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.

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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

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Recent ice-rich deposits formed at high latitudes on Mars by sublimation of unstable equatorial ice during low obliquity

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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

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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

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Mars is a glacial planet. It hosts water ice in large polar ice caps, and in thousands of ‘viscous flow features’ in its mid latitudes that are thought to be debris-covered water ice glaciers. These

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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

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

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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.

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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

Formation of Recent Martian Debris Flows by Melting of Near-Surface Ground Ice at High Obliquity

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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