Coprates Chasma

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Coprates Chasma
Coprates Chasma THEMIS mosaic 0.5.jpg
Coprates Chasma in mosaic of THEMIS infrared images, with parts of Melas and Capri chasmata visible at upper left and lower right, respectively. Landslide deposits of enormous size are visible at left, near the junction with Melas Chasma, and at various locations from center to right. Several smaller chasmata and catenae parallel Coprates Chasma to its south.
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Coprates Chasma is a huge canyon in the Coprates quadrangle of Mars, located at 13.4° south latitude and 61.4° west longitude, part of the Valles Marineris canyon system. It is 966 km (600 mi) long and was named after a classical albedo feature name.[1]

Keith Harrison and Mary Chapman described strong evidence for a lake in the eastern part of Valles Marineris, especially in Coprates Chasma. It would have had an average depth of only 842 m—much smaller than the 5–10 km depth of parts of Valles Marineris. Still, its volume of 110,000 cubic meters would be comparable to Earth’s Caspian and Black Seas. The main evidence for such a lake is the presence of benches at the level that models show is where the lake level should be. Also, the low point in Eos Chasma where water would be expected to overflow is marked by fluvial features. The features look like the flow came together at a small point and carried out significant erosion.[2][3]



  1. IAU Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
  2. Harrison, K., M. Chapman. 2010. Episodic ponding and outburst flooding associated with chaotic terrains in Valles Marineris In Cabrol, N. and E. Grin (eds.). 2010. Lakes on Mars. Elsevier. NY.
  3. Harrison, K., M. Chapman. 2008. Evidence for ponding and catastrophic floods in central Valles Marineris, Mars. Icarus: 198, 351-364.

See also