DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 19. Mars Atmosphere Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Wednesday, November 28, 2001, 10:30am-12:30pm, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[19.15] IR spectral properties of dust and ice at the Mars south polar cap

T. N. Titus, H. H. Kieffer (USGS)

Removal of atmospheric dust effects is required to derive surface IR spectral emissivity. Commonly, the atmospheric-surface separation is based on radiative transfer (RT) spectral inversion methods using nadir-pointing observations. This methodology depends on a priori knowledge of the spectral shape of each atmospheric aerosol (e.g. dust or water ice) and a large thermal contrast between the surface and atmosphere. RT methods fail over the polar caps due to low thermal contrast between the atmosphere and the surface.

We have used multi-angle Emission Phase Function (EPF) observations to estimate the opacity spectrum of dust over the springtime south polar cap and the underlying surface radiance, and thus, the surface emissivity. We include a few EPFs from Hellas Basin as a basis for comparisons between the spectral shape of polar and non-polar dust. Surface spectral emissivities over the seasonal cap are compared to CO2 models.

Our results show that the spectral shape of the polar dust opacity is not constant, but is a two-parameter family that can be characterized by the 9 um and 20 um opacities. The 9 um opacity varies from 0.15 to 0.45 and characterizes the overall atmospheric conditions. The 9 um to 20 um opacity ratio varies from 2.0 to 5.1, suggesting changes in dust size distribution over the polar caps.

Derived surface temperatures from the EPFs confirm that the slightly elevated temperatures (relative to CO2 frost temperature) observed in ``cryptic'' regions are a surface effect, not atmospheric. Comparison of broad-band reflectivity and surface emissivities to model spectra suggest the bright regions (e.g. perennial cap, Mountains of Mitchell) have higher albedos due to a thin surface layer of fine-grain CO2 (perhaps either frost or fractured ice) with an underlying layer of either coarse grain or slab CO2 ice.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.mars-ice.org. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ttitus@flagmail.wr.usgs.gov

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