This project will apply theoretical simulations of glacial flow to the understanding of surface structures on Mars. The Principal Investigator is currently modifying the computer code TEKTON, which simulates the flow of elastic materials using the finte-element method. The modifications center on the addition of a thermal model that allows the medium to have a varying temperature with depth; heating and cooling mechanisms include radiative heating by the Sun and the dusty Martian atmosphere, radiative emission from the surface, and subsurface conduction. Effect of slope and time-variable heating are also to be included. In this project, the Principal Investigator and an undergraduate student will analyze the properties of craters showing concentric crater fill, using images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and use the resulting data with the improved code to simulate glacial flow in craters. The goal is to test the hypothesis that concentric crater fill results from the interaction of converging debris-covered flows, and to connect fill morphology to the stresses operating on the flow. This project addresses the history of water on Mars, which is directly related to the possibility of Martian life. The work involves the participation of an undergraduate student, and the award will support an early-career, female Principal Investigator.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1132054
Program Officer
Maria Womack
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-01-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$54,884
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Lincoln
State
NE
Country
United States
Zip Code
68588