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Seasonal and Secular Variation of the Solis Lacus Albedo Feature: Relation to the Martian Dust-transport CycleAs documented over the course of thirty-six Martian years, dramatic seasonal and secular variations occur in albedo features in the Solis Planum region of Mars. The most striking of these is the classical dark albedo features, Solis Lacus. Solis Lacus is generally most distinct during southern spring and summer. Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter images reveal that Solis Lacus contains and is surrounded by a conspicuous pattern of bright and dark wind streaks. A seasonal dust-transport cycle is proposed to explain these observations. During later southern spring or early summer, dust is eroded from the surface and transported from the region by local dust storms which may become a global dust storm. Removal of dust over a wide area results in the dark Solis Lacus feature. During the cessation stage of global dust-storm activity (typically mid- to late-southern summer), enhanced deposition in the lee of obstacles forms the prominent patterns of bright streaks observed within and around Solis Lacus. As the year progresses (southern fall and winter), sedimentation from the atmospheric dust load occurs over the entire region, decreasing the contrast of the albedo features to their surroundings. Dust-storm activity the following year renews the cycle by again removing dust from the region.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Lee, S. W.
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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