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Science goals for a Mars polar-cap subsurface mission: optical approaches for investigations of inclusions in ice

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The Mars polar caps are highly interesting features of Mars and have received much recent attention, with new and exciting data on morphology, basal units and layered outcroppings. We have examined the climatological, glaciological and geological issues associated with a subsurface exploration of the Mars North Polar Cap and have determined that a fine-scale optical examination of ice in a borehole, to study the stratigraphy, geochemistry and geochronology of the ice, is feasible. This information will enable reconstruction of the development of the cap as well as understanding the properties of its ice. We present visible imagery taken of dust inclusions in archived Greenland ice cores as well as in situ images of accreted lithologic inclusions in West Antarctica, and we argue for use of this kind of data for Mars climate reconstruction as has been successful with Greenland and Antarctic ice-core analysis.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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