Louth crater: Evolution of a layered water ice mound

Adrian J. Brown, Shane Byrne, Livio L. Tornabene, Ted Roush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We report on observations made of the ∼36 km diameter crater, Louth, in the north polar region of Mars (at 70° N, 103.2° E). High-resolution imagery from the instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft has been used to map a 15 km diameter water ice deposit in the center of the crater. The water ice mound has surface features that include roughened ice textures and layering similar to that found in the North Polar Layered Deposits. Features we interpret as sastrugi and sand dunes show consistent wind patterns within Louth over recent time. CRISM spectra of the ice mound were modeled to derive quantitative estimates of water ice and contaminant abundance, and associated ice grain size information. These morphologic and spectral results are used to propose a stratigraphy for this deposit and adjoining sand dunes. Our results suggest the edge of the water ice mound is currently in retreat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • IR spectroscopy
  • Ices
  • Mars
  • polar geology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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