Science.gov

Sample records for polar ice caps

  1. North Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    North polar ice cap of Mars, as seen during mid summer in the northern hemisphere. The reddish areas consist of eolian dust, bright white areas consist of a mixture of water ice and dust, and the dark blue areas consist of sand dunes forming a huge 'collar' around the polar ice cap. (The colors have been enhanced with a decorrelation stretch to better show the color variability.) Shown here is an oblique view of the polar region, as seen with the Viking 1 spacecraft orbiting Mars over latitude 39 degrees north. The spiral bands consist of valleys which form by a combination of the Coriolis forces, wind erosion, and differential sublimation and condensation. In high-resolution images the polar caps are seen to consist of thick sequences of layered deposits, suggesting that cyclical climate changes have occurred on Mars. Cyclical climate changes are readily explained by quasi-periodic changes in the amount and distribution of solar heating resulting from perturbations in orbital and axial elements. Variations in the Earth's orbit have also been linked to the terrestrial climate changes during the ice ages.

  2. South Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-337, 21 April 2003

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows the 'swiss cheese' pattern of frozen carbon dioxide on the south polar residual cap. Observation of these materials over two Mars years has revealed that the scarps that bound the mesas and small buttes are retreating-the carbon dioxide ice is subliming away-at a rate of about 3 meters (3 yards) per Mars year in some places. The picture covers an area about 900 m (about 900 yards) wide near 87.1oS, 93.7oW. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  3. Textures in south polar ice cap #2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Textures of the south polar permanent residual ice cap and polar layered terrains. This 15 x 14 km area image (frame 7306) is centered near 87 degrees south, 341 degrees west.

    Figure caption from Science Magazine

  4. Textures in south polar ice cap #1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Textures of the south polar permanent residual ice cap and polar layered terrains. This 30 x 29 km area image (frame 7709) is centered near 87 degrees south, 77 degrees west.

    Figure caption from Science Magazine

  5. Morphology of Mars North Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwally, H. J.; Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Kouvaris, L.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Saba, J. L.

    2000-08-01

    The northern ice cap of Mars consists of a parabolic dome centered within 13 km of the pole, plus an arm-like ridge extending from the dome between about 135 and 225 east. Chasma Boreale lies between the dome and the extended ridge. The base of the dome is approximately elliptical with a major axis of 1100 km along the 90 east to 270 east direction and minor axis of 700 km along zero east to 180 deg. The heights of the dome and the extended ridge are respectively 2900 inches and 1700 inches above the surrounding basin. Least-squares fitting of a parabola through height profiles of the dome along longitudes 90 deg to 270 deg and zero deg to 180 deg gives an elliptic-paraboloid equation for the dome: Z(m) = 2800 - [(X-x)2/113.6] - [(Y-y)2/50.3], where X is the 90 deg to 270 deg axis, x = 9.90 km, y = 13.32 km, and the slightly-different fitted heights for the two axes are averaged. The center of the dome is shifted 13.32 km from the pole along zero deg longitude and 9.90 km along 90 deg longitude. Typical mean surface slopes on the ice cap are the order of 1/100 (0.6 deg), A small central portion of the cap, about 100 km by 200 km, extends in elevation about 200 inches above the parabolic shape of the cap. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Formation of the Carbon Dioxide Ice Seasonal Polar Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forget, F.

    1998-01-01

    One of the key processes controlling the geology of the martian polar regions is the seasonal condensation of the atmosphere into CO2 ice caps. These polar caps mostly condense during the polar night, when surface and atmospheric temperature become cold enough to reach the frost point of CO2. Thus, almost all that is known about the formation of the polar caps has come from the Mariner 9 and Viking infrared measurements. These observations showed that the physical processes controlling the condensation are complex, because of the unique radiative and microphysical properties Of CO2 ice condensing in a CO2 atmosphere. For instance, the Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM). One of the key processes controlling the geology of the martian polar regions is the seasonal condensation of the atmosphere into CO2 ice caps. These polar caps mostly condense during the polar night, when surface and atmospheric temperature become cold enough to reach the frost point of CO2. Thus, almost all that is known about the formation of the polar caps has come from the Mariner 9 and Viking infrared measurements. These observations showed that the physical processes controlling the condensation are complex, because of the unique radiative and microphysical properties Of CO2 ice condensing in a CO2 atmosphere. For instance, the IRTM instrument observed variable structures exhibiting brightness temperatures far below the physical temperature appropriate for condensed CO, in vapor pressure equilibrium at the expected atmospheric pressure. A detailed analysis of the data suggests that these low brightness temperatures result from the radiative properties of the SMO CO2 ice particles that condense in the atmosphere rather than directly on the surface New observations are being transmitted by Mars Global Surveyor. TES and MOLA data should greatly improve our understand- ing of what is really going on during the cap formation. instrument observed variable structures exhibiting brightness temperatures

  7. Water Ice Albedo Variations on the Martian Northern Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, A. S.; Bass, D. S.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2003-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars northern residual cap is water ice. Many researchers have related observed atmospheric water vapor abundances to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, but the extent to which the exchange between the surface and the atmosphere remains uncertain. Early studies of the ice coverage and albedo of the northern residual Martian polar cap using Mariner 9 and Viking images reported that there were substantial internannual differences in ice deposition on the polar cap, a result which suggested a highly variable Martian climate. However, some of the data used in these studies were obtained at differing values of heliocentric solar longitude (L(sub s)). Reevaluation of this dataset indicated that the residual cap undergoes seasonal brightening throughout the summer, and indicated that this process repeats from year to year. In this study we continue to compare Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter imaging observations and thermal data of the north residual polar cap to data acquired with Mars Global Surveyor s Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) instrument. In the current study, our goal is to examine all released data from MGS MOC in the northern summer season, along with applicable TES data in order to better understand the albedo variations in the northern summer and their implications on water transport. To date, work has focused primarily on the MOC dataset. In 1999, data acquisition of the northern polar regions began at L(sub s) = 107, although there was little north polar data acquired from L(sub s)= 107 to L(sub s) = 109. We examined a total of 409 images from L(sub s) = 107 to L(sub s)=148. We have also examined data from 2000 from L(sub s)= 93 to L(sub s)= 110; additional progress is ongoing. Here we present a progress report of our observations, and continue to determine their implications for the Martian water cycle.

  8. Seasonal Changes in Mars' North Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    These images, which seem to have been taken while NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was looking directly down on the Martian North Pole, were actually created by assembling mosaics of three sets of images taken by HST in October, 1996 and in January and March, 1997 and projecting them to appear as they would if seen from above the pole. This first mosaic is a view which could not actually be seen in nature because at this season a portion of the pole would have actually been in shadow; the last view, taken near the summer solstice, would correspond to the Midnight Sun on Earth with the pole fully illuminated all day. The resulting polar maps begin at 50 degrees N latitude and are oriented with 0 degrees longitude at the 12 o'clock position. This series of pictures captures the seasonal retreat of Mars' north polar cap.

    October 1996 (early spring in the Northern hemisphere): In this map, assembled from images obtained between Oct. 8 and 15, the cap extends down to 60 degrees N latitude, nearly it's maximum winter extent. (The notches are areas where Hubble data were not available). A thin, comma-shaped cloud of dust can be seen as a salmon-colored crescent at the 7 o'clock position. The cap is actually fairly circular about the geographic pole at this season; the bluish 'knobs' where the cap seems to extend further are actually clouds that occurred near the edges of the three separate sets of images used to make the mosaic.

    January 1997 (mid-spring): Increased warming as spring progresses in the northern hemisphere has sublimated the carbon dioxide ice and frost below 70 degrees north latitude. The faint darker circle inside the cap boundary marks the location of circumpolar sand dunes (see March '97 map); these dark dunes are warmed more by solar heating than are the brighter surroundings, so the surface frost sublimates from the dunes earlier than from the neighboring areas. Particularly evident is the marked hexagonal shape of the polar cap at this season

  9. Formation of the Carbon Dioxide Ice Seasonal Polar Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, J.; Chang, A.; Hall, D.; Tait, A.; Klein, A.

    1998-01-01

    One of the key processes controlling the geology of the martian polar regions is the seasonal condensation of the atmosphere into CO, ice caps. These polar caps mostly condense during the polar night, when surface and atmospheric temperature become cold enough to reach the frost point of CO2. Thus, almost all that is known about the formation of the polar caps has come from the Mariner 9 and Viking infrared measurements. These observations showed that the physical processes controlling the condensation are complex, because of the unique radiative and microphysical properties of CO2 ice condensing in a CO2 atmosphere. For instance, the Infrared Thermal Mapper (IRTM) instrument observed variable structures exhibiting brightness temperatures far below the physical temperature appropriate for condensed CO2 in vapor pressure equilibrium at the expected atmospheric pressure. A detailed analysis of the data suggests that these low brightness temperatures result from the radiative properties of the small CO2 ice particles that condense in the atmosphere rather than directly on the surface. Indeed, simulations performed with General Circulation Models have shown that a fraction of the total CO2 condensation can take place in the atmosphere. Atmospheric condensation can result from radiative cooling on the one hand (especially when the atmosphere is dust laden) and from adiabatic cooling in upward motions on the other . The resulting CO2 snowfalls could create the observed features, because the CO2 ice particles that condense in the atmosphere can be efficient scatterers at infrared wavelengths (whether they are airborne or have just fallen to the ground) carbon dioxide ice deposits composed of nonporous solid ice, however, having directly condensed on the ground or having undergone frost metamorphism should behave almost like blackbody emitters, or, more likely, be transparent in the infrared so that the ground beneath can radiate through. In fact, by simply parametrizing

  10. Driving Stresses in Mars Polar Ice Caps and Conditions for Ice Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Saba, Jack L.

    1999-01-01

    Measurements of the topography of the North polar ice cap by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) show that the ice cap is 2950 +/- 200 meters thick. The volume of the cap is about 1.2 x 10(exp 6) cu km covering an area of 1.04 x 10(exp 6) sq km, which is about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet in volume and 62 percent in area. The composition of the Northern cap was previously concluded to be predominately H2O, rather than CO2 ice, based on thermodynamic considerations of the insustainablity of CO2 during summer. Principal questions about the cap are: does the ice move and at what rate, is the cap currently growing or depleting in volume, and how and when was the cap formed? Recent research on terrestrial ice sheets indicates that rates of ice deformation at the low stress values characteristic of ice sheets are significantly higher than the rates given by the classic viscous-plastic flow laws commonly used.

  11. Diurnal Albedo Variations of the Martian North Polar Water Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Troy, R. F.; Bass, D.

    2002-01-01

    Presentation of findings regarding diurnal variations in the north polar water ice cap of Mars as part of a larger study of the interannual and seasonal variations of the Martian north polar water ice cap. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  12. Perennial water ice identified in the south polar cap of Mars.

