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Development and analysis of a twelfth degree and order gravity model for MarsSatellite geodesy techniques previously applied to artificial earth satellites have been extended to obtain a high-resolution gravity field for Mars. Two-way Doppler data collected by 10 Deep Space Network (DSN) stations during Mariner 9 and Viking 1 and 2 missions have been processed to obtain a twelfth degree and order spherical harmonic model for the martian gravitational potential. The quality of this model was evaluated by examining the rms residuals within the fit and the ability of the model to predict the spacecraft state beyond the fit. Both indicators show that more data and higher degree and order harmonics will be required to further refine our knowledge of the martian gravity field. The model presented shows much promise, since it resolves local gravity features which correlate highly with the martian topography. An isostatic analysis based on this model, as well as an error analysis, shows rather complete compensation on a global (long wavelength) scale. Though further model refinements are necessary to be certain, local (short wavelength) features such as the shield volcanos in Tharsis appear to be uncompensated. These are interpreted to place some bounds on the internal structure of Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Christensen, E. J.
(California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif., United States)
Balmino, G.
(Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Toulouse, France)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
December 30, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 84
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
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