Hardness and Yield Strength of CO2 Ice Under Martian Temperature Conditions



Kaufmann E, Attree N, Bradwell T & Hagermann A (2020) Hardness and Yield Strength of CO2 Ice Under Martian Temperature Conditions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125 (3), Art. No.: e2019JE006217.

Although ice fracturing and deformation is key to understanding some of the landforms encountered in the high-latitude regions on Mars and on other icy bodies in the solar system, little is known about the mechanical characteristics of CO2 ice. We have measured the hardness of solid CO2 ice directly in the laboratory with a Leeb hardness tester and calculated the corresponding yield strength. We have also measured the hardness of water ice by the same method, confirming previous work. Our results indicate that CO2 ice is slightly weaker, ranging between Leeb ∼200 and 400 (∼10 and 30 MPa yield strength, assuming only plastic deformation and no strain hardening during the experiment), for typical Martian temperatures. Our results can be used for models of CO2 ice rupture (depending on the deformation timescales) explaining surface processes on Mars and solar system icy bodies.

CO2 ice; Mars polar regions; mechanical properties

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets: Volume 125, Issue 3

FundersSTFC Science & Technology Facilities Council and UK Space Agency
Publication date31/03/2020
Publication date online20/03/2020
Date accepted by journal03/03/2020
Related URLs
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU)

People (2)


Dr Nicholas Attree

Dr Nicholas Attree

Research Fellow, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Dr Tom Bradwell

Dr Tom Bradwell

Senior Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences