Objective of V-MACS

Located on the flank of the 5000 km in diameter Tharsis volcanic rise, which has controlled much of the geologic activity of Mars, Valles Marineris is an extensional tectonic system that has the key to many geological issues on this planet. At no other place in the Solar System than the Valles Marineris giant troughs (chasmata), silicate crust processes can be observed through a 700,000 km2, up to 10 km deep window revealing over 4 Gy of history1,2 (Fig 1). The astounding diversity of landforms, the wealth of data available, and the superimposition of geological processes have made the understanding Valles Marineris a formidable challenge. V-MACS accepts this challenge. Based on new observations based on MRO/CTX, MRO/HiRISE, MGS/MOLA, but also on the new image and topography data collected by the CaSSIS instrument of the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission, it will propose a radically new view of the formation and evolution of Valles Marineris, which will permit to consider the evolution of the Tharsis volcanic rise, hence of Mars, with new constraints.