    PubMed

    Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Langevin, Yves; Poulet, François; Gendrin, Aline; Gondet, Brigitte; Berthé, Michel; Soufflot, Alain; Drossart, Pierre; Combes, Michel; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Moroz, Vassili; Mangold, Nicolas; Schmitt, Bernard

    2004-04-01

    The inventory of water and carbon dioxide reservoirs on Mars are important clues for understanding the geological, climatic and potentially exobiological evolution of the planet. From the early mapping observation of the permanent ice caps on the martian poles, the northern cap was believed to be mainly composed of water ice, whereas the southern cap was thought to be constituted of carbon dioxide ice. However, recent missions (NASA missions Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey) have revealed surface structures, altimetry profiles, underlying buried hydrogen, and temperatures of the south polar regions that are thermodynamically consistent with a mixture of surface water ice and carbon dioxide. Here we present the first direct identification and mapping of both carbon dioxide and water ice in the martian high southern latitudes, at a resolution of 2 km, during the local summer, when the extent of the polar ice is at its minimum. We observe that this south polar cap contains perennial water ice in extended areas: as a small admixture to carbon dioxide in the bright regions; associated with dust, without carbon dioxide, at the edges of this bright cap; and, unexpectedly, in large areas tens of kilometres away from the bright cap. PMID:15024393

  13. Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-11-01

    The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l'Mineralogie, l'Eau les Glaces et l'Activite (OMEGA) (Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap (Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a 'minimum apparent' amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2 mm (with 70% porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6-6% of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our 'minimum apparent' quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

  14. Martian Polar Caps: Folding, Faulting, Flowing Glaciers of Multiple Interbedded Ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    2001-12-01

    The Martian south polar cap (permanent CO2 cap and polar layered deposits), exhibit abundant, varied, and widespread deformational phenomena. Folding and boudinage are very common. Strike-slip or normal faults are rarer. Common in the vicinity of major troughs and scarps are signs of convergent flow tectonics manifested as wrinkle-ridge-like surface folds, thrust faults, and viscous forebulges with thin-skinned extensional crevasses and wrinkle-ridge folds. Such flow convergence is predicted by theory. Boudinage and folding at the 300-m wavelength scale, indicating rheologically contrasting materials, is widely exposed at deep levels along erosional scarps. Independent morphologic evidence indicates south polar materials of contrasting volatility. Hence, the south polar cap appears to be a multiphase structure of interbedded ices. The north polar cap locally also exhibits flow indicators, though they are neither as common nor as varied as in the south. The large-scale quasi-spiral structure of the polar caps could be a manifestation of large-scale boudinage. According to this scenario, deep-level boudinage continuously originates under the glacial divide (the polar cap summit). Rod-like boudin structures are oriented transverse to flow and migrate outward with the large-scale flow field. Troughs develop over areas between major boudins. A dynamic competition, and possibly a rough balance, develops between the local flow field in the vicinity of a trough (which tends to close the trough by lateral closure and upwelling flow) and sublimation erosion (which tends to widen and deepen them). Over time, the troughs flow to the margins of the polar cap where they, along with other polar structures, are destroyed by sublimation. Major ice types contributing to rheological and volatility layering may include, in order of highest to lowest mechanical strength, CO2 clathrate hydrate, water ice containing inert/insoluble dust, pure water ice, water ice containing traces of

  15. Tracking the Martian CO2 Polar Ice Caps in Infrared Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagstaff, Kiri L.; Castano, Rebecca; Chien, Steve

    2006-01-01

    Researchers at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed a method for automatically tracking the polar caps on Mars as they advance and recede each year (see figure). The seasonal Mars polar caps are composed mainly of CO2 ice and are therefore cold enough to stand out clearly in infrared data collected by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The Bimodal Image Temperature (BIT) histogram analysis algorithm analyzes raw, uncalibrated data to identify images that contain both "cold" ("polar cap") and "warm" ("not polar cap") pixels. The algorithm dynamically identifies the temperature that separates these two regions. This flexibility is critical, because in the absence of any calibration, the threshold temperature can vary significantly from image to image. Using the identified threshold, the algorithm classifies each pixel in the image as "polar cap" or "not polar cap," then identifies the image row that contains the spatial transition from "polar cap" to "not polar cap." While this method is useful for analyzing data that has already been returned by THEMIS, it has even more significance with respect to data that has not yet been collected. Instead of seeking the polar cap only in specific, targeted images, the simplicity and efficiency of this method makes it feasible for direct, onboard use. That is, THEMIS could continuously monitor its observations for any detections of the polar-cap edge, producing detections over a wide range of spatial and temporal conditions. This effort can greatly contribute to our understanding of long-term climatic change on Mars.

  16. Black carbon aerosols and the third polar ice cap

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, Surabi; Koch, Dorothy; Beig, Gufran; Sahu, Saroj; Fasullo, John; Orlikowski, Daniel

    2010-04-15

    Recent thinning of glaciers over the Himalayas (sometimes referred to as the third polar region) have raised concern on future water supplies since these glaciers supply water to large river systems that support millions of people inhabiting the surrounding areas. Black carbon (BC) aerosols, released from incomplete combustion, have been increasingly implicated as causing large changes in the hydrology and radiative forcing over Asia and its deposition on snow is thought to increase snow melt. In India BC emissions from biofuel combustion is highly prevalent and compared to other regions, BC aerosol amounts are high. Here, we quantify the impact of BC aerosols on snow cover and precipitation from 1990 to 2010 over the Indian subcontinental region using two different BC emission inventories. New estimates indicate that Indian BC emissions from coal and biofuel are large and transport is expected to expand rapidly in coming years. We show that over the Himalayas, from 1990 to 2000, simulated snow/ice cover decreases by {approx}0.9% due to aerosols. The contribution of the enhanced Indian BC to this decline is {approx}36%, similar to that simulated for 2000 to 2010. Spatial patterns of modeled changes in snow cover and precipitation are similar to observations (from 1990 to 2000), and are mainly obtained with the newer BC estimates.

  17. CO2 jets formed by sublimation beneath translucent slab ice in Mars' seasonal south polar ice cap.

    PubMed

    Kieffer, Hugh H; Christensen, Philip R; Titus, Timothy N

    2006-08-17

    The martian polar caps are among the most dynamic regions on Mars, growing substantially in winter as a significant fraction of the atmosphere freezes out in the form of CO2 ice. Unusual dark spots, fans and blotches form as the south-polar seasonal CO2 ice cap retreats during spring and summer. Small radial channel networks are often associated with the location of spots once the ice disappears. The spots have been proposed to be simply bare, defrosted ground; the formation of the channels has remained uncertain. Here we report infrared and visible observations that show that the spots and fans remain at CO2 ice temperatures well into summer, and must be granular materials that have been brought up to the surface of the ice, requiring a complex suite of processes to get them there. We propose that the seasonal ice cap forms an impermeable, translucent slab of CO2 ice that sublimates from the base, building up high-pressure gas beneath the slab. This gas levitates the ice, which eventually ruptures, producing high-velocity CO2 vents that erupt sand-sized grains in jets to form the spots and erode the channels. These processes are unlike any observed on Earth. PMID:16915284

  18. CO2 jets formed by sublimation beneath translucent slab ice in Mars' seasonal south polar ice cap

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kieffer, H.H.; Christensen, P.R.; Titus, T.N.

    2006-01-01

    The martian polar caps are among the most dynamic regions on Mars, growing substantially in winter as a significant fraction of the atmosphere freezes out in the form of CO2 ice. Unusual dark spots, fans and blotches form as the south-polar seasonal CO2 ice cap retreats during spring and summer. Small radial channel networks are often associated with the location of spots once the ice disappears. The spots have been proposed to be simply bare, defrosted ground; the formation of the channels has remained uncertain. Here we report infrared and visible observations that show that the spots and fans remain at CO2 ice temperatures well into summer, and must be granular materials that have been brought up to the surface of the ice, requiring a complex suite of processes to get them there. We propose that the seasonal ice cap forms an impermeable, translucent slab of CO2 ice that sublimates from the base, building up high-pressure gas beneath the slab. This gas levitates the ice, which eventually ruptures, producing high-velocity CO 2 vents that erupt sand-sized grains in jets to form the spots and erode the channels. These processes are unlike any observed on Earth. ?? 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

  19. A Case for Microorganisms on Comets, Europa and the Polar Ice Caps of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2003-01-01

    Microbial extremophiles live on Earth wherever there is liquid water and a source of energy. Observations by ground-based observatories, space missions, and satellites have provided strong evidence that water ice exists today on comets, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede and in the snow, permafrost, glaciers and polar ice caps of Mars. Studies of the cryoconite pools and ice bubble systems of Antarctica suggest that solar heating of dark rocks entrained in ice can cause localized melting of ice providing ideal conditions for the growth of microbial communities with the creation of micro-environments where trapped metabolic gasses produce entrained isolated atmospheres as in the Antarctic ice-bubble systems. It is suggested that these considerations indicate that several groups of microorganisms should be capable of episodic growth within liquid water envelopes surrounding dark rocks in cometary ices and the permafrost and polar caps of Mars. We discuss some of the types of microorganisms we have encountered within the permafrost and snow of Siberia, the cryoconite pools of Alaska, and frozen deep within the Antarctic ice sheet above Lake Vostok.

  20. IR spectral properties of dust and ice at the Mars south polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titus, T. N.; Kieffer, H. H.

    2001-11-01

    Removal of atmospheric dust effects is required to derive surface IR spectral emissivity. Commonly, the atmospheric-surface separation is based on radiative transfer (RT) spectral inversion methods using nadir-pointing observations. This methodology depends on a priori knowledge of the spectral shape of each atmospheric aerosol (e.g. dust or water ice) and a large thermal contrast between the surface and atmosphere. RT methods fail over the polar caps due to low thermal contrast between the atmosphere and the surface. We have used multi-angle Emission Phase Function (EPF) observations to estimate the opacity spectrum of dust over the springtime south polar cap and the underlying surface radiance, and thus, the surface emissivity. We include a few EPFs from Hellas Basin as a basis for comparisons between the spectral shape of polar and non-polar dust. Surface spectral emissivities over the seasonal cap are compared to CO2 models. Our results show that the spectral shape of the polar dust opacity is not constant, but is a two-parameter family that can be characterized by the 9 um and 20 um opacities. The 9 um opacity varies from 0.15 to 0.45 and characterizes the overall atmospheric conditions. The 9 um to 20 um opacity ratio varies from 2.0 to 5.1, suggesting changes in dust size distribution over the polar caps. Derived surface temperatures from the EPFs confirm that the slightly elevated temperatures (relative to CO2 frost temperature) observed in ``cryptic'' regions are a surface effect, not atmospheric. Comparison of broad-band reflectivity and surface emissivities to model spectra suggest the bright regions (e.g. perennial cap, Mountains of Mitchell) have higher albedos due to a thin surface layer of fine-grain CO2 (perhaps either frost or fractured ice) with an underlying layer of either coarse grain or slab CO2 ice.

  1. Mapping the Martian Polar Ice Caps: Applications of Terrestrial Optical Remote Sensing Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolin, A. W.

