The dominant morphogenetic role of surface runoff in Licus Vallis, Marsresults from geomorphological and morphometric analyses

  1. Ángel García-Arnay 1
  2. Susana Fernández 2
  3. Miguel Ángel de Pablo 3
  4. Francisco Gutiérrez 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Zaragoza

    Universidad de Zaragoza

    Zaragoza, España


  2. 2 Universidad de Oviedo

    Universidad de Oviedo

    Oviedo, España


  3. 3 Universidad de Alcalá

    Universidad de Alcalá

    Alcalá de Henares, España



ISSN: 0213-683X

Year of publication: 2018

Issue Title: Comunicaciones presentadas en la LXIII Sesión Científica / Elche, 25 de Noviembre de 2017

Issue: 63

Pages: 63-66

Type: Article

More publications in: Geogaceta


A watershed analysis was performed to assess the morphogenetic role of surface water on the development of Licus Vallis, an ancient river valley located in the equatorial region of Mars. Terrain analysis in a GIS environment allowed the identification of numerous relict fluvial features such as channels, paired terraces and a delta. Licus Vallis has the characteristics of a young watershed with a non-equilibrium profile, fourth-order streams, V- shaped valleys, very low drainage density, and a dendritic drainage pattern. Erosion related to surface runoff appears to be the dominant process involved in the formation of Licus Vallis. Nevertheless, the presence of theatre-like valley heads seems to indicate that sapping erosion associated with springs may have played some role in the headward expansion of valleys. Moreover, the finding, for the first time in this work, of a possible Gilbert-type delta at the mouth of the fluvial system permitted to define the paleobase level of the drainage basin and suggests the existence of an ancient sea in the region.