Evidence for Recent Wet-Based Crater Glaciation in Tempe Terra, Mars.

Butcher, F. E.G; Balme, M. R.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S; Conway, S. J.; Storrar, R. D.; Hagermann, A. and Lewis, S. R. (2018). Evidence for Recent Wet-Based Crater Glaciation in Tempe Terra, Mars. In: 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 19-23 Mar 2018, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas, USA.

URL: https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2018/pdf/149...



Mars’ mid-latitudes host abundant putative debris-covered water-ice glaciers (viscous flow features; VFF). Eskers emerging from 110-150 Myr-old VFF in Phlegra Montes and Tempe Terra provide evidence for rare occurences of past, localized basal melting of their parent VFF, despite the cold climates of the late Amazonian (see this conf.). Eskers are sinuous ridges comprising glaciofluvial sediment deposited by meltwater flowing through tunnels within glacial ice.

Here, we describe a population of sinuous ridges emerging from VFF in an unnamed ~45 km-diameter crater (38.47 N, 72.43 W) in Tempe Terra, ~600 km from the VFF-linked esker identified by Butcher et al. We consider two working hypotheses for the formation of the sinuous ridges; that they are either (1) eskers formed by melting of the glaciers from which they emerge, or (2) topographically inverted fluvial channels which formed prior to glaciation of the crater. We present observations from preliminary geomorphic mapping of the crater to start to test those hypotheses.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions



  • Item ORO ID
  • 54039
  • Item Type
  • Conference or Workshop Item
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    STFC DTG 2015 - 2016 (2015 Intake)ST/N50421X/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
    Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open UniversityST/L000776/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
    Not SetNot SetFrench Space Agency, CNES
    Postgraduate Conference Attendance GrantNot SetBritish Society for Geomorphology
    Conference Attendance GrantNot SetRoyal Astronomical Society
  • Keywords
  • space; Mars; planetary; planet; water; water on Mars; glaciers; glaciation; eskers; fluvial; impact crater; geomorphology; remote sensing; cryosphere
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2018 The Authors
  • Related URLs
  • Depositing User
  • Frances Butcher