    1998-01-01

    With improvements in both instrumentation and algorithms, methods for mapping terrestrial snow cover using optical remote sensing data have progressed significantly over the past decade. Multispectral data can now be used to determine not only the presence or absence of snow but the fraction of snow cover in a pixel. Radiative transfer models have been used to quantify the nonlinear relationship between surface reflectance and grain size, thereby providing the basis for mapping snow grain size from surface reflectance images Because subpixel mixtures of snow and other land cover types create erroneous estimates of snow grain-size, the snow fraction information can be used in tandem with the grain size algorithm to limit its use to only those pixels that have complete snow cover. Model-derived characterization of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) provides the means for converting measured bidirectional reflectance to directional-hemispherical albedo. In recent work, this approach has allowed climatologists to examine the large-scale seasonal variability of albedo on the Greenland ice sheet. This seasonal albedo variability results from increases in snow grain size and exposure of the underlying ice cap as the seasonal snow cover ablates away. it will soon be possible to apply some of these terrestrial mapping methods to learn more about martian polar caps. What is most needed for this purpose is multispectral optical imagery. The extent and variability of the ice caps and their seasonal CO2 frost covering can be mapped with only a few spectral bands distributed through the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Imaging spectrometer data would provide the ability to quantify mineral-ice mixtures and to better characterize the martian atmosphere. These are both needed for albedo determinations while only the former is required for subpixel frost/ice mapping. Perhaps the most significant terrestrial mapping application is the potential use of

  2. Mars Water Ice and Carbon Dioxide Seasonal Polar Caps: GCM Modeling and Comparison with Mars Express Omega Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forget, F.; Levrard, B.; Montmessin, F.; Schmitt, B.; Doute, S.; Langevin, Y.; Bibring, J. P.

    2005-01-01

    To better understand the behavior of the Mars CO2 ice seasonal polar caps, and in particular interpret the the Mars Express Omega observations of the recession of the northern seasonal cap, we present some simulations of the Martian Climate/CO2 cycle/ water cycle as modeled by the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique (LMD) global climate model.

  3. Science goals for a Mars Polar Cap subsurface mission : optical approaches for investigations of inclusions in ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, Frank; Mogensen, Claus T.; Behar, Alberto; Engelhardt, Hermann; Lane, Arthur L.

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Polar Caps are highly interesting features of Mars and have received much recent attention with new and exciting data on morphology, basal units, and layered outcroppings. We have examined the climatological, glaciological, and geological issues associated with a subsurface exploration of the Mars North Polar Cap and have determined that a finescale optical examination of ice in a borehole, to examine the stratigraphy, geochemistry and geochronology of the ice, is feasible. This information will enable reconstruction of the development of the cap as well as prediction of the properties of its ice. We present visible imagery taken of dust inclusions in archived Greenland ice cores as well as in-situ images of accreted lithologic inclusions in West Antarctica, and we argue for use of this kind of data in Mars climate reconstruction as has been successful with Greenland and Antarctic ice core analysis. .

  4. Science goals for a Mars Polar Cap subsurface mission : optical approaches for investiagations of inclusions in ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mogensen, Claus T.; Carsey, Frank D.; Behar, Alberto; Engelhardt, Hermann; Lane, Arthur L.

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Polar Caps are highly interesting features of Mars and have received much recent attention with new and exciting data on morphology, basal units, and layered outcroppings. We have examined the climatological, glaciological, and geological issues associated with a subsurface exploration of the Mars North Polar Cap and have determined that a finescale optical examination of ice in a borehole, to examine the stratigraphy, geochemistry and geochronology of the ice, is feasible. This information will enable reconstruction of the development of the cap as well as predication of the properties of its ice. We present visible imagery taken of dust inclusions in archived Greenland ice cores as well as in-situ images of accreted lithologic inclusions in West Antarctica, and we argue for use of this kind of data in Mars climate reconstruction as has been successful with Greenland and Antarctic ice core anlaysis.

  5. Azimuthal Structure of the Sand Erg that Encircles the North Polar Water-Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, L. A.; Elphic, R. C.; Eke, V. R.; Feldman, W. C.; Maurice, S.; Pathare, A.

    2011-12-01

    The sand erg that completely encircles the perennial water-ice cap that covers the Martian north geographic pole displays considerable azimuthal structure as seen in visible and near-IR images. Much of this structure is associated with the terminations of the many steep troughs that cut spiral the approximately 3 km thick polar ice cap. Other contributions come from the katabatic winds that spill over steep-sided edges of the cap, such as what bounds the largest set of dunes that comprise Olympia Undae. During the spring and summer months when these winds initiate from the higher altitudes that contain sublimating CO2 ice, which is very cold and dry, heat adiabatically when they compress as they lose altitude. These winds should then remove H2O moisture from the uppermost layer of the sand dunes that are directly in their path. Two likely locations where this desiccation may occur preferentially is at the termination of Chasma Boreale and the ice cap at Olympia Undae. We will search for this effect by sharpening the spatial structure of the epithermal neutron counting rates measured at northern high latitudes using the Mars Odyssey Neutron Spectrometer (MONS). The epithermal range of neutron energies is nearly uniquely sensitive to the hydrogen content of surface soils, which should likely be in the form of H2O/OH molecules/radicals. We therefore convert epithermal counting rates in terms of Water-Equivalent-Hydrogen, WEH. However, MONS counting-rate data have a FWHM of ~550 km., which is sufficiently broad to prevent a close association of WEH variability with images of geological features. In this study, we reduce spurious features in the instrument smeared neutron counting rates through deconvolution. We choose the PIXON numerical deconvolution technique for this purpose. This technique uses a statistical approach (Pina 2001, Eke 2001), which is capable of removing spurious features in the data in the presence of noise. We have previously carried out a detailed

  6. Variability of Mars' North Polar Water Ice Cap: I. Analysis of Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter Imaging Data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bass, D.S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Paige, D.A.

    2000-01-01

    Previous studies interpreted differences in ice coverage between Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter observations of Mars' north residual polar cap as evidence of interannual variability of ice deposition on the cap. However, these investigators did not consider the possibility that there could be significant changes in the ice coverage within the northern residual cap over the course of the summer season. Our more comprehensive analysis of Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter imaging data shows that the appearance of the residual cap does not show large-scale variance on an interannual basis. Rather we find evidence that regions that were dark at the beginning of summer look bright by the end of summer and that this seasonal variation of the cap repeats from year to year. Our results suggest that this brightening was due to the deposition of newly formed water ice on the surface. We find that newly formed ice deposits in the summer season have the same red-to-violet band image ratios as permanently bright deposits within the residual cap. We believe the newly formed ice accumulates in a continuous layer. To constrain the minimum amount of deposited ice, we used observed albedo data in conjunction with calculations using Mie theory for single scattering and a delta-Eddington approximation of radiative transfer for multiple scattering. The brightening could have been produced by a minimum of (1) a ???35-??m-thick layer of 50-??m-sized ice particles with 10% dust or (2) a ???14-??m-thick layer of 10-??m-sized ice particles with 50% dust. ?? 2000 Academic Press.

  7. Influence of ice rheology and dust content on the dynamics of the north-polar cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greve, Ralf; Mahajan, Rupali A.

    2005-04-01

    The evolution and dynamics of the north-polar cap (residual-ice-cap/layered-deposits complex) of Mars is simulated with a thermomechanical ice-sheet model. We consider a scenario with ice-free initial conditions at 5 Ma before present due to the large obliquities which prevailed prior to this time. The north-polar cap is then built up to its present shape, driven by a parameterized climate forcing (surface temperature, surface mass balance) based on the obliquity and eccentricity history. The effects of different ice rheologies and different dust contents are investigated. It is found that the build-up scenarios require an accumulation rate of approximately 0.15-0.2 mm a -1 at present. The topography evolution is essentially independent of the ice dynamics due to the slow ice flow. Owing to the uncertainties associated with the ice rheology and the dust content, flow velocities can only be predicted within a range of two orders of magnitude. Likely present values are of the order of 0.1-1 mm a -1, and a strong variation over the climatic cycles is found. For all cases, computed basal temperatures are far below pressure melting.

  8. Polar Cap Formation on Ganymede

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pilcher, C. B.; Shaya, E. J.

    1985-01-01

    Since thermal migration is not an effective mechanism for water transport in the polar regions at the Galilean satellites, some other process must be responsible for the formation of Ganymede's polar caps. It is proposed that Ganymede's polar caps are the optical manifestation of a process that began with the distribution of an ice sheet over the surface of Ganymede. The combined processes of impact gardening and thermal migration led, in regions at latitudes less than 40 to 45 deg., to the burial of some fraction of this ice, the migration of some to the polar caps margins, and a depletion of free ice in the optical surface. At higher latitudes, no process was effective in removing ice from the optical surface, so the remanants of the sheet are visible today.

  9. The role of sublimation and condensation on the development of ice sedimentation waves on the North Polar Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herny, C.; Carpy, S.; Bourgeois, O.; Masse, M.; Spiga, A.; Le Mouélic, S.; Perret, L.; Smith, I. B.; Rodriguez, S.

    2015-10-01

    Mass and energy balance of ice sheets are driven by complex interactions between the atmosphere and the cryosphere. For instance, it has been demonstrated that feedbacks between katabatic winds and the cryosphere lead to the formation of sedimentation waves at the surface of Martian and terrestrial ice sheets [1, 2, 3 and 4]. Here we explore the role of sublimation and condensation of water vapor in the development of these sedimentation waves. We conduct this study by complementary observational and numerical investigations on the North Polar Cap of Mars.

  10. Polar cap formation on Ganymede

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaya, E. J.; Pilcher, C. B.

    1984-01-01

    It is argued that Ganymede's polar caps are the remnants of a more extensive covering of water ice that formed during a period in which the satellite was geologically active. It is inferred that the initial thickness of this covering was a significant fraction of the gardening depth since the covering formed. This suggests an initial thickness of at least a few meters over heavily cratered regions such as the south polar grooved terrain. The absence of similar polar caps on Callisto apparently reflects the absence of comparable geologic activity in the history of this satellite.

  11. Why is the north polar cap on Mars different than the south polar cap?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    One of the most puzzling mysteries about the planet Mars is the hemispherical asymmetry in the polar caps. Every spring the seasonal polar cap of CO2 recedes until the end of summer, when only a small part, the residual polar cap, remains. During the year that Viking observed Mars, the residual polar cap was composed of water ice in the northern hemisphere but was primarily carbon dioxide ice in the southern hemisphere. Scientists have sought to explain this asymmetry by modeling observations of the latitudinal recession of the polar cap and seasonal variations in atmospheric pressure (since the seasonal polar caps are primarily frozen atmosphere, they are directly related to changes in atmospheric mass). These models reproduce most aspects of the observed annual variation in atmospheric pressure fairly accurately. Furthermore, the predicted latitudinal recession of the northern polar cap in the spring agrees well with observations, including the fact that the CO2 ice is predicted to completely sublime away. However, these models all predict that the carbon dioxide ice will also sublime away during the summer in the southern hemisphere, unlike what is observed. This paper will show how the radiative effects of ozone, clouds, airborne dust, light penetration into and through the polar cap, and the dependence of albedo on solar zenith angle affect CO2 ice formation and sublimation, and how they help explain the hemispherical asymmetry in the residual polar caps. These effects have not been studied with prior polar cap models.

