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AGU journal highlights -- Dec. 31, 2008

ith weaker pumping during times when shallower shelf seas were present.

Title: Impact of sea-level rise over the last deglacial transition on the strength of the continental shelf CO2 pump

Authors: Tom P. Rippeth, James D. Scourse, and Stephanie McKeown: School of Ocean Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Anglesey, U.K.;

Katsuto Uehara: Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2008GL035880, 2008;

8. Martian avalanches analyzed

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recently discovered new and dramatic examples that Mars's carbon dioxide-dominated atmospheric cycles are not limited to quiet deposition and sublimation of frost. Earlier in 2008, during early northern Martian spring, HiRISE captured several cases of carbon dioxide frost and dust cascading down a steep polar scarp near the north pole in discrete clouds. Russell et al. analyze these events and find them to be similar to terrestrial powder avalanches, sluffs, and falls of loose, dry snow. The authors discuss material sources and initiating mechanisms for these cascades in the context of the Martian polar spring environment and of the active, wind-driven erosion observed above the scarp. They find that the small landslides may trigger deeper landslides within the fractured layers of the scarp's basal unit, and may also indirectly influence the retreat rate of the polar scarp in various ways.

Title: Seasonally active frost-dust avalanches on a north polar scarp of Mars captured by HiRISE

Authors: Patrick Russell and Nicolas Thomas: Department of Space Research and Planetary Sciences, Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, B

Contact: Peter Weiss
American Geophysical Union

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