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Etude morphométrique de la cryosphère ancienne de Mars : implications paléo-climatiques

Abstract : The primitive Martian climate fascinates Martian research. Identifying Martian primitive conditions as accurately as possible would make it possible to constrain the different states of water during Martian history. Today two hypotheses are debated, the first is that of a hot and humid climate prevailing on the surface of Mars at the end of the Noachian / early Hesperian. The second, on the contrary, seems to indicate that the climate was cold and glacial on the highest Martian altitudes. Nevertheless, this second hypothesis is often disputed, because unlike the presence of liquid water marker on the surface of Mars, no surface morphology attesting to a cold climate had been identified. In this thesis, we studied morphometrically structures and morphologies on the surface of Terra Sabaea, which constitutes 1% of the total surface of the planet. These structures constitute morphological legacies of past climatic activities. In order to better characterize the erosive origin of these structures, we have created a new method of morphometric analysis from different terrestrial and Martian methods. This new method makes it possible to extract more than 20 exploitable data per valley. It was therefore a question of measuring a valley maximum in order to establish a database that we compared with databases of terrestrial and Martian morphologies. Thanks to this analysis, it has been possible to highlight the presence of an ice landscape in the Terra Sabaea region. This landscape is composed of (1) glacial valleys linked or not with (2) glacial cirques. The source of this ice appears to be (3) local plateau caps at altitudes> 3500 m. We thus demonstrated for the first time the presence of glacial morphologies attesting to a cold climate there are 3.6 Ga. Nevertheless, the presence of such morphologies does not indicate that the whole of Terra Sabaea was glaciated. Morphometric analysis has demonstrated the presence of fluvial morphology geographically close to glacial morphologies and often at the same altitude, between 1500 and 3500 m. This observation allowed us to highlight (4) that the slope was a factor influencing the state of the water. Indeed, for the same altitude, fluvial morphologies are located on gentle slopes (<3 °) while glacial morphologies are located on the inner walls of impact craters with a steep slope (> 10 °). However (5) altitude also seems to be a determining factor since we do not find glacial morphology at altitudes <1500 m. Terra Sabaea land analysis also revealed (6) that there is a genetic link between high altitude glacial morphologies and lower river valleys. Indeed, it is possible to follow a valley that has its source on the highlands glaciers upstream, downstream where it joins morphologies testifying to a fluviatile activity. This continuity in glacial and fluvial morphologies makes it possible (7) to better define the origin of branched valleys, and in particular the origin of Naktong vallis, and it seems that melting ice has played a role in their formations. Moreover, this morphological continuity makes it possible to suppose that there existed (8) a cycle of water similar to the Earth in the region of Terra Sabaea there is 3.6 Ga.
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Axel Bouquety. Etude morphométrique de la cryosphère ancienne de Mars : implications paléo-climatiques. Géomorphologie. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS460⟩. ⟨tel-02428678⟩

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