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Water ice sublimation-related landforms on Mars

By
N. Mangold
N. Mangold
Laboratoire Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, CNRS/Université Nantes, 44322 Nantes, France (e-mail: nicolas.mangold@univ-nantes.fr)
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Sublimation-related landforms are ubiquitous on Mars, especially at mid to high latitudes. This paper reviews the main landforms interpreted to form due to sublimation of subsurface ice on Mars. Pits, knobs and dissected terrains are classical landforms thought to form due to subsurface ice sublimation as observed with high-resolution imagery. Sublimation-related processes on Mars are strongly latitude dependent, with sublimation being increasingly important from high (>60°) to low latitudes (down to 25°) due to correspondingly higher mean annual temperatures. Equatorial regions (within 25° latitude) are mainly devoid of any sublimation-related landforms, reflecting an ice-free shallow subsurface. Mean temperatures and water vapour pressure strongly control the sublimation rate, but diffusion and water adsorption are fundamental and vary depending on the regolith porosity and composition, leading to variations in the theoretical depth at which water ice becomes stable. From a geomorphological point of view, this review highlights the importance of subsurface structure (fractures, layering) in the shaping of landforms and in the control of sublimation rates, in addition to usual physicochemical parameters.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Martian Geomorphology

M. R. Balme
M. R. Balme
Open University, UK
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A. S. Bargery
A. S. Bargery
Lancaster University, UK
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C. J. Gallagher
C. J. Gallagher
University College Dublin, Ireland
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S. Gupta
S. Gupta
Imperial College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
356
ISBN electronic:
9781862396043
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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