Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Planetary Science


Dr. Gordon Osinski


The meteorite impact crater record on Mars has been the subject of much research following the substantial volume of remote sensing data returned by satellite missions over the last decade. The impact crater record in Utopia Planitia, one the great northern plains of Mars, is of particular interest because the region is a potential hub of late-Amazonian (< 100 Ma) glacial and periglacial activity. Here, all impact craters (D > 5 kilometres) across a large swath of Utopia Planitia have been studied in order to assess the post-impact processes that have modified them. This study greatly improves our understanding of the regional geology and climate history of the Utopia Planitia region. There are two major findings. The first is a series of flow features concentrated in the lower mid-latitudes (35-43°N) that are consistent with a glacial origin. The second is that impact crater filling is latitude dependent and was potentially caused by the cyclic accumulation of ice-rich material. Together, these findings are consistent with volatile accumulation having played a substantial role in the late-Amazonian modification of midlatitude impact craters in Utopia Planitia.



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