Runoff Channel (Mars)
Historic term for sinuous elongate troughs on Mars inferred to be formed by surface runoff.
Origin of Term
Runoff channels were originally defined as channels that “start small and increase in size and depth distally. The headwaters usually have tributary branches.” The original definition included not only valley networks (type example, Ma’adim) but also amphitheater-headed channels or “ sapping valleys” (type example, Nigral), “dendritic tributaries of Ius trough,” and “slope gullies of Alba, Sinus Sabaeus, and Intra-trough Tableland gullies.” Liquids considered were lava, water, or aqueous solutions (Sharp and Malin 1975). The term runoff channel was used mainly in early publications (e.g., Sharp and Malin 1975). It has since been replaced with the term valley network by Baker (1981).
History of Investigation
Hartmann (1974) interpreted Martian channels as dry riverbeds and accordingly called them arroyos.
- Baker VR (1981) The channels and valleys of Mars. In: Third international colloquium on Mars, LPI contribution, vol 441, pp 12–14. Pasadena, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar