Orbital Forcing of Martian Climate Revealed in a South Polar Outlier Ice Deposit

Michael M. Sori, Patricio Becerra, Jonathan Bapst, Shane Byrne, Riley A. McGlasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Deciphering paleoclimate on Mars has been a driving goal of Martian science for decades. Most research has addressed this issue by studying Mars' large polar layered deposits (PLDs) as a paleoclimate proxy, but the certainty to which we know the link between climate and orbit is debated. Here, we instead consider the record of other, smaller ice deposits located within craters separated from the PLDs using images from NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera and signal processing techniques. We show that the climate record in Burroughs Crater (72.3°S, 116.6°E) contains robust evidence of orbital forcing, with periodicities that have wavelengths of 15.6 and 6.5 m. The ratio of these dominant wavelengths is 2.4, the same as the ratio between the periods of Mars' obliquity changes and orbital precession. This result suggests orbital control of recent Mars climate, and would imply an average ice accumulation rate of 0.13 mm/yr over 4.5 Myr in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL097450
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 28 2022


  • Burroughs
  • craters
  • ice mounds
  • orbital forcing
  • paleoclimate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Orbital Forcing of Martian Climate Revealed in a South Polar Outlier Ice Deposit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this