Are the Viking Lander sites representative of the surface of Mars?

Bruce M. Jakosky, Philip Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global remote-sensing observations of Mars are compared with remote-sensing observations of the two Viking Lander site regions and with orbiter and lander imaging of the sites. The lander sites do not fit most of the global trends of remote-sensing data. The presence of a duricrust in the top meter of the surface is inferred for most regions of high thermal inertia, although the duricrust is thinner at the lander sites than elsewhere. Regions of low thermal inertia are covered by greater than several centimeters of unconsolidated dust. A thin, microns-thick layer of bright dust appears at the surface at the lander sites, and these locations may be regions of incipient formation of low thermal inertia. The lander sites are intermediate in structure between classical bright and dark regions, and are distinctive from most of the rest of the planet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalIcarus
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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