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Northern mid-latitude glaciation in the Late Amazonian period of Mars: Criteria for the recognition of debris-covered glacier and valley glacier landsystem deposits

Head, James W. and Marchant, David R. and Dickson, James L. and Kress, Ailish M. and Baker, David M. (2010) Northern mid-latitude glaciation in the Late Amazonian period of Mars: Criteria for the recognition of debris-covered glacier and valley glacier landsystem deposits. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 294 (3-4). pp. 306-320. ISSN 0012-821X. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20161130-105556215

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Abstract

Lobate debris aprons (LDA) and lineated valley fill (LVF) have been known to characterize the mid-latitude regions of Mars since documented by Viking; their flow-like character suggested that deposition of ice in talus pile pore space caused lubrication and flow during an earlier climatic regime. A number of factors have remained uncertain, however, including the detailed structure and texture of LDA/LVF, the relationships between them, their direction of flow, the origin and abundance of the lubricating agent, and their exact mode of origin (e.g., ice-assisted rock creep, ice-rich landslides, rock glaciers, debris-covered glaciers). We use new High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) image and topography data, in conjunction with a range of other post-Viking data sets, and new insights provided by cold-based terrestrial glacial analogs, to assess the characteristics of LDA/LVF in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars. We find evidence that the characteristics and flow patterns of the LDA and LVF are most consistent with Late Amazonian debris-covered glacial valley landsystems. The broad distribution and integrated characteristics of the LDA/LVF systems suggest that earlier in the Amazonian, climatic conditions were such that significant snow and ice accumulated on mid-latitude plateaus and in valleys, producing integrated glacial landsystems, the remnants of which are preserved today beneath residual sublimation till derived from adjacent valley walls. Atmospheric general circulation models suggest that these climatic conditions occurred when Mars was at a spin-axis obliquity of ~ 35°, and the atmosphere was relatively dusty. Glacial flow modeling under these conditions produces patterns similar to those documented in the LDA/LVF, and SHARAD radar data suggests that significant amounts of ice remain sequestered below the sublimation lag today.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.06.041DOIArticle
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X09003835PublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Head, James W.0000-0003-2013-560X
Additional Information:© 2009 Elsevier B.V. Accepted 26 June 2009; Available online 30 July 2009. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Mars Exploration Program Mars Express HRSC grant JPL 1237163, and the Mars Data Analysis Program grants NNG05GQ46G and NNX07AN95G to JWH and to the Mars Fundamental Research Program Grant NNX06AE32G to DRM. Thanks to the HiRISE and CTX teams for use of high-resolution image data, and to the Mars Express HRSC team for production of high-quality digital elevation models.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL1237163
NASANNG05GQ46G
NASANNX07AN95G
NASANNX06AE32G
Subject Keywords:Mars; lobate debris aprons; lineated valley fill; debris-covered glaciers; glaciation; rock glaciers
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161130-105556215
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20161130-105556215
Official Citation:James W. Head, David R. Marchant, James L. Dickson, Ailish M. Kress, David M. Baker, Northern mid-latitude glaciation in the Late Amazonian period of Mars: Criteria for the recognition of debris-covered glacier and valley glacier landsystem deposits, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 294, Issues 3–4, 1 June 2010, Pages 306-320, ISSN 0012-821X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.06.041. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X09003835)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72445
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Nov 2016 19:02
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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