Glaciation in Mid-Latitude Terra Sirenum Craters of Mars

Apostolou, John, Astronomy, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, AS-Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

The Martian mid-latitudes are considered regions of prominent glacial activity. The extension and retraction of glacial ice from the poles are onset by oscillations in the obliquity of Mars. Given current estimates of the obliquity of Mars (~25.2°), the planet is in an interglacial period with smaller scale flow features present. In order to survey such features and study potential trends, 400 craters are examined within the Terra Sirenum region of Mars, primarily using Context (CTX) imaging in ArcMap. For each of these craters, the presence and relative location of lobate flows, flow fronts, glacial carving, sublimation texturing, channels, and gullies are recorded directionally with respect to the crater center. The frequency of each classification of feature is considered for each relative location in the individual craters, as well as larger dependencies on latitude. It is found that a majority of the craters examined exhibit glacial activity of some form, primarily in the eastern and western directions. The high frequency of lobate flows and other glacial features in craters larger than 20 km in diameter is supported. Within the latitudes considered, ranging from -40° to -50°, it is also found that craters exhibiting activity in the northern half of the crater possess a more northward latitude distribution than those with similar activity in the southern half, suggesting a latitude dependence. These results provide support to previous findings and further support the latitude dependence of glacial activity on Mars.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Mars, crater, glacial, ice, flow
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