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J. Eluszkiewicz (AER, Inc.), T. N. Titus (USGS)
The sintering model of Eluszkiewicz (Icarus, vol. 103, 43, 1993) has been applied to match the evolution of the 25-micron band depth in the spectra of the seasonal caps measured by TES. The model is capable of reproducing the observed evolution is some locations, especially in the south. This result lends some support to the use of the model as a predictive tool for future spacecraft observations of Mars and other volatile-rich planetary surfaces (Pluto?). With regard to the physical conditions necessary to produce a solid slab, the most important change from the conclusions reached by Eluszkiewicz (1993) is that smaller grains (1 micron rather 10 micron) are required to achieve seasonal densification. This downward revision of the grain size results from the application of volume diffusion coefficient for solid CO2 inferred from NMR measurements. The experimentally determined value for the activation energy is much higher than assumed previously based on a similarity study, resulting in a smaller value for the diffusion coefficient and thus requiring smaller grain sizes to achieve comparable rates of diffusion-controlled sintering.
This work has been funded by the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.