  12. Analysis of vanillic acid in polar ice cores as a biomass burning proxy - preliminary results from the Akademii Nauk Ice Cap in Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieman, M. M.; Jimenez, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Fritzsche, D.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2013-12-01

    Biomass burning influences global climate change and the composition of the atmosphere. The drivers, effects, and climate feedbacks related to fire are poorly understood. Many different proxies have been used to reconstruct past fire frequency from lake sediments and polar ice cores. Reconstruction of historical trends in biomass burning is challenging because of regional variability and the qualitative nature of various proxies. Vanillic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid) is a product of the combustion of conifer lignin that is known to occur in biomass burning aerosols. Biomass burning is likely the only significant source of vanillic acid in polar ice. In this study we describe an analytical method for quantifying vanillic acid in polar ice using HPLC with electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometric detection. The method has a detection limit of 100 pM and a precision of × 10% at the 100 pM level for analysis of 100 μl of ice melt water. The method was used to analyze more than 1000 discrete samples from the Akademii Nauk ice cap on Severnaya Zemlya in the high Russia Arctic (79°30'N, 97°45'E) (Fritzsche et al., 2002; Fritzsche et al., 2005; Weiler et al., 2005). The samples range in age over the past 2,000 years. The results show a mean vanillic acid concentration of 440 × 710 pM (1σ), with elevated levels during the periods from 300-600 and 1450-1550 C.E.

  13. Mars residual north polar cap - Earth-based spectroscopic confirmation of water ice as a major constituent and evidence for hydrated minerals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, R. N.; Mccord, T. B.

    1982-01-01

    A description is presented of new earth-based reflectance spectra of the Martian north residual polar cap. The spectra indicate that the composition is at least mostly water ice plus another component with a 'gray' reflectance. The other minerals in the ice cap appear to be hydrated. The data were obtained with a cooled circular variable filter spectrometer on February 20, 1978, using the 2.2-m telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. It is pointed out that the identification of water ice in the north polar cap alone does not indicate that water makes up all or even most of the bulk of the cap. Kieffer (1970) has shown that a small amount of water will mask the spectral features of CO2.

  14. Measurements of the north polar cap of Mars and the earth's Northern Hemisphere ice and snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1986-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the earth, the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960s when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. Data on the year to year variations in the extent of the north polar caps of Mars and earth have been assembled and compared, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  15. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This week we will be looking at five examples of laminar wind flow on the north polar cap. On Earth, gravity-driven south polar cap winds are termed 'catabatic' winds. Catabatic winds begin over the smooth expanse of the cap interior due to temperature differences between the atmosphere and the surface. Once begun, the winds sweep outward along the surface of the polar cap toward the sea. As the polar surface slopes down toward sealevel, the wind speeds increase. Catabatic wind speeds in the Antartic can reach several hundreds of miles per hour.

    In the images of the Martian north polar cap we can see these same type of winds. Notice the streamers of dust moving downslope over the darker trough sides, these streamers show the laminar flow regime coming off the cap. Within the trough we see turbulent clouds of dust, kicked up at the trough base as the winds slow down and enter a chaotic flow regime.

    The horizontal lines in these images are due to framelet overlap and lighting conditions over the bright polar cap.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 86.5, Longitude 64.5 East (295.5 West). 40 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation

  16. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This week we will be looking at five examples of laminar wind flow on the north polar cap. On Earth, gravity-driven south polar cap winds are termed 'catabatic' winds. Catabatic winds begin over the smooth expanse of the cap interior due to temperature differences between the atmosphere and the surface. Once begun, the winds sweep outward along the surface of the polar cap toward the sea. As the polar surface slopes down toward sealevel, the wind speeds increase. Catabatic wind speeds in the Antartic can reach several hundreds of miles per hour.

    In the images of the Martian north polar cap we can see these same type of winds. Notice the streamers of dust moving downslope over the darker trough sides, these streamers show the laminar flow regime coming off the cap. Within the trough we see turbulent clouds of dust, kicked up at the trough base as the winds slow down and enter a chaotic flow regime.

    The horizontal lines in these images are due to framelet overlap and lighting conditions over the bright polar cap.

    Image information:VIS instrument. Latitude 86.5, longitude 57.4 East (302.6 West). 40 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is

  17. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This week we will be looking at five examples of laminar wind flow on the north polar cap. On Earth, gravity-driven south polar cap winds are termed 'catabatic' winds. Catabatic winds begin over the smooth expanse of the cap interior due to temperature differences between the atmosphere and the surface. Once begun, the winds sweep outward along the surface of the polar cap toward the sea. As the polar surface slopes down toward sealevel, the wind speeds increase. Catabatic wind speeds in the Antartic can reach several hundreds of miles per hour.

    In the images of the Martian north polar cap we can see these same type of winds. Notice the streamers of dust moving downslope over the darker trough sides, these streamers show the laminar flow regime coming off the cap. Within the trough we see turbulent clouds of dust, kicked up at the trough base as the winds slow down and enter a chaotic flow regime.

    The horizontal lines in these images are due to framelet overlap and lighting conditions over the bright polar cap.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 84.3, Longitude 314.4 East (45.6 West). 40 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation

  18. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This week we will be looking at five examples of laminar wind flow on the north polar cap. On Earth, gravity-driven south polar cap winds are termed 'catabatic' winds. Catabatic winds begin over the smooth expanse of the cap interior due to temperature differences between the atmosphere and the surface. Once begun, the winds sweep outward along the surface of the polar cap toward the sea. As the polar surface slopes down toward sealevel, the wind speeds increase. Catabatic wind speeds in the Antartic can reach several hundreds of miles per hour.

    In the images of the Martian north polar cap we can see these same type of winds. Notice the streamers of dust moving downslope over the darker trough sides, these streamers show the laminar flow regime coming off the cap. Within the trough we see turbulent clouds of dust, kicked up at the trough base as the winds slow down and enter a chaotic flow regime.

    The horizontal lines in these images are due to framelet overlap and lighting conditions over the bright polar cap.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 84.2, Longitude 57.4 East (302.6 West). 40 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation

  19. Melting probes as a means to access the subsurface of Mars' polar caps and Jupiter's ice moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Funke, O.; Engelhardt, M.

    There is a high scientific interest in exploring certain planetary icy environments in the solar system (Mars' polar caps, Europa and other icy satellites) motivated by the search for traces of life in these extreme environments as well as interest in planetary climate history as in the case of Mars. A promising technique to penetrate thick ice layers with small and reliable probes which do not require the heavy, complex and expensive equipment of a drilling rig is by melting. Contamination avoidance with respect to planetary protection requirements can be fulfilled using melting probes, since the melting channel refreezes behind the probe and shuts off the contact to the surface; also, in-situ decontamination of the probe is possible. Melting probes can be equipped with a suite of scientific instruments that are capable e.g. of determining the chemical and isotopic composition of the embedded or dissolved materials, of the ices themselves, of the dust content and possible traces of indigenous biological activity. Due to the still rather high energy demand to overcome the melting enthalpy, in case of extraterrestrial application (e.g. Europa or polar caps of Mars), only heating with radioactive isotopes seems feasible for reaching greater depths. The necessary power is driven by the desired penetration velocity (linearly) and the dimensions of the probe (proportional to the cross section). On Mars, however, solar cells could be used to power small tethered melting probes in polar summer. While such probes have successfully been used for terrestrial applications, e.g., in Antarctica in the 1990ies, the technology is not yet mature for space applications; for example, the behaviour in vacuum (below the triple point pressure of water, i.e., 611 Pa) needs to be assessed. We will report briefly on our laboratory tests with melting probes in vacuum and under very low temperatures to this end. Practical issues (impact of dust on the performance, gravity dependence

  20. Analog experiments on the formation of spiral troughs on the North Polar Ice cap of Mars : Layered deposits emplaced by cyclic steps on ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokokawa, M.; Izumi, N.; Naito, K.; Shimizu, H.; Yamada, T.; Greve, R.

    2012-12-01

    The spiral troughs observed on the Mars' North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) show intriguing features that contain a detailed stratigraphic record of surface processes in Mars' recent polar history. SHARAD radar data showed that the troughs have migrated as much as 65 km towards the north during the accumulation of the uppermost ~ 600 m of NPLD (Smith and Holt, 2010). Though they are suspected to have some relation with katabatic wind blowing on the ice cap, it has not been known how the spiral troughs are formed in detail. From their features, the spiral troughs may possibly be cyclic steps formed by a density current created by cooling of the atmosphere due to ice (Smith and Holt, 2010). Cyclic steps are spatially periodic bedforms where each wavelength is delineated by an upstream and downstream hydraulic jump. They migrate upstream keeping the same wavelength. Recently cyclic steps have been reported from various environments on the Earth, such as fluvial and deep-sea settings, and in various bed materials, such as bedrock, non-cohesive sediments, and cohesive sediments (e.g., Kostic et al., 2010). Smith et al (2011) have demonstrated that numerical simulation with a cyclic step model can show reasonable consistency with an observed migration rate. In this study, we have performed a series of physical experiments analogous to the formation of cyclic steps on ice by density currents. The experiments were conducted using the cold laboratory of the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University. In the case of Mars, sublimation by katabatic winds results in erosion in some places and in the other places, water included in the atmosphere blowing on ice is sublimated to become ice and deposited on the bed covered with ice. In order to model this process, we used a hydrophobic liquid that include water but do not freeze even below the ice point, i.e., mixture of silicon oil (20cS) and water (0.5 - 30 volume % of water) whose freezing point is -0.7 degrees

  1. Martian north polar water ice clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D.

    2000-01-01

    The Viking Orbiter determined that the surface of Mars' northern residual cap consists of water ice. An examination of north polar water-ice clouds could lend insight into the fate of the water vapor during this time period.

  2. What Lies Below a Martian Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger annotated version

    This image (top) taken by the Shallow Radar instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals the layers of ice, sand and dust that make up the north polar ice cap on Mars. It is the most detailed look to date at the insides of this ice cap. The colored map below the radar picture shows the topography of the corresponding Martian terrain (red and white represent higher ground, and green and yellow lower).

    The radar image reveals four never-before-seen thick layers of ice and dust separated by layers of nearly pure ice. According to scientists, these thick ice-free layers represent approximately one-million-year-long cycles of climate change on Mars caused by variations in the planet's tilted axis and its eccentric orbit around the sun. Adding up the entire stack of ice gives an estimated age for the north polar ice cap of about 4 million years a finding that agrees with previous theoretical estimates. The ice cap is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.

    The radar picture also shows that the boundary between the ice layers and the surface of Mars underneath is relatively flat (bottom white line on the right). This implies that the surface of Mars is not sagging, or bending, under the weight of the ice cap and this, in turn, suggests that the planet's lithosphere, a combination of the crust and the strong parts of the upper mantle, is thicker than previously thought.

    A thicker lithosphere on Mars means that temperatures increase more gradually with depth toward the interior. Temperatures warm enough for water to be liquid are therefore deeper than previously thought. Likewise, if liquid water does exist in aquifers below the surface of Mars, and if there are any organisms living in that water, they would have to be located deeper in the planet.

