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Science. 2003 Feb 14;299(5609):1051-3.

A sublimation model for martian south polar ice features.

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1
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

In their pioneering work, Leighton and Murray argued that the Mars atmosphere, which at present is 95% carbon dioxide, is controlled by vapor equilibrium with a much larger polar reservoir of solid carbon dioxide. Here we argue that the polar reservoir is small and cannot function as a long-term buffer to the more massive atmosphere. Our work is based on modeling of the circular depressions commonly found on the south polar cap. We argue that a carbon dioxide ice layer about 8 meters thick is being etched away to reveal water ice underneath. This is consistent with thermal infrared data from the Mars Odyssey mission.

PMID:
12586939
DOI:
10.1126/science.1080148
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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