Possible periglacial landscape in Utopia Planitia

fig-1Planetary Geomorphology Image of the Month, July 2015: Alex Barrett (Open University, UK). The following images show the walls of a two kilometre diameter impact crater in Utopia Planitia on Mars. This region is part of the low lying Northern Plains which have generally flat topography. The main occurrences of steeper hill slopes in this region are impact craters such as the one illustrated below.

On Earth periglacial landscapes develop in permafrost regions, as a result of the repeated freezing and thawing of the upper layer of the ground over seasonal cycles. Consequently their presence on Mars would provide a geomorphic indicator for regions where water may have been thawing in the geologically recent past. Utopia Planitia is a leading candidate for possible periglacial environments on Mars and a variety of studies have focused on the this region (e.g. Soare et al. 2007; Lefort et al. 2009; Séjourné et al. 2011; Haltigin et al. 2014). [More at link]

This entry was posted in Reports and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.