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The Tuktoyaktuk coastlands of northern Canada; a possible "wet" periglacial analog of Utopia Planitia, Mars

Richard J. Soare, Antoine Sejourne, Geoffrey Pearce, Francois Costard and Gordon R. Osinski
The Tuktoyaktuk coastlands of northern Canada; a possible "wet" periglacial analog of Utopia Planitia, Mars (in Analogs for planetary exploration, W. Brent Garry (editor) and Jacob E. Bleacher (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2011) 483: 203-218


Numerous landforms with traits that are suggestive of formation by periglacial processes have been observed in Utopia Planitia, Mars. They include: small-sized polygons, flat-floored depressions, and polygon trough or junction pits. Most workers agree that these landforms are late Amazonian and mark the occurrence of near-surface regolith that is (was) ice rich. The evolution of the Martian landforms has been explained principally by two disparate hypotheses. The first is the "wet hypothesis." It is derived from the boundary conditions and ice-rich landscape of regions such as the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, Canada, where stable liquid water is freely available as an agent of landscape modification. The second is the "dry" hypothesis. It is adapted from the boundary conditions and landscape-modification processes in the glacial Dry Valleys of the Antarctic, where mean temperatures are much colder than in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, liquid water at or near the surface is rare, and sublimation is the principal agent of glacial mass loss. Here, we (1) describe the ice-rich landscape of the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands and their principal periglacial features; (2) show that these features constitute a coherent assemblage produced by thaw-freeze cycles; (3) describe the landforms of Utopia Planitia and evaluate the extent to which "wet" or "dry" periglacial processes could have contributed to their formation; and (4) suggest that even if questions concerning the "wet" or "dry" origin of the Martian landforms remain open, "dry" processes are incapable of explaining the origin of the ice-rich regolith itself, from which the landforms evolved.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 483
Title: The Tuktoyaktuk coastlands of northern Canada; a possible "wet" periglacial analog of Utopia Planitia, Mars
Title: Analogs for planetary exploration
Author(s): Soare, Richard J.Sejourne, AntoinePearce, GeoffreyCostard, FrancoisOsinski, Gordon R.
Author(s): Garry, W. Brenteditor
Author(s): Bleacher, Jacob E.editor
Affiliation: Dawson College, Department of Geography, Montreal, QC, Canada
Affiliation: Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ, United States
Pages: 203-218
Published: 2011
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 90
Accession Number: 2012-041762
Categories: Extraterrestrial geologyQuaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N68°30'00" - N70°30'00", W135°00'00" - W129°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA, United StatesUniversite Paris-Sud XI, FRA, FranceUniversity of Western Ontario, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201222
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