Evaluating the meaning of "layer" in the martian north polar layered deposits and the impact on the climate connection

Kathryn E. Fishbaugh, Shane Byrne, Kenneth E. Herkenhoff, Randolph L. Kirk, Corey Fortezzo, Patrick S. Russell, Alfred S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using data from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we reassess the methods by which layers within the north polar layered deposits (NPLD) can be delineated and their thicknesses measured. Apparent brightness and morphology alone are insufficient for this task; high resolution topographic data are necessary. From these analyses, we find that the visible appearance of layers depends to a large degree on the distribution of younger, mantling deposits (which in turn is partially influenced by inherent layer properties) and on the shape and location of the particular outcrop. This younger mantle partially obscures layer morphology and brightness and is likely a cause of the gradational contacts between individual layers at this scale. High resolution images reveal that there are several layers similar in appearance to the well-known marker bed discovered by Malin, M., Edgett, K., 2001. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 23429-23570. The morphology, thicknesses (4 - 8 ± sqrt(2) m), and separation distances (5 - 32 ± sqrt(2) m) of these marker beds, as gleaned from a high resolution stereo digital elevation model, lend insight into the connection between stratigraphy and climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalIcarus
Volume205
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

climate
deposits
marker bed
high resolution
markers
beds
brightness
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
digital elevation models
outcrops
stratigraphy
image resolution
digital elevation model
Mars
Earth mantle
outcrop
mantle
causes
experiment
young

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Mars
  • Polar Caps
  • Polar Geology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Evaluating the meaning of "layer" in the martian north polar layered deposits and the impact on the climate connection. / Fishbaugh, Kathryn E.; Byrne, Shane; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Fortezzo, Corey; Russell, Patrick S.; McEwen, Alfred S.

In: Icarus, Vol. 205, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 269-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fishbaugh, Kathryn E. ; Byrne, Shane ; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E. ; Kirk, Randolph L. ; Fortezzo, Corey ; Russell, Patrick S. ; McEwen, Alfred S. / Evaluating the meaning of "layer" in the martian north polar layered deposits and the impact on the climate connection. In: Icarus. 2010 ; Vol. 205, No. 1. pp. 269-282.
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