    The topography data are from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, which was flown on NASA's Mars Global

  3. Evaporites on Ice: Experimental Assessment of Evaporites Formation on Antarctica (and on Martian North Polar Residual Cap)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Derkowski, Arkadiusz; Skala, Aleksander; Trzcinski, Jerzy

    2016-04-01

    Evaporites are highly water soluble minerals, formed as a result of the evaporation or freezing of bodies of water. They are common weathering minerals found on rocks (including meteorites) on Antarctic ice sheet [1,2,3,4]. The water necessary for the reaction is produced by melting of ice below the dark-colored meteorites which can heat up to a few degrees above 0 °C due to insolation heating during wind-free summer days [5,6]. The Martian North Polar Residual Cap is surrounded by a young [7] dune field that is rich in evaporitic mineral: gypsum [8]. Its existence implies that relatively recently in the Martian history (in late Amazonian, when surface conditions were comparable to the current ones) there was a significant amount of liquid water present on the Mars surface. One of the proposed solutions to this problem is that gypsum is formed by weathering on/in ice [9,10,11,12,13], similarly to the process occurring on the Antarctic ice sheet. Recently, Losiak et al. 2015 showed that that during the warmest days of the Martian summer, solar irradiation may be sufficient to melt pure water ice located below a layer of dark dust particles lying on the steepest sections of the equator-facing slopes of the spiral troughs within Martian NPRC. Under the current irradiation conditions, melting is possible in very restricted areas of the NPRC and it lasts for up to couple of hours, but during the times of high irradiance at the north pole [15] this process could have been much more pronounced. Liquid water can be metastable at the NPRC because the pressure during the summer season is ~760-650 Pa [16] which is above the triple point of water. The rate of free-surface "clean" liquid water evaporation under average Martian conditions determined experimentally by [17] is comparable to the rate of melting determined by [21] (if there is no wind at the surface). In the current study we attempt to determine experimentally how many melting-freezing cycles are required to form

  4. Polar Cap Pits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    17 August 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows kidney bean-shaped pits, and other pits, formed by erosion in a landscape of frozen carbon dioxide. This images shows one of about a dozen different patterns that are common in various locations across the martian south polar residual cap, an area that has been receiving intense scrutiny by the MGS MOC this year, because it is visible on every orbit and in daylight for most of 2005.

    Location near: 86.9oS, 6.9oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  5. Volatile-rich Crater Interior Deposits in the Polar Regions of Mars: Evidence for Ice Cap Advance and Retreat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Patrick S.; Head, James W.; Hecht, Michael H.

    2003-01-01

    Many craters on Mars are partially filled by distinctive material emplaced by post-impact processes. This crater fill material is an interior mound which is generally separated from the walls of the crater by a trough that may be continuous along the crater circumference (i.e. a ring-shaped trough), or which may only partially contact the crater walls (i.e. a crescent-shaped trough). The fill deposit is frequently offset from the crater center and may be asymmetric in plan view. Populations of such craters include those in the circum-south polar cap region, in Arabia Terra, associated with the Medusae Fossae Formation, and in the northern lowlands proximal to the north polar cap. We focus on those craters in circumpolar regions and assess their relationship to polar cap advance and retreat, especially the possibility that fill material represents remnants of a formerly larger contiguous cap. Volatile-rich deposits have the property of being modifiable by the local stability of the solid volatile, which is governed by local energy balance. Here we test the hypothesis that asymmetries in volatile fill shape, profile, and center-location within a crater result from asymmetries in local energy balance within the crater, due mainly to variation of solar insolation and radiative effects of the crater walls over the crater interior. Model profiles of crater fill are compared with MOLA topographic profiles to assess this hypothesis. If asymmetry in morphology and location of crater fill are consistent with radiative-dominated asymmetries in energy budget within the crater, then 1) the volatile-rich composition of the fill is supported (this process should not be effective at shaping volcanic or sedimentary deposits), and 2) the dominant factor determining the observed shape of volatile-rich crater fill is the local radiative energy budget (and erosive processes such as eolian deflation are secondary or unnecessary). We also use a geographic and energy model approach to

  6. Northern Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 13 May 2004 This nighttime visible color image was collected on November 26, 2002 during the Northern Summer season near the North Polar Cap Edge.

    The THEMIS VIS camera is capable of capturing color images of the martian surface using its five different color filters. In this mode of operation, the spatial resolution and coverage of the image must be reduced to accommodate the additional data volume produced from the use of multiple filters. To make a color image, three of the five filter images (each in grayscale) are selected. Each is contrast enhanced and then converted to a red, green, or blue intensity image. These three images are then combined to produce a full color, single image. Because the THEMIS color filters don't span the full range of colors seen by the human eye, a color THEMIS image does not represent true color. Also, because each single-filter image is contrast enhanced before inclusion in the three-color image, the apparent color variation of the scene is exaggerated. Nevertheless, the color variation that does appear is representative of some change in color, however subtle, in the actual scene. Note that the long edges of THEMIS color images typically contain color artifacts that do not represent surface variation.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 80, Longitude 43.2 East (316.8 West). 38 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for

  7. Polar Cap Colors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 12 May 2004 This daytime visible color image was collected on June 6, 2003 during the Southern Spring season near the South Polar Cap Edge.

    The THEMIS VIS camera is capable of capturing color images of the martian surface using its five different color filters. In this mode of operation, the spatial resolution and coverage of the image must be reduced to accommodate the additional data volume produced from the use of multiple filters. To make a color image, three of the five filter images (each in grayscale) are selected. Each is contrast enhanced and then converted to a red, green, or blue intensity image. These three images are then combined to produce a full color, single image. Because the THEMIS color filters don't span the full range of colors seen by the human eye, a color THEMIS image does not represent true color. Also, because each single-filter image is contrast enhanced before inclusion in the three-color image, the apparent color variation of the scene is exaggerated. Nevertheless, the color variation that does appear is representative of some change in color, however subtle, in the actual scene. Note that the long edges of THEMIS color images typically contain color artifacts that do not represent surface variation.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -77.8, Longitude 195 East (165 West). 38 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA

  8. Creation of polar cap patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, K.; Taguchi, S.; Ogawa, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Polar cap patches, which are islands of enhanced plasma density drifting anti-sunward, are one of the outstanding phenomena in the polar cap F region ionosphere. In the last decade, data from all-sky airglow imagers have been extensively used for better understanding the propagation of patches in the central polar cap region. But still, it has been rather difficult to capture the birth of patches in their generation region near the dayside cusp, because, in most places, the dayside part of the polar cap ionosphere is sunlit even in winter. In Longyearbyen (78.1N, 15.5E), Norway, however, optical observations are possible near the dayside cusp region in a limited period around the winter solstice. This enables us to directly image how polar cap patches are born in the cusp. In this paper, we present a few intervals of daytime optical observations, during which polar cap patches were generated within the field-of-view of an all-sky imager in Longyearbyen. During all the intervals studied here, we identified several signatures of poleward moving auroral forms (PMAF) in the equatorward half of the field-of-view, which are known as ionospheric manifestations of dayside reconnection. Interestingly, patches were directly produced from such poleward moving auroral signatures and propagated poleward along the anti-sunward convection near the cusp. In the literature, Lorentzen et al. (2012) first reported such a direct production of patches from PMAFs. During the current observations, however, we succeeded in tracking the propagation of patches until they reached the poleward edge of the field-of-view of the imager. This confirms that the faint airglow structures produced from PMAFs were actually transported for a long distance towards the central polar cap area; thus, polar cap patches were produced. From this set of observations, we suggest that polar cap patches during moderately disturbed conditions (i.e, non-storm time conditions) can be directly produced by the

  9. South Polar Cap, Summer 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This is the south polar cap of Mars as it appeared to the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on April 17, 2000. In winter and early spring, this entire scene would be covered by frost. In summer, the cap shrinks to its minimum size, as shown here. Even though it is summer, observations made by the Viking orbiters in the 1970s showed that the south polar cap remains cold enough that the polar frost (seen here as white) consists of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide freezes at temperatures around -125o C (-193o F). Mid-summer afternoon sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left from about 11.2o above the horizon. Soon the cap will experience sunsets; by June 2000, this pole will be in autumn, and the area covered by frost will begin to grow. Winter will return to the south polar region in December 2000. The polar cap from left to right is about 420 km (260 mi) across.

  10. Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ananichheva, Maria; Arendt, Anthony; Hagen, Jon-Ove; Hock, Regine; Josberger, Edward G.; Moore, R. Dan; Pfeffer, William Tad; Wolken, Gabriel J.

    2011-01-01

    Projections of future rates of mass loss from mountain glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic focus primarily on projections of changes in the surface mass balance. Current models are not yet capable of making realistic forecasts of changes in losses by calving. Surface mass balance models are forced with downscaled output from climate models driven by forcing scenarios that make assumptions about the future rate of growth of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Thus, mass loss projections vary considerably, depending on the forcing scenario used and the climate model from which climate projections are derived. A new study in which a surface mass balance model is driven by output from ten general circulation models (GCMs) forced by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) A1B emissions scenario yields estimates of total mass loss of between 51 and 136 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE) (or 13% to 36% of current glacier volume) by 2100. This implies that there will still be substantial glacier mass in the Arctic in 2100 and that Arctic mountain glaciers and ice caps will continue to influence global sea-level change well into the 22nd century.

  11. The Enigmatic Martian Polar Caps

    SciTech Connect

    James, Philip

    2005-08-17

    The Martian polar caps have puzzled astronomers for over a century. Extensive study by many instruments on various spacecraft has resolved many questions but has at the same time created a new generation of puzzles. The polar caps are intimately coupled to the current Martian climate and volatile cycles. They also hold clues to climate variations on a variety of longer time scales. The results of recent missions will be reviewed, and the potential outlook for resolution of the outstanding questions will be examined.

  12. North Polar Water-ice Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Smith, M. D.; Bass, DS

    2002-09-01

    Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) limb sounding and nadir pointed data in the north polar region of Mars have been analyzed during northern spring and summer to find water-ice clouds. There has been uncertainty about the amount of water cycling in and out of the polar region, 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). Bass et al. (2000) re-examined Viking data and found that 14-35 pr microns of water -ice appeared to be deposited on the cap later in the summer season. This deposition could be due to adsorption directly onto the cap surface or due to snowfall. In addition, Viking IRTM albedo and MAWD water vapor data were examined throughout this season (Bass and Paige, 2000), and water vapor was observed to increase in the cap area as the residual cap brightened. The possibility that some of the water is seasonally sequestered in water-ice clouds and may allow later precipitation had not been previously considered. 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 cloud identifications have been made in the north polar region during the MGS era (M. Smith, pers. comm., 2001). The detection of water-ice clouds over a cold surface is difficult (Tamppari et al., 2000) and during northern spring, the CO2 cap is retreating. Therefore, it is advantageous to examine TES limb-pointed observations over the seasonal polar cap regions and to combine those data with nadir-pointed data over the non-frost covered areas. We are examining these two data sets together to identify and track water-ice clouds and current results will be presented.

  13. South Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 28 May 2004 This image was collected February 29, 2004 during the end of southern summer season. The local time at the location of the image was about 2 pm. The image shows an area in the South Polar region.

    The THEMIS VIS camera is capable of capturing color images of the martian surface using its five different color filters. In this mode of operation, the spatial resolution and coverage of the image must be reduced to accommodate the additional data volume produced from the use of multiple filters. To make a color image, three of the five filter images (each in grayscale) are selected. Each is contrast enhanced and then converted to a red, green, or blue intensity image. These three images are then combined to produce a full color, single image. Because the THEMIS color filters don't span the full range of colors seen by the human eye, a color THEMIS image does not represent true color. Also, because each single-filter image is contrast enhanced before inclusion in the three-color image, the apparent color variation of the scene is exaggerated. Nevertheless, the color variation that does appear is representative of some change in color, however subtle, in the actual scene. Note that the long edges of THEMIS color images typically contain color artifacts that do not represent surface variation.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -84.7, Longitude 9.3 East (350.7 West). 38 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet

  14. Mars South Polar Cap 'Fingerprint' Terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

    Some portions of the martian south polar residual cap have long, somewhat curved troughs instead of circular pits. These appear to form in a layer of material that may be different than that in which 'swiss cheese' circles and pits form, and none of these features has any analog in the north polar cap or elsewhere on Mars. This picture shows the 'fingerprint' terrain as a series of long, narrow depressions considered to have formed by collapse and widening by sublimation of ice. Unlike the north polar cap, the south polar region stays cold enough in summer to retain frozen carbon dioxide. Viking Orbiter observations during the late 1970s showed that very little water vapor comes off the south polar cap during summer, indicating that any frozen water that might be there remains solid throughout the year.

