Numerous geologic features suggest the presence of ice flow on the surface of mars. These features include lobate debris aprons, concentric crater fill, and lineated valley fill. The lateral extent of these features can range from 100 meters to over 20 km. Previous work has demonstrated that these features could not have formed in current Martian conditions. It has long been speculated that changes in Mars orbital properties, namely its obliquity, eccentricity, and argument of perihelion, can result in dramatic changes to climate. Recent climate model studies have shown that at periods of increased obliquity north polar water ice is mobilized southward and deposited at low ad mid latitudes. Mid latitude accumulation of ice would provide the necessary conditions for rock glaciers to form. A time-marching, finite element glacier model is used to demonstrate the ability of ice and ice-rock mixtures to flow under Martian paleoclimate conditions. Input to this model is constrained by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM).
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars Polar Science and Exploration; LPI-Contrib-1197