Landscape evolution in Martian mid-latitude regions: insights from analogous periglacial landforms in Svalbard
Published:January 01, 2011
E. Hauber, D. Reiss, M. Ulrich, F. Preusker, F. Trauthan, M. Zanetti, H. Hiesinger, R. Jaumann, L. Johansson, A. Johnsson, S. Van Gasselt, M. Olvmo, 2011. "Landscape evolution in Martian mid-latitude regions: insights from analogous periglacial landforms in Svalbard", Martian Geomorphology, M. R. Balme, A. S. Bargery, C. J. Gallagher, S. Gupta
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Periglacial landforms on Spitsbergen (Svalbard, Norway) are morphologically similar to landforms on Mars that are probably related to the past and/or present existence of ice at or near the surface. Many of these landforms, such as gullies, debris-flow fans, polygonal terrain, fractured mounds and rock-glacier-like features, are observed in close spatial proximity in mid-latitude craters on Mars. On Svalbard, analogous landforms occur in strikingly similar proximity, which makes them useful study cases to infer the spatial and chronological evolution of Martian cold-climate surface processes. The analysis of the morphological inventory of analogous landforms on Svalbard and Mars allows the processes operating on Mars to be constrained. Different qualitative scenarios of landscape evolution on Mars help to better understand the action of periglacial processes on Mars in the recent past.
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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.