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Modeling Sublimation of Impact-exposed Ice on Mars

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Dundas (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona)

New impact craters have been detected on Mars by the Context Camera and the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Several of these impacts in the mid-latitudes have exposed icy material at locations consistent with ice stability modeling. The exposed ice fades slowly over a timescale of months. Modeling sublimation of exposed ice at these sites suggests that over a millimeter of ice sublimated away before the exposures faded. This suggests that the ice had a relatively low initial dust content, perhaps comparable to that seen in the "Dodo-Goldilocks" trench at the Phoenix landing site.

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