36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 41 Mars Atmosphere II
Oral, Friday, November 12, 2004, 8:30-10:00am, Lewis

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]

[41.04] Transport of Water Ice to the Martian South Pole 25,000 years ago

F. Montmessin, R. M. Haberle (NASA Ames Research Center), F. Forget (LMD/IPSL)

Whereas most of studies on recent climate change address the fate of water with changing obliquities, we would like to show how the precession cycle might affect the stability of the north polar cap on much faster timescales.

This study is motivated by the desire to highlight the potential dichotomy, in terms of water stability, between the poles. Not only does this study address perihelion timing, it focuses on the most recent and most significant change of Mars climate.

To do so, we use the General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at LMD (Paris/France) to explore the change in water cycle patterns induced by shifting the perihelion date. It is found that, potentially, water ice could have been continuously transferred from north to south pole during episods of "reversed" perihelions.

These results have important implications with regards to the recent discovery of thick water ice sheets partially uncovered at the edge of the CO2 residual cap.

This work has been funded by the National Research council.

[Previous] | [Session 41] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.