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Observations of the North Polar Region of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

Zuber, Maria T. and Smith, David E. and Solomon, Sean C. and Abshire, James B. and Afzal, Robert S. and Aharonson, Oded and Fishbaugh, Kathryn and Ford, Peter G. and Frey, Herbert V. and Garvin, James B. and Head, James W. and Ivanov, Anton B. and Johnson, Catherine L. and Muhleman, Duane O. and Neumann, Gregory A. and Pettengill, Gordon H. and Phillips, Roger J. and Sun, Xiaoli and Zwally, H. Jay and Banerdt, W. Bruce and Duxbury, Thomas H. (1998) Observations of the North Polar Region of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. Science, 282 (5396). pp. 2053-2060. ISSN 0036-8075. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130128-105214414

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Abstract

Elevations from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) have been used to construct a precise topographic map of the martian north polar region. The northern ice cap has a maximum elevation of 3 kilometers above its surroundings but lies within a 5-kilometer-deep hemispheric depression that is contiguous with the area into which most outflow channels emptied. Polar cap topography displays evidence of modification by ablation, flow, and wind and is consistent with a primarily H_(2)O composition. Correlation of topography with images suggests that the cap was more spatially extensive in the past. The cap volume of 1.2 × 10^6 to 1.7 × 10^6 cubic kilometers is about half that of the Greenland ice cap. Clouds observed over the polar cap are likely composed of CO_2 that condensed out of the atmosphere during northern hemisphere winter. Many clouds exhibit dynamical structure likely caused by the interaction of propagating wave fronts with surface topography.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.282.5396.2053DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/282/5396/2053PublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Aharonson, Oded0000-0001-9930-2495
Head, James W.0000-0003-2013-560X
Additional Information:© 1998 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 23 November 1998; accepted 3 December 1998. We thank the instrument, spacecraft, and mission operations engineers for their support of the MOLA investigation. We particularly thank G. Cunningham for agreeing to "tilt" the spacecraft to obtain the polar gap observations. We are also grateful to W. Durham for making available CO2 rheological data and M. Malin for permission to reference unpublished images. We acknowledge contributions from G. Elman, P. Jester, and J. Schott in altimetry processing; S. Sakimoto for image processing; J. Frawley for analysis software; and F. Lemoine, D. Rowlands, and S. Fricke for orbit determination. The MOLA investigation is supported by NASA's Mars Surveyor Program.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASAUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5396
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130128-105214414
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130128-105214414
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36621
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:28 Jan 2013 22:04
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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