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Enigmatic surface features, known as 'spiders', found at high southern martian latitudes, are probably caused by sublimation-driven erosion under the seasonal carbon dioxide ice cap. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) has imaged this terrain in unprecedented details throughout southern spring. It has been postulated [Kieffer, H.H., Titus, T.N., Mullins, K.F., Christensen, P.R., 2000. J. Geophys. Res. 105, 9653-9700] that translucent CO2 slab ice traps gas sublimating at the ice surface boundary. Wherever the pressure is released the escaping gas jet entrains loose surface material and carries it to the top of the ice where it is carried downslope and/or downwind...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Using data from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, we reassess the methods by which layers within the north polar layered deposits (NPLD) can be delineated and their thicknesses measured. Apparent brightness and morphology alone are insufficient for this task; high resolution topographic data are necessary. From these analyses, we find that the visible appearance of layers depends to a large degree on the distribution of younger, mantling deposits (which in turn is partially influenced by inherent layer properties) and on the shape and location of the particular outcrop. This younger mantle partially obscures layer morphology and brightness and is likely...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The martian polar regions have layered deposits of ice and dust. The stratigraphy of these deposits is exposed within scarps and trough walls and is thought to have formed due to climate variations in the past. Insolation has varied significantly over time and caused dramatic changes in climate, but it has remained unclear whether insolation variations could be linked to the stratigraphic record. We present a model of layer formation based on physical processes that expresses polar deposition rates of ice and dust in terms of insolation. In this model, layer formation is controlled by the insolation record, and dust-rich layers form by two mechanisms: (1) increased summer sublimation during high obliquity, and (2)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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We analyze observations taken with Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), to determine the current methane and haze latitudinal distribution between 60??S and 40??N. The methane variation was measured primarily from its absorption band at 0.61 ??m, which is optically thin enough to be sensitive to the methane abundance at 20-50 km altitude. Haze characteristics were determined from Titan's 0.4-1.6 ??m spectra, which sample Titan's atmosphere from the surface to 200 km altitude. Radiative transfer models based on the haze properties and methane absorption profiles at the Huygens site reproduced the observed VIMS spectra and allowed us to retrieve latitude variations in the methane abundance and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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We examine here the close spatial and temporal associations among several unique features of Xanthe and Margaritifer Terrae, specifically the Valles Marineris troughs or chasmata and their interior deposits, chaotic terrain, the circum-Chryse outflow channels, and the subdued cratered material that covers Xanthe, Margaritifer, and Meridiani Terrae. Though previous hypotheses have attempted to explain the origin of individual features or subsets of these, we suggest that they may all be related. All of these features taken together present a consistent scenario that includes the processes of sub-ice volcanism and other magma/ice interactions, results of intrusive events during Late Noachian to Early Amazonian times....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Systematic geologic mapping of the lunar near side has resulted in the assignment of relative ages to most visible features. As a derivative of this work, geologic and artistic interpretations have been combined to produce reconstructions of the Moon's appearance at two significant points in its history. The reconstructions, although generalized, show the Moon (1) as it probably appeared about 3.3 billion years ago after most of the mare materials had accumulated, and (2) about 4.0 billion years ago after formation of the youngest of the large multiringed basins, but prior to appreciable flooding by mare material.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Soon after the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft entered orbit about Saturn on 1 July 2004, its Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer obtained two continuous spectral scans across the rings, covering the wavelength range 0.35-5.1 ??m, at a spatial resolution of 15-25 km. The first scan covers the outer C and inner B rings, while the second covers the Cassini Division and the entire A ring. Comparisons of the VIMS radial reflectance profile at 1.08 ??m with similar profiles at a wavelength of 0.45 ??m assembled from Voyager images show very little change in ring structure over the intervening 24 years, with the exception of a few features already known to be noncircular. A model for single-scattering by a classical,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observed the Galilean satellites during the Cassini spacecraft's 2000/2001 flyby of Jupiter, providing compositional and thermal information about their surfaces. The Cassini spacecraft approached the jovian system no closer than about 126 Jupiter radii, about 9 million kilometers, at a phase angle of < 90 ??, resulting in only sub-pixel observations by VIMS of the Galilean satellites. Nevertheless, most of the spectral features discovered by the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) aboard the Galileo spacecraft during more than four years of observations have been identified in the VIMS data analyzed so far, including a possible 13C absorption. In addition,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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We report unusual and somewhat unexpected observations of the jovian satellite Io, showing strong methane absorption bands. These observations were made by the Cassini VIMS experiment during the Jupiter flyby of December/January 2000/2001. The explanation is straightforward: Entering or exiting from Jupiter's shadow during an eclipse, Io is illuminated by solar light which has transited the atmosphere of Jupiter. This light, therefore becomes imprinted with the spectral signature of Jupiter's upper atmosphere, which includes strong atmospheric methane absorption bands. Intercepting solar light refracted by the jovian atmosphere, Io essentially becomes a "miffor" for solar occultation events of Jupiter. The thickness...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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We report the discovery of grooves in Galileo high-resolution images of Gaspra. These features, previously seen only on Mars' satellite Phobos, are most likely related to severe impacts. Grooves on Gaspra occur as linear and pitted depressions, typically 100-200 m wide, 0.8 to 2.5 km long, and 10-20 m deep. Most occur in two major groups, one of which trends approximately parallel to the asteroid's long axis, but is offset by some 15??; the other is approximately perpendicular to this trend. The first of these directions falls along a family of planes which parallel three extensive flat facets identified by Thomas et al., Icarus 107. The occurrence of grooves on Gaspra is consistent with other indications (irregular...