Eskers associated with buried glaciers in Mars' mid latitudes: recent advances and future directions

Butcher, Frances E. G.; Arnold, Neil S.; Balme, Matthew; Conway, Susan J.; Clark, Christopher D.; Gallagher, Colman; Hagermann, Axel; Lewis, Stephen R.; Rutledge, Alicia M.; Storrar, Robert D. and Woodley, Savana Z. (2023). Eskers associated with buried glaciers in Mars' mid latitudes: recent advances and future directions. Annals of Glaciology (Early Access).



Until recently, the influence of basal liquid water on the evolution of buried glaciers in Mars’ mid latitudes was assumed to be negligible because the latter stages of Mars’ Amazonian period (3 Ga to present) have long been thought to have been similarly cold and dry to today. Recent identifications of several landforms interpreted as eskers associated with these young (100s Ma) glaciers calls this assumption into doubt. They indicate basal melting (at least locally and transiently) of their parent glaciers. Although rare, they demonstrate a more complex mid-to-late Amazonian environment than was previously understood. Here, we discuss several open questions posed by the existence of glacier-linked eskers on Mars, including on their global-scale abundance and distribution, the drivers and dynamics of melting and drainage, and the fate of meltwater upon reaching the ice margin. Such questions provide rich opportunities for collaboration between the Mars and Earth cryosphere research communities.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions



  • Item ORO ID
  • 88145
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0260-3055
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    The Martian Chlorine Cycle: Linking Orbiter And Rover ObservationsST/W002949/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Characterizing the Martian water cycle by assimilating ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter dataST/R001405/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Retrievals of martian aerosols and ozone from ExoMars NOMAD dataST/V005332/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Martian aeolian processes and landforms at the ExoMars Rover site: from orbit to surfaceST/T002913/1UKSA UK Space Agency
  • Keywords
  • Debris-covered glaciers; extraterrestrial glaciology; geomorphology
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2023 The Authors
  • Depositing User
  • Stephen Lewis