Evolution of periglacial landforms in the ancient mountain range of the Thaumasia Highlands, Mars
Angelo Pio Rossi, Stephan Van Gasselt, Monica Pondrelli, James Dohm, Ernst Hauber, Alexander Dumke, Tanja Zegers, Gerhard Neukum, 2011. "Evolution of periglacial landforms in the ancient mountain range of the Thaumasia Highlands, Mars", Martian Geomorphology, M. R. Balme, A. S. Bargery, C. J. Gallagher, S. Gupta
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Possible periglacial and relict glacial landforms in the ancient mountain range of the Thaumasia Highlands, Mars, are described. The landforms include large-scale mantling, lineated crater and valley-fill materials, debris aprons, protalus lobes and ramparts. The most pristine ice-related landforms appear to be small-scale protalus lobes and ramparts with no visible distinct impact craters at both medium (High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC)) and high (Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow angle (NA), Context Camera (CTX)) spatial resolution. These small landforms are possibly active at present and post-date more extensive features such as crater fills, possibly formed during high obliquity climatic periods.
In contrast to the rock glacier-like landforms with distribution preferentially occurring on south-facing slopes, possibly controlled by enhanced exposure to the Sun, older, less pristine lineated fill materials show a less systematic distribution of flow directions, suggesting a more generalized periglacial and possibly glacial environment in the Thaumasia Highlands.
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The latest Mars missions are returning data of unprecedented fidelity in their representation of the martian surface. New data include images with spatial resolution better than 30 cm per pixel, stereo imaging-derived terrain models with one meter postings, high-resolution imaging spectroscopy, and RADAR data that reveal subsurface structure. This book reveals how this information is being used to understand the evolution of martian landscapes, and includes topics such as fluvial flooding, permafrost and periglacial landforms, debris flows, deposition and erosion of sedimentary material, and the origin of lineaments on Phobos, the larger martian moon. Contemporary remote sensing data of Mars, on a par with those of Earth, reveal landscapes strikingly similar to regions of our own planet, so this book will be of interest to Earth scientists and planetary scientists alike. An overview chapter summarising Mars’ climate, geology and exploration is included for the benefit of those new to Mars.