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Martian oases? Feasibility of orbital thermal emission detection

Haldemann, Albert F. C. and Danielson, G. Edward and Murray, Bruce C. (2000) Martian oases? Feasibility of orbital thermal emission detection. In: The case for Mars VI : making Mars an affordable destination. Science and technology series (American Astronautical Society). No.98. American Astronautical Society , San Diego, CA, pp. 267-277. ISBN 0-87703-461-3.

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We review the motivation for searching out modem "oases" on Mars, and examine methods of detecting them from orbit. We use the term "oasis" to refer to sites with anomalous thermal behavior at, or near the planet's surface. Such sites may be more likely than other locations on Mars to have liquid water nearby, hence the terminology reminiscent of Earth's deserts. Three types of "oases" are considered here: small-scale volcanic eruptions, hot springs, and subsurface intrusions. The general consensus is that such oases are highly unlikely on Mars today, and probably do not exist at all. How much investment is worthy of such a high-risk, unlikely return? We argue that the potential long-term importance of such a discovery does merit a significant investment. We propose a detection strategy based on a high spatial resolution infra-red thermal emission instrument, though other techniques are briefly discussed. We conclude that such an instrument could feasibly detect surface lavas, and quite likely any surface hot springs, but would not be able to unambiguously determine the presence of a buried geothermal anomaly that does not manifest itself sufficiently at the surface in one of the two other forms.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 2000 Published for the American Astronautical Society by Univelt.
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Series Name:Science and technology series (American Astronautical Society)
Issue or Number:98
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131125-141607077
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42695
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Nov 2013 16:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:00

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