MARTIAN NORTH POLAR HAZES AND SURFACE ICE: RESULTS FROM THE VIKING SURVEY/COMPLETION MISSION.

Philip R. Christensen, Richard W. Zurek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Viking infrared observations of the Martian north polar regions taken during the 1979-1980 Viking Survey/Completion mission have been used to determine the location and nature of the retreating polar cap edge and of an accompanying atomospheric ice haze. The haze is composed of water ice, and its visible opacity is approximately unity, equivalent to 1-2 precipitable microns of water ice. During the polar cap retreat (aerocentric longitude L//s approximately 240 degree -60 degree ), the haze is nearly always present and extends from at most a few degrees south of the polar cap edge to an undetermined distance over the cap interior. The transition from ice-free ground to a predominantly ice-covered surface at the cap edge spans 5 degree -10 degree of latitude. The ability of the Viking infrared observations to distinguish haze from surface condensate yields a more accurate seasonal regression for the polar cap than can be determined from visual images. Generally, the infrared observations presented here yield a regression similar to those detemined from earth-based and/or spacecraft visual data for the same and for previous northern springs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4587-4596
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Volume89
Issue numberB6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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