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image was obtained in early southern spring on August 4, 1999. It shows an area 3 x 5 kilometers (1.9 x 3.1 miles) at a resolution of about 7.3 meters (24 ft) per pixel. Located near 86.0oS, 53.9oW.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  15. High-Resolution South Polar Cap Mosaics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The layered terrains of the polar regions of Mars are among the most exotic planetary landscapes in our Solar System. The layers exposed in the south polar residual cap, vividly shown in the top view, are thought to contain detailed records of Mars' climate history over the last 100 million years or so. The materials that comprise the south polar layers may include frozen carbon dioxide, water ice, and fine dust. The bottom picture shows complex erosional patterns that have developed on the south polar cap, perhaps by a combination of sublimation, wind erosion, and ground-collapse. Because the south polar terrains are so strange and new to human eyes, no one (yet) has entirely adequate explanations as to what is being seen.

    These images were acquired by the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft during the southern spring season in October 1999. Each of these two pictures is a mosaic of many individual MOC images acquired at about 12 m/pixel scale that completely cover the highest latitude (87oS) visible to MOC on each orbital pass over the polar region. Both mosaics cover areas of about 10 x 4 kilometers (6.2 x 2.5 miles) near 87oS, 10oW in the central region of the permanent--or residual--south polar cap. They show features at the scale of a small house. Sunlight illuminates each scene from the left.'Gaps' at the upper and lower right of the second mosaic, above, are areas that were not covered by MOC in October 1999.

  16. Mapping of the water ice content within the Martian surficial soil on the periphery of the retreating seasonal northern polar cap based on the TES and the OMEGA data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzmin, R. O.; Zabalueva, E. V.; Evdokimova, N. A.; Christensen, P. R.

    2012-11-01

    Analysis of seasonal data from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) shows a significant increase in thermal inertia during autumn, winter and spring in the middle and high latitudes of Mars. At each stage of the northern seasonal polar cap's recession in spring a distinct high thermal inertia (HTI) annulus arises around the cap's edge. Within this annulus, we estimated and mapped the springtime water ice content in the daily thermal skin depth layer using spring and summer values of the thermal inertia in TES surface footprints. The results show that the average water content in the surface soil within the HTI annulus varies from ˜5 vol % at the early stages of the seasonal polar cap retreating (Ls = 340°-360°) to ˜1 vol % at later stages (Ls = 60°-70°). Maximum values of water ice content within the HTI annulus occur at Ls = 0°-20° (2-6 vol %) and Ls = 20°-40° (4-10 vol %). We analyzed the temporal and spatial relationship between the HTI annuli and the water ice (WI) annuli at the edge of the northern seasonal polar cap. The water ice within the WI annuli was mapped using a water ice spectral index (the absorption band depth at the 1.5 μm wavelength) derived from the OMEGA (Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité) imaging spectrometer aboard the Mars Express spacecraft. Recent OMEGA observations show that the WI annuli formation arises only around the retreating northern seasonal polar cap, never around the retreating southern seasonal cap. For this reason our study is confined only to the northern hemisphere. The observed relationship between the HTI and WI annuli in the northern hemisphere of Mars indicates a close physical interdependence between these two phenomena. Our results confirm that the seasonal permafrost exposed by the retreating northern polar cap (within the HTI annuli) is actively involved today in the condensation and sublimation processes in the modern water cycle on Mars. The water

  17. South Polar Cap Erosion and Aprons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

    While Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images have shown that the north and south polar cap surfaces are very different from each other, one thing that the two have in common is that they both seem to have been eroded. Erosion in the north appears mostly to come in the form of pits from which ice probably sublimed to vapor and was transported away from the polar cap by wind. Erosion in the south takes on a wider range of possible processes that include collapse, slumping and mass-movement on slopes, and probably sublimation. Among the landforms created by these process on the south polar cap are the 'aprons' that surround mesas and buttes of remnant layers such as the two almost triangular features in the lower quarter of this image. The upper slopes of the two triangular features show a stair-stepped pattern that suggest these hills are layered.

    This image shows part of the south polar residual cap near 86.9oS, 78.5oW, and covers an area approximately 1.2 by 1.0 kilometers (0.7 x 0.6 miles) in size. The image has a resolution of 2.2 meters per pixel. The picture was taken on September 11, 1999.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  18. Martian polar and circum-polar sulfate-bearing deposits: Sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massé, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Verpoorter, C.; Le Deit, L.; Bibring, J. P.

    2010-10-01

    Previous spectroscopic studies have shown the presence of hydrated minerals in various kinds of sedimentary accumulations covering and encircling the martian North Polar Cap. More specifically, gypsum, a hydrated calcium sulfate, has been detected on Olympia Planum, a restricted part of the Circum-Polar Dune Field. To further constrain the geographical distribution and the process of formation and accumulation of these hydrated minerals, we performed an integrated morphological, structural and compositional analysis of a key area where hydrated minerals were detected and where the main polar landforms are present. By the development of a spectral processing method based on spectral derivation and by the acquisition of laboratory spectra of gypsum-ice mixtures we find that gypsum-bearing sediment is not restricted to the Olympia Planum dunes but is also present in all kinds of superficial sediment covering the surface of the North Polar Cap and the Circum-Polar Dune Field. Spectral signatures consistent with perchlorates are also detected on these deposits. The interpretation of landforms reveals that this gypsum-bearing sediment was released from the ice cap by sublimation. We thus infer that gypsum crystals that are now present in the Circum-Polar Dune Field derive from the interior of the North Polar Cap. Gypsum crystals that were initially trapped in the ice cap have been released by sublimation of the ice and have accumulated in the form of ablation tills at the surface of the ice cap. These gypsum-bearing sublimation tills are reworked by winds and are transported towards the Circum-Polar Dune Field. Comparison with sulfates found in terrestrial glaciers suggests that gypsum crystals in the martian North Polar Cap have formed by weathering of dust particles, either in the atmosphere prior to their deposition during the formation of the ice cap, and/or in the ice cap after their deposition.

  19. The hemispherical asymmetry of the residual polar caps on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1991-01-01

    A model of the polar caps of Mars was created which allows: (1) for light penetration into the cap; (2) ice albedo to vary with age, latitude, hemisphere, dust content, and solar zenith angle; and (3) for diurnal variability. The model includes the radiative effects of clouds and dust, and heat transport as represented by a thermal wind. The model reproduces polar cap regression data very well, including the survival of CO2 frost at the south pole and reproduces the general trend in the Viking Lander pressure data.

  20. Effects of Atmospheric Dust on Residual South Polar Cap Stability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonrv, B. P.; Bjorkman, J. E.; Hansen, G. B.; James, P. B.; Wolff, M. J.

    2005-01-01

    The Martian polar caps have been studied from the time of Herschel. Neither polar cap normally disappears in summer. The Residual North Polar Cap (portion that remains through summer) is composed of a mixture of water ice and dust, and its interannual stability is due to its low sublimation rate at the summer temperatures in the North Polar Region. The Residual South Polar Cap (RSPC) is more enigmatic, surviving the relatively hot perihelic summer season despite being composed of much more volatile CO2. It is able to do so because of its unusually high albedo, which is larger than that of other bright regions in the seasonal cap (e.g. Mountains of Mitchel). The proximity of the albedo of the RSPC to the critical albedo for stability raises the question of whether the RSPC exists in every Martian year. The ground based record is somewhat ambivalent. Douglass and Lowell reported that RSPC suddenly vanished at Ls=297deg in 1894 and did not reappear until Ls=0deg [1], and Kuiper reported that it disappeared in 1956 [2]; but both observations were questioned by contemporaries, who tended to attribute them to obscuring dust. Barker [3] reported a large amount of water vapor over the south polar cap in 1969 that could be attributed to exposure of near surface water ice during partial removal of the CO2 in the RSPC in 1969.

  1. Periodicities of polar cap patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, K.; Taguchi, S.; Ogawa, Y.; Aoki, T.

    2013-01-01

    A highly sensitive all-sky electron multiplier charge-coupled device airglow imager has been operative in Longyearbyen, Norway since October 2011. The imager captures 630.0 nm all-sky images with an exposure time of 4 s, which is about 10 times shorter than that achieved by conventional cooled CCD imagers. This allows us to visualize the structure of polar cap patches without blurring effects and better estimate their periodicities. We present, as one of the first results from the imager, an event of successive appearance of patches on the night of 21 December 2011. A time series of the optical intensity at zenith showed modulations having two distinguished periods, one at 40 min and the other at 5-12 min. One possible explanation is that such a coexistence of two different periodicities is a manifestation of simultaneous occurrence of patch generation processes on the 40 min periodicity was created by large-scale reconfiguration of the dayside convection pattern while the 5-12 min modulations were closely associated with mechanisms driven by pulsed reconnection on the dayside magnetopause. Such a combined effect of multiple patch generation processes may play a role in structuring patches; thus, it would be of particular importance for evaluating the space weather effects in the trans-ionospheric communications environment in the polar cap.

  2. Multi-Year Monitoring of Ices, Frost and Dust in Mars Polar Caps from VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langevin, Y.; Appéré, T.; Schmidt, F.; Douté, S.; Pilorget, C.; Vincendon, M.; Bibring, J.-P.; Schmitt, B.; Brown, A. J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Russell, P.; Titus, T. N.; Pommerol, A.; Gondet, B.; Seelos, K. D.

    2014-07-01

    Mex/OMEGA and MRO/CRISM, operating since 01/2004 and 11/2006, have played a major role in revealing the complexity and strong spatial variegation of polar processes on Mars, in relationship with seasonal and long term atmospheric evolution.

  3. Martian circumpolar sulfate-rich deposits: sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masse, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Verpoorter, C.; Le Deit, L.

    2009-12-01

    The North Polar Cap of Mars is an accumulation of ice layers with various amounts of interstratified dust particles. A dune field surrounds this polar cap. On one of the densest part of this dune field, Olympia Undae, Langevin et al. (Science, 2005) have detected calcium-rich sulfates (gypsum). To constrain the origin of these gypsum deposits, we performed an integrated morphological, structural and compositional analyses of a key area where it is possible to see the circum-polar dune field, the surface of the ice cap and a cross-section through the ice cap. The mineralogical composition of this area is investigated by applying a spectral derivative method to data acquired by OMEGA and CRISM hyperspectral imaging spectrometers. These are compared to laboratory spectra of ice-gypsum mixtures in simulated martian pressure and temperature conditions. We find that dunes of the circumpolar field and dust interstratified in the ice cap have the same composition. Both contain gypsum. Landforms produced by sublimation of ice are also visible on dust-rich layers of the ice cap. We therefore infer that the superficial circumpolar dust deposits correspond to a sublimation till produced by the ice cap. Circumpolar gypsum-rich deposits thus derive directly from the ice cap. Gypsum crystals are released at the surface of the cap as the ice sublimes. This material is then reworked by winds and forms the circumpolar dunes. There are two hypotheses for the ultimate origin of the gypsum crystals. (1) Pre-existing gypsum crystals might have been deposited together with ice crystals during the formation of the ice cap. (2) Authigenic gypsum crystals might have grown within the ice cap by weathering of dust trapped in the ice. The second hypothesis is consistent with the existence of authigenic sulfate inclusions in terrestrial polar ice (Ohno et al., GRL, 2006) and with the formation process suggested by Niles et al. (Nature, 2009) for martian equatorial sulfates.

