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Permafrost and Subsurface Ice in the Solar SystemThe properties and behavior of planetary permafrost are discussed with reference to the ability of such surfaces to sustain loads characteristics of spacecraft landing and planetary bases. In most occurrences, water ice is in close proximity to, or in contact with, finely divided silicate mineral matter. When ice contacts silicate mineral surfaces, a liquid-like, transition zone is created. Its thickness ranges from several hundred Angstron units at temperatures near 0 degrees C to about three Angstrom units at -150 degrees C. When soluble substances are present, the resulting brine enlarges the interfacial zone. When clays are involved, although the interfacial zone may be small, its extent is large. The unfrozen, interfacial water may amount to 100% or more weight at a temperature of -5 degrees C. The presence of this interfacial unfrozen water acts to confer plasticity to permafrost, enabling it to exhibit creep at all imposed levels of stress. Nucleation processes and load-bearing capacity are examined.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Anderson, D. M.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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