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California State Polytechnic University – Pomona

1. Strom, Caleb. Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars.

Degree: MS, Department of Geological Sciences, 2019, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona

There is growing interest in using rock glaciers in paleoclimate studies on Earth. Rock glaciers are also found on Mars, which suggests that they could also be used for Martian paleoclimate studies. Using rock glaciers to study paleoclimate on multiple planets, however, requires understanding how the response of rock glaciers to climate is affected by non-climatic factors such as headwall or cirque wall steepness, which may vary from planet to planet. The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a correlation between headwall steepness and rock glacier morphology. In this study, DEMs, analysis tools from ArcGIS, and Google Earth were used to determine the average headwall steepness for individual rock glaciers and compare it with rock glacier height, length, slope steepness, and latitude for 101 individual Earth rock glaciers and 18 out of 50 individual Martian rock-ice features (aspect was also noted for Martian features). Values for these metrics were plotted against headwall steepness and a moderate positive correlation was found between headwall steepness and rock glacier length for Martian rock glaciers, but no correlations were found for terrestrial rock glaciers. If this correlation for Mars is genuine, one possible explanation is that steeper slopes lead to more rockfall, resulting in more debris accumulation and, as a result, larger rock glaciers on Mars. This may not apply to the Sierra Nevada because of a difference in lithology. This tentative correlation means that rock-ice features with steeper headwalls on Mars might have more ice content because of thicker debris mantles and thus appear younger than rock glaciers of similar age with gentler slopes. This would be important for constructing any glacial chronology on Mars and assessing water resources on Earth and is worth further investigation. Advisors/Committee Members: Van Buer, Nicholas (advisor), Murray, Bryan (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: rock glaciers

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Strom, C. (2019). Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars. (Masters Thesis). California State Polytechnic University – Pomona. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/213495

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Strom, Caleb. “Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars.” 2019. Masters Thesis, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona. Accessed October 19, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/213495.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Strom, Caleb. “Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars.” 2019. Web. 19 Oct 2019.

Vancouver:

Strom C. Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. California State Polytechnic University – Pomona; 2019. [cited 2019 Oct 19]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/213495.

Council of Science Editors:

Strom C. Correlation between Headwall steepness and rock glacier size and growth on Earth and Mars. [Masters Thesis]. California State Polytechnic University – Pomona; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/213495

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