36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 37 Mars Atmosphere
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[37.01] Water-ice clouds in the Martian North Polar Region

L. K. Tamppari, Z. Qu (JPL), M. D. Smith (GSFC), D. S. Bass, A. S. Hale (JPL)

There has been uncertainty about the amount of water cycling in and out of the polar region during the northern spring/summer timeframe, as evidenced by visible brightness changes in the residual polar cap from year to year which were originally though to be interannual variations (James and Martin, 1995; Kieffer, 1990). Subsequently, through comparison of Viking and Mariner 9 data sets, these variations were thought to be late season water deposition (Bass et al., 2000: Bass and Paige, 2000), perhaps in the form of direct condensation or snowfall. More recently, examination of multi-year MGS MOC data (Hale et al., 2004) opens this question again. Water cycling can be assessed using data sets by examination of water vapor, polar cap changes, and water-ice clouds. In this presentation, we examine the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) nadir pointed data in the north polar region of Mars during northern spring and summer to find and map water-ice clouds. Water-ice clouds, in the north polar region, have previously been tentatively identified in the Viking data (Tamppari and Bass, 2000), and some water-ice clouds identifications have been made in the north polar region during the MGS era (M. Smith, pers. comm., 2001). We present our results of water-ice clouds for 3 Mars years’ spring and summer times, including opacities, spatial and temporal variations.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.