Surface Morphology Of Martian Debris-Covered Glaciers: An Evaluation Of Boulders And Ridges As Potential Climate Change Indicators
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Observations of the mid-latitudes of Mars indicate significant populations of debris-covered glacial landforms. These featureslikely formed during the mid-to-late Amazonian when climate conditions supported the accumulation and glacial flow of ice. Morphological analysis of similar terrestrial glaciers suggeststhat their surface and englacial debris features preserve a record of episodic environmental change. However, glacial emplacement patterns responsible for martian mid-latitude glacial formation remain largely unknown. Here, we explore the hypothesis that surface morphology onmartian remnant glacial landforms could preserve a record of climate fluctuations. We approach this hypothesis through an analysis of surface ridges and boulders on these debris-covered glaciers. Through the use of HiRISE images, we find that preliminary results of boulder breakdown rates are most consistent with episodic environmental change. Additionally, we find that CTX stereo images allow for the identification of a potential class of long wavelength surfaceridges through spectral analysis. We hypothesize that these ridges may be related to a potential climate signal that could suggesta pattern of episodic environmental change, though further investigation is necessary. Our results support the use of surface morphology on debris-covered glacial landforms as a source of information for understanding martian mid-latitude glacial emplacement.