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North–south geological differences between the residual polar caps on Mars

Thomas, P. C. and Malin, M. C. and Edgett, K. S. and Carr, M. H. and Hartmann, W. K. and Ingersoll, A. P. and James, P. B. and Soderblom, L. A. and Veverka, J. and Sullivan, R. (2000) North–south geological differences between the residual polar caps on Mars. Nature, 404 (6774). pp. 161-164. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/35004528.

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Polar processes can be sensitive indicators of global climate, and the geological features associated with polar ice caps can therefore indicate evolution of climate with time. The polar regions on Mars have distinctive morphologic and climatologic features: thick layered deposits, seasonal CO_2 frost caps extending to mid latitudes, and near-polar residual frost deposits that survive the summer. The relationship of the seasonal and residual frost caps to the layered deposits has been poorly constrained, mainly by the limited spatial resolution of the available data. In particular, it has not been known if the residual caps represent simple thin frost cover or substantial geologic features. Here we show that the residual cap on the south pole is a distinct geologic unit with striking collapse and erosional topography; this is very different from the residual cap on the north pole, which grades into the underlying layered materials. These findings indicate that the differences between the caps are substantial (rather than reflecting short-lived differences in frost cover), and so support the idea of long-term asymmetry in the polar climates of Mars.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Edgett, K. S.0000-0001-7197-5751
Ingersoll, A. P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Soderblom, L. A.0000-0002-0917-853X
Additional Information:© 2000 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 3 December 1999; accepted 7 January 2000. E. Jensen, M. Roth, M. Ryan, D. Sharman and J. Warren provided technical assistance. This work was supported in part by NASA.
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Issue or Number:6774
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121212-110147846
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35943
Deposited On:12 Dec 2012 22:19
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:18

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