A quantitative investigation of fluvial activity in the Hesperia Planum region, Mars
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Hesperia Planum is a topographic lowland located in the cratered highlands of Mars' southern hemisphere. The plains material comprising Hesperia Planum is currently interpreted to be flood basalts. However, the lack of obvious lava flow morphologies in conjunction with the presence of fluvial features in the highlands surrounding Hesperia Planum has led recent investigators to suggest that Hesperia Planum may instead be filled with sedimentary deposits. The purpose of this study is to identify fluvial features in the Hesperia Planum region and calculate the discharge rates from surface and subsurface flow. Results of numerical modeling suggest that if groundwater were present, a lake could have formed within the highland basins, provided that water was in the subsurface. These results are consistent with the highland basins being filled with lacustrine deposits, and therefore suggest that Hesperia Planum may also be filled with lacustrine sediments.