DIX Planetary Science Seminar
The water cycle on Mars varies not only on seasonal timescales, but also on billion-year timescales over which it has undergone drastic change since the formation of the planet. Signatures in the isotopic Deuterium to Hydrogen (D/H) ratio of the Martian atmosphere indicate a significant loss of an early thick atmosphere, which held a larger amount of water than is currently available on Mars today. On shorter timescales, the water cycle is tightly coupled to the polar regions where a significant amount of the water on current day Mars is stored.
In this talk I will discuss the long term evolution of the water budget, using a simple box model constrained by D/H ratios. I will also touch on the short term exchange of water in the polar region, specifically through the mechanism of leaching via CO2 snowfall, using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).