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Proceedings Paper

Palaeodynamic sedimentary cycles on Mars in resonance with short similar cycles on Earth
Author(s): Elfi S.P. Van Overloop; Roland R. Paepe; Richard B. Hoover
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Paper Abstract

Calculating palaeoclimatic cycles on a wide range of geological parameters of the Earth revealed the absolute dependence of climatic change on planetary and Sun orbital characteristics and resonances. Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images MOC2_148 and MOC2_300, taken from huge canyons near the north polar region clearly show a periglacial permafrost sequence of sedimentary layers which are of different repetitive thicknesses. The fact that such layers have been rhythmically deposited inheres the existence of a fossil or palaeo-dynamic sedimentary environment. Since thickness of the sediment layers differs, the relative sedimentation rate (Relative-Sediment-Deposit-Genetic-Rate (RSDGR)) is taken for a standard parameter. Application of two especially for this purpose tested successive AR algorithms (ExSpect-Matlab) reveals the existence of short RSDGR cycles on Mars ranging from 1,000 years through 10,000 and 40,000 years. The short-term cycles (less than 10,000 years) coincide with the small palaeoclimatic changes on Earth, defined by planetary resonances and Sun activity; instead the larger ones correspond with the larger desertification cycles (glacial-interglacial) on Earth, depending on planetary orbital behavior (the so-called Milankovitch cycles). Time span simulations were executed on the Mars sediment series, corresponding to well known Stages of the Quaternary System on Earth (2.4 Million years and less) and on the large Geological Era’s of the Earth (4.6 Billion years and less). It was found that only small cyclicities (400,000 and less) could be calculated on basis of the RSDGR derived from MOC2_148 and MOC2_300 images. No correspondence with known cyclicities on Earth occur when deposition time span is simulated as being longer than 2.4 million years. This fact leads to the assumption that RSDGR events on Mars cover a much shorter time span. Since the sediment series lay on the surface of Mars, the genetic geological dynamics will first be described in detail. Furthermore, it will be investigated by the same method how recent the surface depositional event may be. Calculation results in an approximative age of 125,000 years, called on Earth the “Last Glacial-Last Interglacial Cycle”. Correspondence with Holocene (last 12500 years) cycles on Earth prove that the RSDGR process is active today.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4859, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457328
Show Author Affiliations
Elfi S.P. Van Overloop, Geobound International Ltd. (Belgium)
Roland R. Paepe, Geobound International Ltd. (Belgium)
Richard B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4859:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V
Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Roland R. Paepe, Editor(s)

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