Snapshot of snowmelt distribution for a single example of orbital forcing, showing role of snow stability and melting potential.

Snapshot of snowmelt distribution for a single example of orbital forcing, showing role of snow stability and melting potential.
Snapshot of snowmelt distribution for a single example of orbital forcing, showing role of snow stability and melting potential. Orbital tilt = 50°, eccentricity = 0.145, perihelion occurs at northern spring equinox, pressure = 49 mbar, greenhouse forcing = 5 K. Blue-shaded areas correspond to fractional snow coverage < 15% – likely snowpack locations. Red-shaded areas receive enough sunlight for melting at some point during the year, if snow were present. Where the blue ‘‘snow stability’’ zone intersects the red ‘‘high maximum temperatures’’ zone, some melting will occur (solid green shading). Thick black line corresponds to the boundary of terrain resurfaced since sedimentary rocks formed, which is masked out. Landing sites of long-range rovers are shown by orange circles: Ga = Gale; Gu = Gusev; MP = Meridiani Planum. Background contours are topography at intervals of 1.5 km from -5 km up to +10km. Courtesy Edwin Kite

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