Timescales of the Climate Record in the South Polar Ice Cap of Mars

Becerra Valdes, Patricio; Sori, Michael M.; Thomas, Nicolas; Pommerol, Antoine; Simioni, Emanuele; Sutton, Sarah S.; Tulyakov, Stepan; Cremonese, Gabriele (2019). Timescales of the Climate Record in the South Polar Ice Cap of Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(13), pp. 7268-7277. American Geophysical Union 10.1029/2019gl083588

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The South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) are the largest water ice reservoirs on Mars. Their accumulation is believed to result from climate oscillations that drive the movement of ice and dust on the surface. The High‐Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System have imaged exposures of its internal structure in troughs and marginal scarps. Here we use the stereo imaging products of these instruments to extract stratigraphic profiles representative of various locations throughout the SPLD. Through wavelet and series‐matching analyses of these profiles, we reveal periodicities in the stratigraphy that correlate to the orbital oscillations that drive climate change on Mars and that have been observed to force the accumulation of the north polar cap. We infer that the water ice and dust of the SPLD were deposited at variable rates of 0.13–0.39 mm/year, taking a minimum of 10–30 Myr to accumulate.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Becerra Valdes, Patricio; Thomas, Nicolas and Pommerol, Antoine


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




American Geophysical Union




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

30 Aug 2019 14:39

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 09:14

Publisher DOI:






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