Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cornice Avalanches on Mars

Our theory for RSLs on Mars is that wind on blows H2O frost into cornices near crests of mountains and these then start to melt and make avalanches.

I first wrote a Facebook note on this idea.

Then my son Teryn made a youtube video on the idea.  Note that "snow" should be replaced with  "frost".

Then I posted a question on Quora, Is there any evidence contradicting the Cornice Avalanches on Mars theory?     They doubted that the picture showing white things on Mars is in RSL area and they doubted that wind on Mars could blow frost on Mars.   I think the first is correct but will double check.  The second could be addressed with an experiment on Earth in a Mars simulation chamber.  I am looking for someone with a chamber that could do it.  Please comment if you have leads to someone who could do this experiment.

Picture of what I think shows Cornices on Mars:

Other times of the year this same spot does not have the white things.   This video shows this area and you can see the white parts come and go.  They are looking at the tracks and saying landslides and boulders are rolling down due to Earthquakes.   I think Cornice Avalanches are better explanation.  You can see white coming and going near the crests in the GIF below which wikipedia says is on Newton Crater.

  I believe the video says this area is Arsia Mons.  This is warm enough area for RSLs.   The Wikipedia page on Arsia Mons makes it sound like a spot with Cornice Avalanches:

Recent work provides evidence for glaciers on Arsia Mons at both high[16] and low elevations .[10] A series of parallel ridges resemble moraines dropped by glaciers. Another section looks as if ice melted under the ground and formed a knobby terrain. The lower part has lobes and seems to be flowing downhill. This lobed feature may still contain an ice core that is covered with a thin layer of rocks to keep the ice from sublimating.[17]
But another video showing the same place says Newton Crater.  It says the temperatures indicate the volatile involved is water.   It is too warm for CO2 ice here.

On Feb 7, 2016 I posted on The Science Forum but got no feedback so far.

On Feb 10, 2016 I posted on in their Change My View section and got some comments.

On Feb 11, 2016 I posted in the Against the Mainstream forum on  Got some comments.

In the above RSL picture there seem to be some white parts that could be cornices.  Also, note the extent of the erosion.  This has been going on for a long time.   It is not from some finite source of ice or finite source of salt absorbing moisture from the air.  Cornice avalanches going on for millions of years makes more sense.

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