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Crater population and resurfacing of the Martian north polar layered deposits

Banks, Maria E. and Byrne, Shane and Galla, Kapil and McEwen, Alfred S. and Bray, Veronica J. and Dundas, Colin M. and Fishbaugh, Kathryn E. and Herkenhoff, Kenneth E. and Murray, Bruce C. (2010) Crater population and resurfacing of the Martian north polar layered deposits. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 115 (8). Art. No. E08006. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Present-day accumulation in the north polar layered deposits (NPLD) is thought to occur via deposition on the north polar residual cap. Understanding current mass balance in relation to current climate would provide insight into the climatic record of the NPLD. To constrain processes and rates of NPLD resurfacing, a search for craters was conducted using images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera. One hundred thirty craters have been identified on the NPLD, 95 of which are located within a region defined to represent recent accumulation. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images of craters in this region reveal a morphological sequence of crater degradation that provides a qualitative understanding of processes involved in crater removal. A classification system for these craters was developed based on the amount of apparent degradation and infilling and where possible depth/diameter ratios were determined. The temporal and spatial distribution of crater degradation is interpreted to be close to uniform. Through comparison of the size-frequency distribution of these craters with the expected production function, the craters are interpreted to be an equilibrium population with a crater of diameter D meters having a lifetime of ~30.75D^(1.14) years. Accumulation rates within these craters are estimated at 7.2D^(−0.14) mm/yr, which corresponds to values of ~3–4 mm/yr and are much higher than rates thought to apply to the surrounding flat terrain. The current crater population is estimated to have accumulated in the last ~20 kyr or less.

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Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.0000-0002-3153-6663
Additional Information:© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 7 October 2009; revised 1 February 2010; accepted 7 April 2010; published 28 August 2010. This work was enabled by Mars Data Analysis grant NNG06GA48G. We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of the entire HiRISE team, P. S. Russell, K. Tanaka, and B. Ivanov for helpful suggestions, and S. S. Mattson who produced the HiRISE DTMs used in this study. Thoughtful reviews from Asmin Pathare and Nadine Barlow greatly improved the manuscript.
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Subject Keywords:Mars; craters; polar
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100920-095907719
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Official Citation:Banks, M. E., S. Byrne, K. Galla, A. S. McEwen, V. J. Bray, C. M. Dundas, K. E. Fishbaugh, K. E. Herkenhoff, and B. C. Murray (2010), Crater population and resurfacing of the Martian north polar layered deposits, J. Geophys. Res., 115, E08006, doi:10.1029/2009JE003523.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20035
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Sep 2010 22:02
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:04

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