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The morphologies of some martian gullies appear similar to terrestrial features associated with debris flow initiation, erosion, and deposition. On Earth, debris flows are often triggered by shallow subsurface throughflow of liquid water in slope-mantling colluvium. This flow causes increased levels of pore pressure and thus decreased shear strength, which can lead to slide failure of slope materials and subsequent debris flow. The threshold for pore pressure-induced failure creates a distinct relationship between the contributing area supplying the subsurface flow and the slope gradient. To provide initial tests of a similar debris flow initiation hypothesis for martian gullies, measurements of the contributing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The Valles Marineris canyon system of Mars is closely related to large flood channels, some of which emerge full born from chaotic terrain in canyon floors. Coprates Chasma, one of the largest Valles Marineris canyons, is connected at its west end to Melas Chasma and on its east end to chaotic terrain-filled Capri and Eos Chasmata. The area from central Melas to Eos Chasmata contains a 1500 km long and about 1 km deep depression in its floor. Despite the large volumes of groundwater that likely discharged from chaotic terrain in this depression, no evidence of related fluvial activity has thus far been reported. We present an analysis of the regional topography which, together with photogeologic interpretation of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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The undulating, warped, and densely fractured surfaces of highland regions east of Valles Marineris (located north of the eastern Aureum Chaos, east of the Hydraotes Chaos, and south of the Hydaspis Chaos) resulted from extensional surface warping related to ground subsidence, caused when pressurized water confined in subterranean caverns was released to the surface. Water emanations formed crater lakes and resulted in channeling episodes involved in the excavation of Ares, Tiu, and Simud Valles of the eastern part of the circum-Chryse outflow channel system. Progressive surface subsidence and associated reduction of the subsurface cavernous volume, and/or episodes of magmatic-driven activity, led to increases of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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High-resolution Viking Orbiter images (10 to 15 m/pixel) contain significant information on Martian surface roughness at 25- to 100-m lateral scales, whereas Earth-based radar observations of Mars are sensitive to roughness at lateral scales of 1 to 30 m, or more. High-rms slopes predicted for the Tharsis-Memnonia-Amazonis volcanic plains from extremely weak radar returns (low peak radar cross section) are qualitatively confirmed by the Viking image data. Large-scale, curvilinear (but parallel) ridges on lava flows in the Memnonia Fossae region are interpreted as innate flow morphology caused by compressional foldover of moving lava sheets of possible rhyolite-dacite composition. The presence or absence of a recent...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Interpretations of visible/near-infrared reflectance spectra of Mars are often complicated by the effects of dust coatings that obscure the underlying materials of interest. The ability to separate the spectral reflectance signatures of coatings and substrates requires an understanding of how their individual and combined reflectance properties vary with phase angle. Toward this end, laboratory multispectral observations of rocks coated with different amounts of Mars analog dust were acquired under variable illumination and viewing geometries using the Bloomsburg University Goniometer (BUG). These bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) data were fit with a two-layer radiative transfer model, which...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Cassini RADAR topography data are used to evaluate Titan's hypsometric profile, and to make comparisons with other planetary bodies. Titan's hypsogram is unimodal and strikingly narrow compared with the terrestrial planets. To investigate topographic extremes, a novel variant on the classic hypsogram is introduced, with a logarithmic abscissa to highlight mountainous terrain. In such a plot, the top of the terrestrial hypsogram is quite distinct from those of Mars and Venus due to the 'glacial buzz-saw' that clips terrestrial topography above the snowline. In contrast to the positive skew seen in other hypsograms, with a long tail of positive relief due to mountains, there is an indication (weak, given the limited...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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We produced the first complete, 1:15 M-scale global geologic map of Jupiter’s moon Io, based on a set of monochrome and color Galileo–Voyager image mosaics produced at a spatial resolution of 1 km/pixel. The surface of Io was mapped into 19 units based on albedo, color and surface morphology, and is subdivided as follows: plains (65.8% of surface), lava flow fields (28.5%), mountains (3.2%), and patera floors (2.5%). Diffuse deposits (DD) that mantle the other units cover ∼18% of Io’s surface, and are distributed as follows: red (8.6% of surface), white (6.9%), yellow (2.1%), black (0.6%), and green (∼0.01%). Analyses of the geographical and areal distribution of these units yield a number of results, summarized...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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Previous studies have identified carbon dioxide (CO2) on the surfaces of Jovian and Galilean satellites in regions of non-ice material that are too warm for CO2 ice to exist. CO2 ice would quickly sublimate if not retained by a less-volatile material. To ascertain what non-ice species may be responsible for stabilizing this CO2, we performed CO2 gas adsorption experiments on thirteen powdered CM, CI, and CV carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Reflectance spectra of the ν3 feature associated with adsorbed CO2 near 4.27 μm were recorded. Results show that many meteorites adsorbed some amount of CO2, as evidenced by an absorption feature that was stable over several hours at ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and high vacuum,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus
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High-resolution repeat imaging of Aeolis Mons, the central mound in Gale crater, reveals active slope processes within tens of kilometers of the Curiosity rover. At one location near the base of northeastern Aeolis Mons, dozens of transient narrow lineae were observed, resembling features (Recurring Slope Lineae) that are potentially due to liquid water. However, the lineae faded and have not recurred in subsequent Mars years. Other small-scale slope activity is common, but has different spatial and temporal characteristics. We have not identified confirmed RSL, which Rummel et al. (Rummel, J.D. et al. [2014]. Astrobiology 14, 887–968) recommended be treated as potential special regions for planetary protection....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Icarus