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Mass wasting triggered by seasonal CO2 sublimation under Martian atmospheric conditions: Laboratory experiments

Sylvest, Matthew E.; Conway, Susan J.; Patel, Manish R.; Dixon, John C. and Barnes, Adam (2016). Mass wasting triggered by seasonal CO2 sublimation under Martian atmospheric conditions: Laboratory experiments. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(24) pp. 12363–12370.

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Sublimation is a recognized process by which planetary landscapes can be modified. However, interpretation of whether sublimation is involved in downslope movements on Mars and other bodies is restricted by a lack of empirical data to constrain this mechanism of sediment transport and its influence on landform morphology. Here we present the first set of laboratory experiments under Martian atmospheric conditions which demonstrate that the sublimation of CO2 ice from within the sediment body can trigger failure of unconsolidated, regolith slopes and can measurably alter the landscape. Previous theoretical studies required CO2 slab ice for movements, but we find that only frost is required. Hence, sediment transport by CO2 sublimation could be more widely applicable (in space and time) on Mars than previously thought. This supports recent work suggesting CO2 sublimation could be responsible for recent modification in Martian gullies.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 American Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0094-8276
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
EUROPLANET 2020 RINot SetEC (European Commission): FP(inc.Horizon2020, H2020, ERC)
Modelling and retrieval of martian dust, ice and ozone from ExoMars NOMAD dataST/P001262/1UKSA UK Space Agency
Understanding Planet Mars With Advanced Remote-sensing Datasets and Synergistic studies633127EC (European Commission): FP (inc.Horizon2020 & ERC schemes)
Keywords: sublimation; Mars; Martian gullies; carbon dioxide; laboratory simulation
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 48270
Depositing User: Manish Patel
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2017 11:35
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 21:42
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