GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 110-12
Presentation Time: 11:05 AM


HUGHSON, Kynan H.G.1, RUSSELL, Christopher T.2, SCHMIDT, Britney E.3, CHILTON, Heather3, SCULLY, Jennifer E.C.4, CASTILLO-ROGEZ, Julie C.4, COMBE, Jean-Philippe5, AMMANNITO, Eleonora6, SIZEMORE, Hanna G.7, PLATZ, Thomas8, BYRNE, Shane9, NATHUES, Andreas10 and RAYMOND, Carol A.4, (1)Dept. of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 595 Charles E Young Drive E, Los Angeles, CA 90095, (2)Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, (3)School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, 311 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, (4)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, (5)Bear Fight Institute, P.O. Box 667, 22 Fiddler's Rd, Winthrop, WA 98862, (6)Earth Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, (7)Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395, (8)Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, 37077, Germany, (9)Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, (10)Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, Goettingen, 37077, Germany,

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres on March 6, 2015, and has been studying the dwarf planet through a series of successively lower orbits, obtaining morphological and topographical image, mineralogical, elemental composition, and gravity data (Russell et al., 2016a; Russell et al., 2016b). Images taken by Dawn’s Framing Camera show a multitude of flow features that were broadly interpreted as ground ice related structures either similar to ice cored/ice cemented flows (as seen on Earth and Mars), long run-out landslides, or fluidized ejecta (as seen on Mars) by Schmidt et al. (2016a and 2016b). The aforementioned ice cored/ice cemented-like flows are present only at high latitudes. Results from Dawn’s Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) indicate a shallow ice table on Ceres above ~45-50°N/S, which supports the interpretation that these flows are ice-rich (Prettyman et al., 2016). A near coincident spectral detection of H2O ice with one of these ice cored/ice cemented-like flows in Oxo crater by Dawn’s Visual and Infrared spectrometer (VIR) further bolsters this claim (Combe et al., 2016a; Combe et al., 2016b).

We use aggregate spatial and physical properties of these ice attributed cerean flows, such as flow orientation, inclination, preference for north or south facing slopes, drop height to run-out length ratio, geographical location, and areal number density to better understand the rheology and distribution of ground ice in Ceres’ uppermost layer. By combining these data with local spectroscopic, global elemental abundance, and other morphological information (such as the morphologies of flow hosting craters) we intend to constrain the global distribution of near surface ground ice on Ceres to a higher fidelity than what would be possible using GRaND and VIR observations alone.


Combe, J-P., et al., (2016a), LPSC XVII, Abstract #1820

Combe, J-P., et al., (2016b), Science, Accepted

Prettyman, T. H., et al., (2016), LPSC XVII, Abstract #2228

Russell, et al., (2016a), LPSC XVII, Abstract #1275

Russell, et al., (2016b), Science, In Review

Schmidt, B. E., et al., (2016a), LPSC XVII, Abstract #2677

Schmidt, B. E., et al., (2016b), Nature Geoscience, In Review