3.1 Investigating the hydrology of ancient Mars

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 1:30 PM
Room 16B (Austin Convention Center)
Alejandro Soto, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; and M. I. Richardson and C. E. Newman

The surface geology of Mars indicates that the ancient Martian climate had an active hydrological cycle, at least for short periods if not longer. Regardless of the mechanism for achieving the warm conditions required for an active hydrological cycle, the nature of a Martian hydrological cycle remains a poorly understood part of the Martian climate system. Here we will present our investigation into a variety of possible Martian hydrological systems, from extremely arid to extremely wet including a range of global mean surface pressures. Our goal was to leverage Earth based hydrological models within a Mars general circulation model to investigate the parameter space of possible hydrologies on ancient Mars. Our results show a narrow geographic range of precipitation, even in extremely wet conditions, with the bulk of water being cold trapped in the polar regions. Various regions of precipitation, however, coincide with geologic evidence of rainfall. Furthermore, the regions of net evaporation and precipitation and largely consistent with predictions from groundwater modeling. These results along with ongoing work will be presented.
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