Signals of astronomical climate forcing in the exposure topography of the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars

Patricio Becerra, Michael M. Sori, Shane Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using high-resolution topography, we link the stratigraphy of layered ice deposits at the north pole of Mars to astronomically driven climate variability. Observations of trough exposures within these deposits are used to construct virtual ice cores at 16 sites, to which we apply wavelet analysis to identify periodicities in layer properties. To confidently relate these periodicities to climatic forcing, we identify overlapping dominant stratigraphic wavelengths and compare their ratios to that of the two dominant modes of insolation variability. The average ratio of stratigraphic wavelengths in the profiles is 1.9 ± 0.1, lower than the ratio of 2.3 between dominant insolation periodicities. A similar analysis of synthetic stratigraphic profiles created with a climate-driven model of ice and dust accumulation shows that this lower stratigraphic ratio is a natural consequence of time-variable ice accumulation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2017

Keywords

  • Mars
  • climate record
  • polar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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