Geometry and Segmentation of Cerberus Fossae, Mars: Implications for Marsquake Properties
The NASA InSight mission to Mars successfully landed on 26 November 2018 in Elysium Planitia. It aims to characterize the seismic activity and aid in the understanding of the internal structure of Mars. We focus on the Cerberus Fossae region, a giant fracture network ∼1,200 km long situated east of the InSight landing site where M ∼3 marsquakes were detected during the past 2 years. It is formed of five main fossae located on the southeast of the Elysium Mons volcanic rise. We perform a detailed mapping of the entire system based on high-resolution satellite images and Digital Elevation Models. The refined cartography reveals a range of morphologies associated with dike activity at depth. Width and throw measurements of the fossae are linearly correlated, suggesting a possible tectonic control on the shapes of the fossae. Widths and throws decrease toward the east, indicating the long-term direction of propagation of the dike-induced graben system. They also give insights into the geometry at depth and how the possible faults and fractures are rooted in the crust. The exceptional preservation of the fossae allows us to detect up to four scales of segmentation, each formed by a similar number of 3–4 segments/subsegments. This generic distribution is comparable to continental faults and fractures on Earth. We anticipate higher stress and potential marsquakes within intersegment zones and at graben tips.