Mars

Multiple Overspill Flood Channels From Young Craters Require Surface Melting And Hundreds Of Meters Of Mid-latitude Ice Late In Mars History

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
astro-ph.EP
July 23, 2024
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Multiple Overspill Flood Channels From Young Craters Require Surface Melting And Hundreds Of Meters Of Mid-latitude Ice Late In Mars History
Map of reliable tadpole craters in the latitude band 24-52◦ S overlaid on MOLA topography. Yellow circles indicate craters with a single exit breach, teal circles craters with 2 exit breaches, and blue circles craters with ≥3 exit breaches. — astro-ph.EP

Mars’ tadpole craters are small, young craters whose crater rims are incised by one or more exit breaches but lack visible inlets.

The tadpole forming climate records the poorly understood drying of Mars since the Early Hesperian. A third of tadpole craters have multiple breaches, therefore a process is needed that was able to generate crater rim incision in multiple locations. We use HiRISE data for four multiple breach tadpole craters to measure their crater fill, rims, and exit breaches.

We compare these measurements and other data to our calculations of liquid water supply by rain, surface melting, groundwater discharge, and basal ice sheet melting to discriminate between four proposed formation hypotheses for tadpole breaches, favoring scenarios with ice-filled craters and supraglacial melting.

We conclude that multiple breach tadpole craters record hundreds of meters of mid-latitude ice and climate conditions enabling intermittent melting in the Late Hesperian and Amazonian, suggesting that liquid water on Mars has been available in association with water ice for billions of years.

Alexandra O. Warren, Sharon A. Wilson, Alan Howard, Axel Noblet, Edwin S. Kite

Comments: Planetary Science Journal, in press
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2407.11395 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2407.11395v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2407.11395
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Submission history
From: Edwin Kite
[v1] Tue, 16 Jul 2024 05:28:12 UTC (95,433 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2407.11395
Astrobiology,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