Master of Science
Dr. Marco Van De Wiel; Dr. Gordon R Osinski
The northern plains of Utopia Planitia, Mars, hosts an abundance of potential periglacial landforms including scalloped depressions, gullies, and polygon networks. This research was undertaken to investigate the distribution and stratigraphy of scalloped depressions in Utopia Planitia and to reconstruct the past environment in which this periglacial landscape formed. To that end, a revised geologic map of the region has been produced. We define, for the first time, a new Periglacial Unit, the youngest geologic unit in Utopia Planitia. We have also developed a model for the formation and evolution of the periglacial landscape examined by assessing the use of scalloped depressions as indicators of climate change, and combining our geologic evidence with recent climate change model predictions. It is concluded that in the recent past Utopia Planitia has experienced an intensified regional climate and a dynamic, evolving landscape that has recorded the changing climate of Mars.
Kerrigan, Mary C., "The Periglacial Landscape Of Utopia Planitia; Geologic Evidence For Recent Climate Change On Mars." (2013). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 1101.