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High-Resolution Topography and Albedo of the South Polar Layered Deposits on Mars

Herkenhoff, Ken E. and Murray, Bruce C. (1990) High-Resolution Topography and Albedo of the South Polar Layered Deposits on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 95 (B9). pp. 14511-14529. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JB095iB09p14511.

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Using a new photoclinometric technique with high-resolution Mariner 9 images, maximum slopes of 10°–20° are found to occur on an exposure of layered deposits within the south polar residual cap of Mars. Stereophotogrammetry is used to constrain the photoclinometric solutions, which resolve layer thicknesses of 100–300 m. Albedo variations are correlated with slope, indicating that frost is present on level areas. There is evidence for temporal changes in frost distribution in the 7 days (4° of L_S) between the two images used in this study. The magnitude of the slopes derived here and consideration of the stability of water ice at the surface of the layered deposits strongly suggest the presence of a competent weathering rind. The weathered surface may be composed of dark filamentary sublimation residue particles that protect the underlying ice from solar heating. This hypothesis is consistent with previous studies of the regional color and albedo of the layered deposits, which indicate that the deposits are slightly darker and less red than the bright dust that mantles much of the south polar region. Furthermore, the proposed weathering mechanism provides a plausible source of dark, saltating material for the Martian polar dune fields.

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Herkenhoff, Ken E.0000-0002-3153-6663
Additional Information:© 1990 American Geophysical Union. Received July 5, 1989; revised December 11, 1989; accepted December 13, 1989. We thank Phil Davis, Kay Edwards, Randy Kirk, Alfred McEwen, and Larry Soderblom for helpful suggestions and assistance and Yuk Yung for allowing us to use his RADIATE program to model the Martian atmosphere. Reviews by two anonymous referees are also gratefully acknowledged. This work was supported by NASA grant NAGW-1226. Contribution number 4772 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4772
Issue or Number:B9
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Official Citation:Herkenhoff, K. E., and B. C. Murray (1990), High-resolution topography and albedo of the south polar layered deposits on Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 95(B9), 14511–14529, doi:10.1029/JB095iB09p14511.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44828
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:09 Apr 2014 21:28
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:56

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