Sublimation Landforms

Living reference work entry


Landform due to the sublimation of any ice at the surface or in the subsurface.



Pits can exist from the millimeter scale to the kilometer scale. Depend on depth and thickness of ice and temperature variations of the ground.


Subtypes suggested as independent of planetary body (Mangold 2011):
  1. (1)

    Residual lags. They are depleted in ice, resulting from sublimation loss. They are underlied by ice-rich material.

  2. (2)

    Landforms produced by differential sublimation due to albedo differences. Low-albedo material is heated and experiences more intensive sublimation than high-albedo regions that are cooler and preserve ice, leaving a dark lag deposit that will protect the underlying dark ice. Volatiles removed from dark regions are redeposited onto clean ice as frost. This process enhances albedo contrast between dirty and clean ice (Prockter et al. 1998; Mangold 2011). This process characteristically occurs on icy...


Albedo Modification Periglacial Landform Sublimation Loss Albedo Contrast Outermost Planet 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de NantesUniversité de Nantes/CNRS UMR6112NantesFrance