AuthorChamberlain, Matthew Allyn
Committee ChairBoynton, William V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA thermal model is developed to find the distribution of stable near-surface ground ice on Mars that is in diffusive contact with the atmosphere for past and present epochs. Variations in the orbit of Mars are able to drive climate changes that affect both surface temperatures and atmospheric water content so the distribution of ground ice will vary significantly in past epochs. A technique is developed to correct the average water vapor density above the surface for depletion due to diurnal frost formation. Also presented is a simple model to estimate the atmospheric water content, based on the water vapor carrying capacity of the atmosphere over water ice on the martian surface.Maps of the distribution of ground ice are generated for the present epoch of Mars with varying amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere. The water vapor depletion scheme restricts the extent of stable ground ice as more water is put into the atmosphere so that ice never becomes stable at low latitudes. As the position of the perihelion varies, the extent of ground ice changes several degrees in the latitudinal extent, primarily in the northern hemisphere. The extent of ground ice is sensitive to the obliquity of Mars, however high obliquities are still not able to make ground ice stable at low latitudes. Finding ice is never stable at low latitudes is consistent with the lack of terrain softening at low latitudes and models that indicate Mars had high obliquities for much of its history.Also presented is the first L-band spectrum of an irregular satellite from the outer Solar System. Spectra of Himalia were obtained with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer onboard the Cassini spacecraft. The Himalia spectrum is essentially featureless, showing a slight red slope and a suggestion of an absorption feature at 3 microns that would indicate the presence of water. Better measurements of the spectrum of Himalia, particularly in the region of the apparent 3-micron band, could help determine whether water is present, and if so, in what form.
Degree ProgramPlanetary Sciences