  4. Edge of polar cap patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, K.; Taguchi, S.; Ogawa, Y.

    2016-04-01

    On the night of 4 December 2013, a sequence of polar cap patches was captured by an all-sky airglow imager (ASI) in Longyearbyen, Norway (78.1°N, 15.5°E). The 630.0 nm airglow images from the ASI of 4 second exposure time, oversampled the emission of natural lifetime (with quenching) of at least ˜30 sec, introduce no observational blurring effects. By using such high-quality ASI images, we succeeded in visualizing an asymmetry in the gradients between the leading/trailing edges of the patches in a 2-D fashion. The gradient in the leading edge was found to be 2-3 times steeper than that in the trailing edge. We also identified fingerlike structures, appearing only along the trailing edge of the patches, whose horizontal scale size ranged from 55 to 210 km. These fingers are considered to be manifestations of plasma structuring through the gradient-drift instability (GDI), which is known to occur only along the trailing edge of patches. That is, the current 2-D observations visualized, for the first time, how GDI stirs the patch plasma and such a mixing process makes the trailing edge more gradual. This result strongly implies a close connection between the GDI-driven plasma stirring and the asymmetry in the large-scale shape of patches and then suggests that the fingerlike structures can be used as markers to estimate the fine-scale structure in the plasma flow within patches.

  5. A Warmer Atmosphere on Mars Near the Noachian-Hesperian Boundary: Evidence from Basal Melting of the South Polar Ice Cap (Dorsa Argentea Formation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastook, J. L.; Head, J. W.; Marchant, D. R.; Forget, F.; Madeleine, J.-B.

    2011-03-01

    Dorsa Argentea Formation (Noachian-Hesperian) eskers are evidence for basal melting. Ice-flow models show that the mean annual south polar temperature must be raised to -50° to -75°C, providing an independent estimate of elevated lower latitude surface temperature.

  6. Thermal cracking of CO2 slab ice as the main driving force for albedo increase of the martian seasonal polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, S.; Schmitt, B.; Beck, P.; Brissaud, O.

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the microphysical processes occuring on the Martian seasonal cap is critical since their radiative properties can affect the martian climate. A well documented phenomenom is the albedo increase of the Martian seasonal caps during spring, Fig.1. There are a lot of hypotheses that have been proposed as an explanation for this observation : the decrease of the CO2 grain size [2], a cleaning process of the CO2 slab that would imply either the sinking or the ejection of the dust contained in its volume ([1], [2], [5]), a water-layer accumulation on the top of the slab [5], the role played by aerosols [2] etc ... So far, no experimental simulations have been realized to discriminate between these processes. We designed an experiment to investigate the hypothesis of CO2 ice grain size decrease through thermal cracking as well as that of dust segregation as the possible reasons for albedo increase.

  7. The effect of polar caps on obliquity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1993-01-01

    Rubincam has shown that the Martian obliquity is dependent on the seasonal polar caps. In particular, Rubincam analytically derived this dependence and showed that the change in obliquity is directly proportional to the seasonal polar cap mass. Rubincam concludes that seasonal friction does not appear to have changed Mars' climate significantly. Using a computer model for the evolution of the Martian atmosphere, Haberle et al. have made a convincing case for the possibility of huge polar caps, about 10 times the mass of the current polar caps, that exist for a significant fraction of the planet's history. Since Rubincam showed that the effect of seasonal friction on obliquity is directly proportional to polar cap mass, a scenario with a ten-fold increase in polar cap mass over a significant fraction of the planet's history would result in a secular increase in Mars' obliquity of perhaps 10 degrees. Hence, the Rubincam conclusion of an insignificant contribution to Mars' climate by seasonal friction may be incorrect. Furthermore, if seasonal friction is an important consideration in the obliquity of Mars, this would significantly alter the predictions of past obliquity.

  8. Acoustic Monitoring of the Arctic Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. L.; Goemmer, S. A.; Chayes, D. N.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction The monitoring of the Arctic Ice Cap is important economically, tactically, and strategically. In the scenario of ice cap retreat, new paths of commerce open, e.g. waterways from Northern Europe to the Far East. Where ship-going commerce is conducted, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have always stood guard and been prepared to assist from acts of nature and of man. It is imperative that in addition to measuring the ice from satellites, e.g. Icesat, that we have an ability to measure the ice extent, its thickness, and roughness. These parameters play an important part in the modeling of the ice and the processes that control its growth or shrinking and its thickness. The proposed system consists of three subsystems. The first subsystem is an acoustic source, the second is an array of geophones and the third is a system to supply energy and transmit the results back to the analysis laboratory. The subsystems are described below. We conclude with a plan on how to tackle this project and the payoff to the ice cap modeler and hence the users, i.e. commerce and defense. System Two historically tested methods to generate a large amplitude multi-frequency sound source include explosives and air guns. A new method developed and tested by the University of Texas, ARL is a combustive Sound Source [Wilson, et al., 1995]. The combustive sound source is a submerged combustion chamber that is filled with the byproducts of the electrolysis of sea water, i.e. Hydrogen and Oxygen, an explosive mixture which is ignited via a spark. Thus, no additional compressors, gases, or explosives need to be transported to the Arctic to generate an acoustic pulse capable of the sediment and the ice. The second subsystem would be geophones capable of listening in the O(10 Hz) range and transmitting that data back to the laboratory. Thus two single arrays of geophones arranged orthogonal to each other with a range of 1000's of kilometers and a combustive sound source where the two

  9. O+ transport across the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, H. A.; Jahn, J.; Pollock, C. J.; Moore, T. E.; Horwitz, J. L.

    2006-12-01

    The plasma sheet, inner magnetosphere, and high latitude magnetosphere all contain significant amounts of O+ ions during active times. Singly charged oxygen ions unambiguously come from the ionosphere making them an excellent tracer species. As the solar wind dynamic pressure increases, the O+ density in the in the cleft, high altitude polar cap, and plasma sheet also increases. We test the "cleft ion fountain" model, which asserts that O+ ions escape from the cleft, cross the polar cap, and then enter the plasma sheet against a mo of outflows originating from the entire polar cap. We use observations of O+ transport across the polar cap from TIDE polar cap ion outflow measurements. The Tsyganenko magnetic field model, driven with ACE solar wind parameters is used to provide magnetic mapping and organization of the observations. We calculate the distance between the cleft and the foot-points of magnetic field lines mapped from the Polar spacecraft along the noon-midnight meridian. Using the observed outflow speed and magnetic field line length we calculate travel time for the ions. We then plot the distance from the cleft versus the travel time for an entire pass. For O+ this plot is quite linear, and the slope of the line is the average convection speed of the magnetic field lines across the polar cap. The convection speed we determined is consistent with the convection speed measured in the ionosphere. We conclude that O+ ions emanating principally from the cleft are transported across the polar cap, and these O+ ions have access to the ring current and plasma sheet.

  10. Polar gypsum on Mars : wind-driven exhumation from the North Polar Cap and redistribution in the Circumpolar Dune Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masse, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Verpoorter, C.; Le Deit, L.; Mercier, E.; Bibring, J.

    2010-12-01

    The North Polar Cap of Mars is associated with different kinds of superficial sediments, including the Circumpolar Dune Field and sedimentary veneers scattered over the ice cap. In order to resolve the mineralogical composition of these sediments, we processed OMEGA and CRISM hyperspectral data with an original method based on spectral derivation (Huguenin and Jones, 1986). We find that gypsum is present in all areas where undefined hydrated minerals had been previously detected (Poulet et al., 2008; Horgan et al., 2009; Calvin et al., 2010), including the superficial sedimentary veneers found on the North Polar Cap and the whole Circumpolar Dune Field. Integrated morphological and structural analyses reveal that these gypsum crystals derive directly from the interior of the ice cap (Massé et al., 2010). The source of sedimentary veneers is the dust that was previously contained in the upper part of the ice cap, the ice-rich North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD). This gypsum-bearing dust was exhumed, on south-facing slopes of spiral troughs and arcuate scarps, by ice ablation induced by katabatic winds. By the analysis of all associations of erosional scarps and dune fields over the North Polar Cap, we also demonstrate that the source of the polar dunes are sand-sized particles that were previously contained in the sediment-rich BU (Basal Unit), corresponding to the lower part of the ice cap. These particles were exhumed from the BU, by regressive ablation of the ice at marginal scarps that border the North Polar Cap, or by vertical ablation of the ice on Olympia Planum. From a reconstruction of wind flow lines over and around the ice cap, we infer that katabatic winds descending from the polar high and rotating around the North Polar Cap are responsible for the exhumation of this gypsum-bearing sand and for its redistribution in the Circumpolar Dune Field. The intensity of gypsum diagnostic spectral absorption bands decreases along wind flow lines in the

  11. Devon island ice cap: core stratigraphy and paleoclimate.

    PubMed

    Koerner, R M

    1977-04-01

    Valuable paleoclimatic information can be gained by studying the distribution of melt layers in deep ice cores. A profile representing the percentage of ice in melt layers in a core drilled from the Devon Island ice cap plotted against both time and depth shows that the ice cap has experienced a period of very warm summers since 1925, following a period of colder summers between about 1600 and 1925. The earlier period was coldest between 1680 and 1730. There is a high correlation between the melt-layer ice percentage and the mass balance of the ice cap. The relation between them suggests that the ice cap mass balance was zero (accumulation equaled ablation) during the colder period but is negative in the present warmer one. There is no firm evidence of a present cooling trend in the summer conditions on the ice cap. A comparison with the melt-layer ice percentage in cores from the other major Canadian Arctic ice caps shows that the variation of summer conditions found for the Devon Island ice cap is representative for all the large ice caps for about 90 percent of the time. There is also a good correlation between melt-layer percentage and summer sea-ice conditions in the archipelago. This suggests that the search for the northwest passage was influenced by changing climate, with the 19th-century peak of the often tragic exploration coinciding with a period of very cold summers. PMID:17733504

  12. Polar cap precursor of nightside auroral oval intensifications using polar cap arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Ying; Nishimura, Yukitoshi; Lyons, Larry R.; Donovan, Eric F.; Shiokawa, Kazuo; Ruohoniemi, J. Michael; McWilliams, Kathryn A.; Nishitani, Nozomu

    2015-12-01

    Recent radar and optical observations suggested that localized fast flows in the polar cap precede disturbances within the nightside auroral oval. However, how commonly this connection occurs has been difficult to examine due to limited coverage of radar flow measurements and diffuse and dim nature of airglow patches. Polar cap arcs are also associated with fast flows in the polar cap and appear much brighter than patches, allowing evaluation of the interaction between polar cap structures and nightside aurora more definitively. We have surveyed data during six winter seasons and selected quasi-steady polar cap arcs lasting >1 h. Thirty-four arcs are found, and for the majority (~85%) of them, as they extend equatorward from high latitude, their contact with the nightside auroral poleward boundary is associated with new and substantial intensifications within the oval. These intensifications are localized (< ~1 h magnetic local time (MLT)) and statistically occur within 10 min and ±1 h MLT from the contact. They appear as poleward boundary intensifications in a thick auroral oval or an intensification of the only resolvable arc within a thin oval, and the latter can also exhibit substantial poleward expansion. When radar echoes are available, they corroborate the association of polar cap arcs with localized enhanced antisunward flows. That the observed oval intensifications are major disturbances that only occur after the impingement of polar cap arcs and near the contact longitude suggest that they are triggered by localized fast flows coming from deep in the polar cap.

