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Mars: Always Cold, Sometimes Wet?A synthesis of a diverse suite of observations of H2O-related landforms that are possible Mars analogs from terrestrial polar regions (Devon Island in the Arctic; the Dry Valleys of Antarctica) put into question any requirement for extended episode(s) of warm and wet climate in Mars past. Geologically transient episodes of localized H2O cycling, forced by exogenic impacts, enhanced endogenic heat flow, and/or orbit-driven short-term local environmental change under an otherwise cold, low pressure (=10(exp 2) mbar) global climate, may be sufficient to account for the martian surface's exposed record of aqueous activity. A Mars that was only sometimes locally warm and wet while remaining climatically cold throughout its history is consistent with results (difficulties) encountered in modeling efforts attempting to support warm martian climate hypotheses. Possible analogs from terrestrial cold climate regions for the recent gully features on Mars also illustrate how transient localized aqueous activity might, under specific circumstances, also occur on Mars under the present frigid global climatic regime.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lee, Pascal
(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
McKay, Christoper P.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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