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The role of the geothermal gradient in the emplacement and replenishment of ground ice on MarsKnowledge of the mechanisms by which ground ice is emplaced, removed, and potentially replenished, are critical to understanding the climatic and hydrologic behavior of water on Mars, as well as the morphologic evolution of its surface. Because of the strong temperature dependence of the saturated vapor pressure of H2O, the atmospheric emplacement or replenishment of ground ice is prohibited below the depth at which crustal temperatures begin to monotonically increase due to geothermal heating. In contrast, the emplacement and replenishment of ground ice from reservoirs of H2O residing deep within the crust can occur by at least three different thermally-driven processes, involving all three phases of water. In this regard, Clifford has discussed how the presence of a geothermal gradient as small as 15 K/km can give rise to a corresponding vapor pressure gradient sufficient to drive the vertical transport of 1 km of water from a reservoir of ground water at depth to the base of the cryosphere every 10(exp 6) - 10(exp 7) years. This abstract expands on this earlier treatment by considering the influence of thermal gradients on the transport of H2O at temperatures below the freezing point.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clifford, Stephen M. (Lunar and Planetary Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19940007055Analytic PrimarySixth Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1992), volume 219940007543Analytic PrimaryTwenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F