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Climate Change on Mars: Could extreme axial tilt drive glaciers to low latitudes?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Edward Cackett.

Glaciation is a dominant geological process on Mars and is responsible for shaping considerable amounts of its landscape. Today, martian glaciers reside only in polar regions, however there is evidence that past glaciation may have extended as far as the Martian tropics. Extreme changes in obliquity, when the axis of Mars was tilted as much as 45º, may have caused extreme changes in the Martian climate, allowing water ice to remain stable at surprisingly low latitudes. In my research, I examine glacial features in Mamers Vallis, a NE-SW trending valley located at 36.5º N latitude. Using satellite imagery, GIS , crater statistics, and a 3D digitial terrain model program, I can determine the minimum age of the glaciation and compare it with the date of the most recent extreme axial tilt.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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