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A key pacemaker of ice ages on the Earth is climatic forcing due to variations in planetary orbital parameters. Recent Mars exploration has revealed dusty, water-ice-rich mantling deposits that are layered, metres thick and latitude dependent, occurring in both hemispheres from mid-latitudes to the poles. Here we show evidence that these deposits formed(More)
Ground ice in the crust and soil may be one of the largest reservoirs of water on Mars. Near-surface ground ice is predicted to be stable at latitudes higher than 40 degrees (ref. 4), where a number of geomorphologic features indicative of viscous creep and hence ground ice have been observed. Mid-latitude soils have also been implicated as a water-ice(More)
The recent identification of large deposits of sulphates by remote sensing and in situ observations has been considered evidence of the past presence of liquid water on Mars. Here we report the unambiguous detection of diverse phyllosilicates, a family of aqueous alteration products, on the basis of observations by the OMEGA imaging spectrometer on board(More)
[1] The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is a hyperspectral imager on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. CRISM consists of three subassemblies, a gimbaled Optical Sensor Unit (OSU), a Data Processing Unit (DPU), and the Gimbal Motor Electronics (GME). CRISM's objectives are (1) to map the entire surface using a(More)
Global mineralogical mapping of Mars by the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provides new information on Mars' geological and climatic history. Phyllosilicates formed by aqueous alteration very early in the planet's history (the "phyllocian" era) are(More)
Since the first images of polar regions on Mars revealed alternating bright and dark layers, there has been speculation that their formation might be tied to the planet's orbital climate forcing. But uncertainties in the deposition timescale exceed two orders of magnitude: estimates based on assumptions of dust deposition, ice formation and sublimation, and(More)
[1] A unique morphology suggestive of viscous flow of a meters-thick surface layer was identified in high-resolution (<10 m/pixel) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images. A global survey of 13,000 MOC images resulted in the identification of 146 images exhibiting these viscous flow features. Slope angles derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data,(More)
The OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral imager identified hydrated sulfates on light-toned layered terrains on Mars. Outcrops in Valles Marineris, Margaritifer Sinus, and Terra Meridiani show evidence for kieserite, gypsum, and polyhydrated sulfates. This identification has its basis in vibrational absorptions between 1.3 and 2.5 micrometers. These minerals(More)
An understanding of land use/land cover change at local, regional, and global scales is important in an increasingly human-dominated biosphere. Here, we report on an under-appreciated complexity in the analysis of land cover change important in arid and semi-arid environments. In these environments, some land cover types show a high degree of inter-annual(More)
The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) investigation, on board the European Space Agency Mars Express mission, is mapping the surface composition of Mars at a 0.3- to 5-kilometer resolution by means of visible-near-infrared hyperspectral reflectance imagery. The data acquired during the first 9 months of the mission(More)