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Proceedings Paper

Terrestrial rock glaciers: a potential analog for Martian lobate flow features (LFF)
Author(s): Rishitosh K. Sinha; Sivaprahasam Vijayan; Rajiv R. Bharti
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Paper Abstract

Rock glaciers, regarded as cryospheric ice/water resource in the terrestrial-glacial systems based on their tongue/lobate-shaped flow characteristic and subsurface investigation using ground-penetrating radar. We examined the subsurface, geomorphology, climate-sensitivity and thermophysical properties of a Lobate Flow Feature (LFF) on Mars (30°-60° N and S hemispheres) to compare/assess the potentials of rock glaciers as an analog in suggesting LFFs to be a source of subsurface ice/water. LFFs are generally observed at the foot of impact craters’ wall. HiRISE/CTX imageries from MRO spacecraft were used for geomorphological investigation of LFF using ArcMap-10.0 and subsurface investigation was carried out using data from MRO-SHARAD (shallow radar) after integrating with SiesWare-8.0. ENVI-5.0 was used to retrieve thermophysical properties of LFF from nighttime datasets (12.57 μm) acquired by THEMIS instrument-onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft and derive LFFs morphometry from MOLA altimeter point tracks onboard MGS spacecraft. Integrating crater chronology tool (Craterstats) with Arc Map, we have derived the formation age of LFF. Our investigation and comparison of LFF to rock glaciers revealed: (1) LFFs have preserved ice at depth ~50m as revealed from SHARAD radargram and top-layer composed of rocky-debris material with thermal inertia (~300-350 Jm-2 K-1s-1/2). (2) LFF formation age (~10-100 Ma) corresponds to moderate scale debris covered glaciation of a shorter-span suggesting high sensitivity to obliquity-driven climatic shifts. (3) Presence of polygon cracks and high linear-arcuate furrow-and-ridges on the surface indicates presence of buried ice. This work is a significant step towards suggesting LFF to be a potential source of present-day stored ice/water on Mars.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2016
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9877, Land Surface and Cryosphere Remote Sensing III, 98770K (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223675
Show Author Affiliations
Rishitosh K. Sinha, Physical Research Lab. (India)
Sivaprahasam Vijayan, Physical Research Lab. (India)
Rajiv R. Bharti, Physical Research Lab. (India)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9877:
Land Surface and Cryosphere Remote Sensing III
Reza Khanbilvardi; Ashwagosh Ganju; A. S. Rajawat; Jing M. Chen, Editor(s)

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