The distribution and amount of ground ice on Mars is an important issue to be addressed for the future exploration of the planet. The occurrence of interstitial ice in Martian frozen ground is indicated by landforms, such as fluidized ejecta craters, softened terrain, and fretted channels. However, experimental data on the rheology of ice-rock mixture under Martian physical conditions are sparse, and the amount of ground ice that is required to produce the viscous deformation observed in Martian ice-related landforms is still unknown. In our study, we put forward a three-dimensional non-Newtonian viscous finite element model to investigate the behavior of ice-rock mixtures numerically. The randomly distributed tetrahedral elements are generated in regular domain to represent the natural distribution of ice-rock materials. Numerical simulation results show that when the volume of rock is less than 40%, the rheology of the mixture is dominated by ice, and there is occurrence of a brittle-ductile transition when ice fraction reaches a certain value. Our preliminary results contribute to the knowledge of the determination of the rheology and ice content in Martian ice-rock mixture. The presented model can also be utilized to evaluate the amount of ground ice on Mars.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2008CB425701), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40774049), and the National Science and Technology Project (No. SinoProbe-07). We thank Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration, who provided us with the support from the collaborative project named “Pre-study of Several Issues of Testing Ground for Numerical Forecast Earthquakes in North China”. David A Yuen was supported also by Senior Visiting Professorship of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the CMG program of the U.S. National Science Foundation.
This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2008CB425701), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40774049), the National Science and Technology Project (No. SinoProbe-07), Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration, and Senior Visiting Professorship of Chinese Academy of Sciences and CMG Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation. *Corresponding author: email@example.com © China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011
- ice-rock mixture
- parallel simulation