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The terms of periglaciation - important on Mars as on Earth

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB)
Room: 100

“The terms of periglaciation are important, on Mars as on Earth”
Dr. Richard Soare, Dawson College

Some landforms on Mars exhibit morphologies, traits and spatial assemblages that, on Earth, would be suggestive of freeze-thaw cycling and the availability of liquid water. These are two principal tenets of periglaciation. In as much as current and/or recent boundary conditions are incompatible with stable liquid water at the surface or near-surface of Mars, let alone consistent temperature excursions to or close to 0o C, many workers discount the possibility of widespread and non-episodic periglaciation on the red planet.
The aim of this discussion will be to show that the origin and development of numerous Martian landforms, i.e. rimless and scalloped depressions, sorted polygons, as well high and low-centred (non-sorted) polygons, can be understood and constrained if and only if periglaciation is invoked. Moreover, the validation/invalidation of this assumption can take place if and only when the basic terms of discourse, i.e. icy vs ice-rich terrain, ice lensing and thermokarst, are defined clearly, as they tend not to be, and conciliated with Mars-based observations.

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