffer flexural response of Olympus Mons is consistent with its younger age and eruption predominantly into a dry environment.