NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Water Ice Albedo Variations on the Martian Northern Polar CapThe Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars northern residual cap is water ice. Many researchers have related observed atmospheric water vapor abundances to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, but the extent to which the exchange between the surface and the atmosphere remains uncertain. Early studies of the ice coverage and albedo of the northern residual Martian polar cap using Mariner 9 and Viking images reported that there were substantial internannual differences in ice deposition on the polar cap, a result which suggested a highly variable Martian climate. However, some of the data used in these studies were obtained at differing values of heliocentric solar longitude (L(sub s)). Reevaluation of this dataset indicated that the residual cap undergoes seasonal brightening throughout the summer, and indicated that this process repeats from year to year. In this study we continue to compare Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter imaging observations and thermal data of the north residual polar cap to data acquired with Mars Global Surveyor s Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) instrument. In the current study, our goal is to examine all released data from MGS MOC in the northern summer season, along with applicable TES data in order to better understand the albedo variations in the northern summer and their implications on water transport. To date, work has focused primarily on the MOC dataset. In 1999, data acquisition of the northern polar regions began at L(sub s) = 107, although there was little north polar data acquired from L(sub s)= 107 to L(sub s) = 109. We examined a total of 409 images from L(sub s) = 107 to L(sub s)=148. We have also examined data from 2000 from L(sub s)= 93 to L(sub s)= 110; additional progress is ongoing. Here we present a progress report of our observations, and continue to determine their implications for the Martian water cycle.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hale, A. S.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bass, D. S.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tamppari, L. K.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available