36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 38 Mars Surface and Water
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[38.03] Mapping Periglacial Features in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars

E. L. Langsdorf, D. T. Britt (University of Central Florida)

On Earth, periglacial landforms such as patterned ground, pingos, and detachment slides, are known to occur in arctic terrain in association with water. They are a physical expression of the interaction of water with diurnal or annual temperature cycles. Similar landforms have been seen in high-resolution images of both the polar regions of Mars. Studying where these landforms occur, the topography surrounding the landforms, and linking the hydrogen flux data to the region of periglacial formation can track the water abundance and climate history in those regions of Mars. Over 4000 High Resolution MOC images of the southern hemisphere of Mars were analyzed for periglacial features covering -60 S to -85 S. The locations and distribution of periglacial features were mapped and compared to corresponding topographical and hydrogen flux data. Several interesting trends are emerging. The most prominent periglacial feature seen on Mars is patterned ground. Three very distinct types of patterned ground were found. The first type, resembling terrestrial suncups, was found in the -65 S latitude range. The second type appears to be eroded patterned ground and is found in both the -65 S and -78 S latitude ranges. The third type is found in the -78 S latitude range appears to be created by frost cracking. The latter landform appears to be relatively new. It is interesting to note that dark dune spots occur in almost all images containing patterned ground in the lower latitude ranges. They also fill in the cracks between the patterned ground at the -78 S latitude range. The distribution of patterned ground is nonrandom. An unusual amount of patterned ground has been found in the lower elevations of Inca City in the region of Planum Angustum. It appears that patterned ground is controlled in some part, by elevation.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: elangsdorf@hotmail.com

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