Recent ice ages on Mars

  title={Recent ice ages on Mars},
  author={James W. Head and John F. Mustard and Mikhail A. Kreslavsky and Ralph E. Milliken and David R. Marchant},
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 during a geologically recent ice age that occurred from about 2.1 to 0.4 Myr ago. The deposits were emplaced symmetrically down to latitudes of… 
Dynamics of ice ages on Mars
Simulations of the retreat and growth of ground ice as a result of sublimation loss and recharge reveal forty major ice ages over the past five million years of Mars, and how the subsurface ice sheets could have evolved to the state in which the authors see them today is explained.
An ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars
Detailed analysis of observational data is presented showing that ~87,000 cubic kilometers of ice have accumulated at the poles since the end of the last ice age ~370,000 years ago; this volume is equivalent to a global layer of ~60 centimeters.
A recent ice age on Mars: Evidence for climate oscillations from regional layering in mid‐latitude mantling deposits
Two end‐member hypotheses have been proposed to account for the emplacement and distribution of ice in the near‐subsurface of Mars at mid to high latitudes during recent spin‐axis/orbital
Preservation of Midlatitude Ice Sheets on Mars
Excess ice with a minimum age of tens of millions of years is widespread in Arcadia Planitia on Mars, and a similar deposit has been found in Utopia Planitia. The conditions that led to the formation
Recent ice-rich deposits formed at high latitudes on Mars by sublimation of unstable equatorial ice during low obliquity
Using the ice accumulation rates estimated from global climate model simulations, it is shown that, over the past ten million years, large variations of Mars' obliquity have allowed the formation of such metres-thick, sedimentary layered deposits in high latitude and polar regions.
An extended period of episodic northern mid-latitude glaciation on Mars during the Middle to Late Amazonian: Implications for long- term obliquity history
Mars is the only planet other than Earth in the Solar System that has a preserved nonpolar geological record of glaciation on its surface. Nonpolar ice deposits on Mars have been linked to variations
Recent Ice Ages on Mars: The role of radiatively active clouds and cloud microphysics
Global climate models (GCMs) have been successfully employed to explain the origin of many glacial deposits on Mars. However, the latitude‐dependent mantle (LDM), a dust‐ice mantling deposit that is
Amazonian northern mid-latitude glaciation on Mars: A proposed climate scenario
Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes
Cliffs on Mars expose water ice sheets present just below the surface in many locations, and the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits are expected to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate.


The distribution and behavior of Martian ground ice during past and present epochs
Mars undergoes significant oscillations in its orbit, which will have a pronounced effect on its climate and, in particular, on the behavior of subsurface water ice. We explore and map the behavior
Orbital forcing of the martian polar layered deposits
A correlation exists between ice-layer radiance as a function of depth and the insolation variations in summer at the martian north pole, similar to what has been shown for palaeoclimate studies of the Earth.
Evidence for recent climate change on Mars from the identification of youthful near-surface ground ice
Observational evidence for a mid-latitude reservoir of near-surface water ice occupying the pore space of soils is reported and it is inferred that the reservoir was created during the last phase of high orbital obliquity less than 100,000 years ago, and is now being diminished.
Theory of Ground Ice on Mars and Implications to the Neutron Leakage Flux
Introduction: Near-surface ground ice (subsurface ice in the upper several meters of the martian surface) is an important component of the global cycles of water and the behavior of the martian
Possible precipitation of ice at low latitudes of Mars during periods of high obliquity
Most of the old cratered highlands of Mars are dissected by branching river valleys that appear to have been cut by running water1,2 yet liquid water is unstable everywhere on the martian surface. In
Preservation of Miocene glacier ice in East Antarctica
ANTARCTIC climate during the Pliocene has been the subject of considerable debate. One view holds that, during part of the Pliocene, East Antarctica was largely free of glacier ice and that
Mars: Nature and evolution of young latitude‐dependent water‐ice‐rich mantle
High‐resolution altimetry and imaging have revealed the presence of a meters‐thick sedimentary layer at middle to high northern and southern latitudes presently covering at least 23% of the planet.
Obliquity, Ice Sheets, and Layered Sediments on Mars: What Spacecraft Observations and Climate Models are Telling Us
The Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) data present a quandary: On the one hand, large deposits of (inferred) water ice are located where thermal models suggest they would form and best be
Ice concentration and distribution near the south pole of Mars: Synthesis of odyssey and global surveyor analyses
Mars Odyssey Gamma‐Ray Spectrometer (GRS) neutron spectrometer data are analyzed to determine the concentration and boundary of buried water ice near the south pole. The measurements are consistent