Cold climate landforms on Mars


This work covers the dominant aspects of landforms and processes related to the cold-climate (periglacial) and hyperarid environment of Mars and relates the knowledge obtained from terrestrial research to possible Martian analogue landforms. Among the plethora of landforms related to cold-climate environments and subsurface permafrost on Mars, those features have been investigated in detail that are related to the creep of ice and debris at the Martian dichotomy escarpment and the southern-hemispheric impact basins, especially Hellas Planitia, and which have been described controversially as either glacial or periglacial in nature. Structures related to seasonal freeze-thaw cycles on Mars which are generally known as thermal contraction polygons form a second major focus of this work. Research presented on this topic focuses on the northern hemispheric Utopia Planitia area and the south-polar cap of Mars. This work was carried out on the basis of observational and geomorphometrical analyses by utilizing imaging-sensor and topographic data in order to address questions regarding the history, development, and current state of cold-climate landforms on Mars. This work provides new insights with respect to age, composition, source of debris and ice, and the deformational and degradational history of lobate debris aprons and similar landforms. It is shown that processes which led to creep of debris and ice at the northern hemispheric dichotomy boundary are transitional in nature and are not easily categorized using standard definitions commonly used in terrestrial research...
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