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Geomorphological Evidence of Localized Stagnant Ice Deposits in Terra Cimmeria, Mars

Adeli, Solmaz and Hauber, Ernst and Michael, G. and Fawdon, P. and Smith, B. Isaac and Jaumann, R (2019) Geomorphological Evidence of Localized Stagnant Ice Deposits in Terra Cimmeria, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 124. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2018JE005772. ISSN 2169-9097.

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The presence of snow and ice at midlatitudes of Mars cannot be explained by current climatic conditions, as surface ice is unstable. However, a large variety of debris‐covered glaciers have been observed at both midlatitudes. Here, we report the presence of local, small‐scale, and debris‐covered stagnant ice deposits on the floor of a valley system in Terra Cimmeria. These deposits, termed valley fill deposits (VFD), have a distribution that is restricted to the host valley floor and to the extent of the ejecta blanket associated with Tarq impact crater. The VFD are characterized by convex‐upward morphology, various crevasses, sublimation pits, an average area of a few square kilometers, and occasional ejecta streaks on their surface. Our model age estimation points to two possible time frames for the Tarq impact event; thus, we suggest two formation scenarios for VFD: (I) distribution of ice due to impact into shallow ice during the Middle Amazonian and (II) post‐impact deposition of VFD due to precipitation. In both scenarios, ice preservation is most likely due to a lag of dust and debris deposited in the valley's topographic lows. Scenario I is more consistent with our geomorphological observation of the VFD being overlain by ejecta streaks. Our results highlight the importance of local geological events and conditions in the distribution and preservation of buried ice deposits on Mars and suggest that more small‐scale and debris‐covered ice deposits may exist in the midlatitudes than previously thought. These deposits are of high importance for future human exploration missions to Mars.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/128436/
Document Type:Article
Title:Geomorphological Evidence of Localized Stagnant Ice Deposits in Terra Cimmeria, Mars
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Adeli, SolmazUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9972-409XUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, ErnstUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1375-304XUNSPECIFIED
Michael, G.Freie Universität Berlin, Institue of Geosciences, Planetologyand Remote Sensing, Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fawdon, P.Open University, Milton Keynes, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Smith, B. IsaacPlanetary Science Institute, Lakewood, CO, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:July 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:Mars, Amazonian, Debris-covered ice, Impact into subsurface ice, Mid-latitudes, Obliquity
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Adeli, Solmaz
Deposited On:18 Jul 2019 08:48
Last Modified:31 Oct 2023 14:04

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