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Surface photometric properties and albedo changes in the central equatorial region of MarsComparison of the Viking Orbiter 2 Approach mosaic taken 11 Mars months later provides qualitative information on the photometric properties of the martian albedo features, and the distribution of dust and sand deposits responsible for the atmosphere near the northern summer solstice. The approach mosaic was taken at L (sub s) 106 degrees (early N. summer), phase angle 106 degrees; and airmasses varying from 4.6 at 30 degrees N to 3.3 near 10 degrees S. The apoapsis mosaic was taken in four sequences between L (sub s) 72 degrees and 76 degrees (late N. spring), near phase angles of 47 degrees, and at airmasses near 2.5. Systematic differences in the photometric decalibrations used to generate these mosaics may induce multiplicative errors of 5-10 percent of the observed albedos in comparisons of the mosaics, but they are probably nearer 3 percent of the albedos. In the study area (30 degrees N to 20 degrees S, 57 degrees E to 75 degrees W), scene-average approach Minnaert albedos were about 10 percent greater than apoapsis albedos and slightly less 'red'. The preferred explanation for the observed approach-apoapsis albedo difference is that both Arabia and Meridiani materials are smoother on millimeter and larger scales than other units in the study area. This is in good agreement with preliminary conclusions of Thorpe and (for dark intracrater Meridiani splotches) Regner et al. This is also consistent with reasonable models of these surfaces. 'Dark Blue' Meridiani surfaces are interpreted as consisting of sand dunes and sand sheets, which would be expected to have macroscopically smooth, nonshadowing surfaces. Viking Lander images of the surfaces at both landing sites show that smooth drift area's brightnesses are close to those of adjacent rough soil areas at low phase angles, but drifts become much brighter than rough soils when looking up-sun at high phase angles. Smooth patches of duricrust at both landing sites, interpreted by Strickland as eolian deposits (regardless of how they became salt enriched and cemented), also show this behavior.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Strickland, Edwin L., III (Scientific Measurement Systems, Inc. Austin, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on the Martian Surface and Atmosphere Through Time
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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