Glaciation of Mars

Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann int he 1960s

Currently, an excellent record of events is found in the ice cores of Greenland and the Antarctic which now extend back about 1,000,000 years. Excerpts from records of Hominid and human events largely concern climatological events from the Bieber millennium to the present. I suggest that, when we have ice cores from polar regions of Mars, a similar sequence may be found extending from the present to 10,000,000, and possibly even 50,000,000 years ago.

First, it seems that the lower atmosphere of Mars often has, just like the Earth, three circulations in each hemisphere. Easterly-Equatorial North and South Hadley Cells, North and Ferrel Cell West Winds, then Clockwise East Wind North and South Polar Cells descending upon the Northern and Southern Ice Caps.

Troughs in Mars North Polar Ice Cape, cut by sublimation and melting due to winds, indicate tropospheric clockwise rotation of the planet’s polar easterlies.

At the left side of the North Polar Ice Cap, spiral canyons suggest clockwise easterly polar cell winds. I suggest the large canyon, Chasma Boreale, is consequent to an orographic (“written by the winds on the ground”) high. Here I see the spiral canyons as counterclockwise ground-minds associated with Ferrel-cell winds and interzonal Rossby waves (equivalent to Earth’s temperate zonal west winds). Chasma Boreale (circled) would be at the boundary of the circulations.

A radar image of the two-mile-thick Texas-sized Mars North Polar Ice Cap. 


Image of Conception impact crater on Mars. The tilted block has pentagonal fractures characteristic of water-soaked sediments that dry and shrink.