First high-resolution stratigraphic column of the Martian north polar layered deposits

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Abstract

[1] This study achieves the first high-spatial-resolution, layer-scale, measured stratigraphic column of the Martian north polar layered deposits using a 1m-posting DEM. The marker beds found throughout the upper North Polar Layered Deposits range in thickness from 1.6 m–16.0 m +/− 1.4 m, and 6 of 13 marker beds are separated by ∼25–35 m. Thin-layer sets have average layer separations of 1.6 m. These layer separations may account for the spectral-power-peaks found in previous brightness-profile analyses. Marker-bed layer thicknesses show a weak trend of decreasing thickness with depth that we interpret to potentially be the result of a decreased accumulation rate in the past, for those layers. However, the stratigraphic column reveals that a simple rhythmic or bundled layer sequence is not immediately apparent throughout the column, implying that the relationship between polar layer formation and cyclic climate forcing is quite complex.

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