Frost Phenomena on Mars

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Science  20 Jan 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3760, pp. 319-322
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3760.319


The hypothesis that the Martian wave of darkening might be a frostheaving phenomenon has been examined. Consideration of the water-vapor sorption characteristics of a silicate mineral surface at temperatures below freezing leads to the conclusion that, without strongly deliquescent salts to attract and retain liquid water in the Martian soil, frost-heaving phenomena are not to be expected on Mars. On the other hand frost-heaving phenomena involving the freezing and thawing of ammonia may be common in the soils of Jupiter.