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Impact-Induced Melting of Near-Surface Water Ice on Mars

Stewart, Sarah T. and Ahrens, Thomas J. and O'Keefe, John D. (2004) Impact-Induced Melting of Near-Surface Water Ice on Mars. In: Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2003: Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings. No.706. American Institute of Physics , Melville, NY, pp. 1484-1487. ISBN 0735401810.

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All fresh and many older Martian craters with diameters greater than a few km are surrounded by ejecta blankets which appear fluidized, with morphologies believed to form by entrainment of liquid water. We present cratering simulations investigating the outcome of 10 km s–1 impacts onto models of the Martian crust, a mixture of basalt and ice at an average temperature of 200 K. Because of the strong impedance mismatch between basalt and ice, the peak shock pressure and the pressure decay profiles are sensitive to the mixture composition of the surface. For typical impact events, about 50% of the excavated ground ice is melted by the impact-induced shock. Pre-existing subsurface liquid water is not required to form observed fluidized ejecta morphologies, and the presence of rampart craters on different age terranes is a useful probe of ground ice on Mars over time.

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Additional Information:©2004 American Institute of Physics This work is supported by NASA. Editorial suggestions proffered by M.D. Furnish are gratefully acknowledged. Contribution #8979, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Subject Keywords:Mars; impact (mechanical); ice; water; melting; collision processes; shock wave effects
Series Name:American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings
Issue or Number:706
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:STEaipcp04b
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2237
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:17 Mar 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:46

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