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South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars: The cratering record

Koutnik, Michelle and Byrne, Shane and Murray, Bruce (2002) South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars: The cratering record. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 107 (E11). Art. No. 5100. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2001JE001805.

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Data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) instruments aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) were used in a detailed search of a selected part of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) for impact craters. Impact craters with diameters from 0.8 to 5 km were identified from a MOLA-derived shaded relief map and were primarily validated using individual MOLA tracks and, in select cases, MOC narrow angle images. The resultant crater population determined in this study is at least four times the density of the crater population previously recognized. From these new statistics, we estimate the mean apparent surface age of the SPLD to be 30–100 Ma, depending on the established production model isochrons used. All of these craters are considerably shallower than other Martian craters in the same diameter range. We attribute this shallowness to be the cause of the lower detection rates of previous studies. There is a correlation between crater depth and rim height, which suggests that both erosion and infilling have affected the crater forms. A similar study of the north polar layered deposits uncovered no craters in this diameter range. A limited population of craters smaller than 800 m was uncovered in higher-resolution MOC narrow angle images. These do not appear to have been degraded to the same degree. This separate population implies a surface exposure age of only 100,000 years and perhaps indicates an event that erased all small craters and degraded and infilled the larger ones.

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Additional Information:© 2002 American Geophysical Union. Received 18 October 2001; revised 30 January 2002; accepted 16 July 2002; published 8 November 2002. We thank Ken Herkenhoff (USGS) and Jeff Plaut (JPL) especially for their continual review of this work. Acknowledgment is given to the MOC and MOLA science teams, Ken Tanaka and Eric Kolb (USGS) for providing an updated mapped outline of the SPLD, and to Anton Ivanov (JPL/Caltech) for providing a MOLA data search tool. Thanks to Zane Crawford and Peter Marsden for their assistance in searching MOC images. This paper has also greatly benefited from reviews and criticism by Asmin Pathare (UCLA), Andrew Ingersoll (Caltech), and Arden Albee (Caltech).
Issue or Number:E11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140409-142758244
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Official Citation:Koutnik, M., S. Byrne, and B. Murray, South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars: The cratering record, J. Geophys. Res., 107(E11), 5100, doi:10.1029/2001JE001805, 2002.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44831
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:09 Apr 2014 22:26
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:56

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