  13. Determining surface elevation change of small ice caps on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, D. P.; Schenk, A.; Csatho, B. M.; Nagarajan, S.; Briner, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Among the hundreds of small ice caps that dot the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet, several (such as Sukkertoppen, North Ice Cap, and Flade Isbrink) have been flown multiple times by the NASA Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). Although highly resolved, these flights cover only a small portion of each ice cap surface. In this work we introduce ICESat as a complementary sensor to estimate surface elevation change over a larger area. Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change detection (SERAC) is a method that has been successfully applied to several cases where fusion of multisensory data is required to reconstruct surface topography. The method is based on fitting analytical functions to laser points within repeat tracks or cross-over areas and provides high resolution, precise changes in surface topography along with a rigorous error estimate of the reconstructed elevation changes. In this study we apply SERAC to precisely reconstruct surface change for multiple ice caps using ATM and ICESat data through multiple time epochs. Small ice caps that surround the Greenland ice sheet reside at relatively low elevation and respond quickly to climate forcing. Moreover, dynamic thinning processes are comparatively limited in the ice caps when compared to the ice sheet proper. Small ice caps and alpine glaciers and expected to provide the largest contribution to eustatic sea-level rise over the coming century. There is therefore an urgent need to develop and maintain an inventory of small ice cap mass balance, especially those that surround the large ice sheets.

  14. Eddy intrustion of hot plasma into the polar cap and formation of polar-cap arcs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, Y. T.; Gorney, D. J.

    1983-01-01

    Under the simple postulate that multiple large scale detachable magnetospheric convection eddies can exist in the vicinity of the convection reversal boundary and in the polar cap, by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability or otherwise, it is shown that a number of seemingly disconnected plasma and electric field observations in the polar cap can be organized into a theory of magnetosheath and plasmasheet plasma intrusion into the polar cap. Current theory of inverted V structures then predicts existence of similar, but weaker, structures at the eddy convection reversal boundaries in the polar cap. A possible consequence is that the polar cap auroras are natural offshoots from discrete oval arcs and evidently are formed by similar processes. The two arc systems can occassionally produce an optical image in the form of the theta aurora.

  15. INFLUENCE OF THE POLAR CAP CURRENT ON PULSAR POLARIZATION

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, D.; Gangadhara, R. T. E-mail: ganga@iiap.res.in

    2012-07-20

    We have developed a model for the polarization of curvature radiation by taking into account the polar-cap-current-induced perturbation on the dipolar magnetic field. We present the effects of the polar cap current on the pulsar radio emission in an artificial case when the rotation effects, such as aberration and retardation, are absent. Our model indicates that the intensity components and the polarization angle inflection point can be shifted to either the leading or the trailing side depending upon the prevailing conditions in the viewing geometry, the non-uniformity in source distribution (modulation), and the polar-cap-current-induced perturbation. Also, we find evidence for the origin of symmetric-type circular polarization in addition to the antisymmetric type. Our model predicts a stronger trailing component compared to that on the leading side of a given cone under some specific conditions.

  16. Spatial variability in the seasonal south polar CAP of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvin, Wendy M.; Martin, Terry Z.

    1994-10-01

    The first comprehensive discussion of the south seasonal polar cap spectra obtained by the Mariner 7 infrared spectrometer in the short-wavelength region (2-4 microns) is presented. The infrared spectra is correlated with images acquired by the wide-angle camera. Significant spectral variation is noted in the cap interior and regions of varying water frost abundance, CO2 ice/frost cover, and CO2-ice path length can be distinguished. Many of these spectral variations correlate with heterogeneity noted in the camera images, but certain significant infrared spectral variations are not discernible in the visible. Simple reflectance models are used to classify the observed spectral variations into four regions. Region I is at the cap edge, where there is enhanced absorption beyond 3 microns inferred to be caused by an increased abundance of water frost. The increase in water abundance over that in the interior is on the level of a few parts per thousand or less. Region II is the typical cap interior characterized by spectral features of CO2 ice at grain sizes of several millimeters to centimeters. These spectra also indicate the presence of water frost at the parts per thousand level. A third, unusual region (III), is defined by three spectra in which weak CO2 absorption features are as much as twice as strong as in the average cap spectra and are assumed to be caused by an increased path length in the CO2. Such large paths are inconsistent with the high reflectance in the visible and at 2.2 microns and suggest layered structures or deposition conditions that are not accounted for in current reflectance models. The final region (IV) is an area of thinning frost coverage or transparent ice well in the interior of the seasonal cap. These spectra are a combination of CO2 and ground signatures.

  17. Grain metamorphism in polar nitrogen ice on Triton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, James B.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1989-01-01

    The rate of nitrogen grain growth on putative N2-rich polar caps on Triton is calculated. For most plausible assumptions of independent variables, mean grain sizes in polar N2 are meter-scale. Triton's polar caps should constitute the definitive solar-system test bed for the process of ice grain metamorphism. Interpretation of data already in hand may require long path length through condensed N2, possibly due to grain growth. Upcoming Voyager data may clarify the situation, although possible complications in detecting a glaze of N2 ice exist.

  18. Energetic particles over Io's polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. J.; Thorne, R. M.

    2003-11-01

    We present results obtained from the Galileo satellite's Energetic Particles Detector during its final two encounters in 2001 with Jupiter's moon Io. These encounters returned the first data from just above Io's polar caps. They complement previous low-latitude data and provide a new perspective of Io's interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere and ionosphere. The evolution of electron and ion distributions was measured from the upstream region throughout the polar cap traversals. From the time of initial field contact with Io and continuing throughout the encounter these distributions evolve in a manner consistent with adiabatic motion along the Io-Jupiter field line. At encounter all particles develop narrow trapped-like distributions indicative of the creation of a near-Io magnetic bottle caused by an enhancement of field at Io's upstream surface. The measured pitch angle distributions indicate a field enhancement of up to 10%-15% higher than the field observed at Galileo's position. Distribution evolution times agree roughly with particle bounce times on the Io-Jupiter field line. The ion distribution evolution times provide an estimate of ˜3-7 km/s for the field line convection speed across Io's polar caps, a value small (˜10%) compared with the upstream convection speed. Along with these trapped distributions, beams of ions and electrons are observed streaming into Io's polar caps throughout the encounters. The continued observation of ion beams across the polar cap is consistent with their half-bounce times. The data further indicate that the convection speed may vary as the polar cap is traversed. The one exception to the adiabatic particle behavior discussed above is the observation of intense electron beams streaming into Io's polar caps. The polar cap electron beams are similar to those previously measured in Io's wake [, 1996] and apparently originate from the same source. The source has been located at low (˜0.5 RJ) altitudes on the Io-Jupiter field

  19. The Mars water cycle at other epochs - Recent history of the polar caps and layered terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1993-01-01

    A numerical model is presented of the integrated role of seasonal water cycle on the evolution of polar deposits on Mars over the last 10 million years. From the model, it is concluded that the only major difference between the polar caps which affects their long-term behavior is ultimately the difference in their elevations. Because of that difference, there is a preference for CO2 frost to stay longer on the northern polar cap. The average difference in sublimation at the caps results in a net south-to-north transport of water ice over long time scales. Superimposed on any long-term behavior is a transfer of water ice between the caps on the 10 exp 5 - 10 exp 6 yr time scales. The amount of water exchanged is small compared to the total ice content of the polar deposits.

  20. Plasma structuring in the polar cap

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, S.; Basu, S.; Weber, E.J.; Bishop, G.J.

    1990-01-01

    Propagation experiments providing scintillation, total electron content and drift data in the field of view of an all-sky imager near the magnetic polar in Greenland are utilized to investigate the manner in which ionospheric plasma becomes structured within the polar cap. It is found that under IMF Bz southward conditions, large scale ionization patches which are convected through the dayside cusp into the polar cap get continually structured. The structuring occurs through the ExB gradient drift instability process which operates through an interaction between the antisunward plasma convection in the neutral rest frame and large scale plasma density gradients that exist at the edges of the ionization patches. It is shown that with the increase of solar activity the strength of the irregularities integrated through the ionosphere is greatly increased. Under the IMF Bz northward conditions, the plasma structuring occurs around the polar cap arcs in the presence of inhomogeneous electric field or disordered plasma convection. In that case, the irregularity generation is caused by the competing processes of non-linear Kelvin-Helmholtz instability driven by sheared plasma flows and the gradient drift instability process which operates in the presence of dawn-dusk motion of arc structures. The integrated strength of this class of irregularities also exhibits marked increase with increasing solar activity presumably because the ambient plasma density over the polar cap is enhanced.

  1. Polar Rain Gradients and Field-Aligned Polar Cap Potentials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fairfield, D. H.; Wing, S.; Newell, P. T.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Gosling, J. T.; Skoug, R. M.

    2008-01-01

    ACE SWEPAM measurements of solar wind field-aligned electrons have been compared with simultaneous measurements of polar rain electrons precipitating over the polar cap and detected by DMSP spacecraft. Such comparisons allow investigation of cross-polarcap gradients in the intensity of otherwise-steady polar rain. The generally good agreement of the distribution functions, f, from the two data sources confirms that direct entry of solar electrons along open field lines is indeed the cause of polar rain. The agreement between the data sets is typically best on the side of the polar cap with most intense polar rain but the DMSP f's in less intense regions can be brought into agreement with ACE measurements by shifting all energies by a fixed amounts that range from tens to several hundred eV. In most cases these shifts are positive which implies that field-aligned potentials of these amounts exist on polar cap field lines which tend to retard the entry of electrons and produce the observed gradients. These retarding potentials undoubtedly appear in order to prevent the entry of low-energy electrons and maintain charge quasi-neutrality that would otherwise be violated since most tailward flowing magnetosheath ions are unable to follow polar rain electrons down to the polar cap. In more limited regions near the boundary of the polar cap there is sometimes evidence for field-aligned potentials of the opposite sign that accelerate polar rain electrons. A solar electron burst is also studied and it is concluded that electrons from such bursts can enter the magnetotail and precipitate in the same manner as polar rain.

  2. The polar cap environment of outflowing O(+)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horwitz, J. L.; Pollock, C. J.; Moore, T. E.; Peterson, W. K.; Burch, J. L.; Winningham, J. D.; Craven, J. D.; Frank, L. A.; Persoon, A.

    1992-01-01

    The properties of the core (0-50 eV) and 'energetic' (0-1 keV) ions, plasma waves, and auroral images obtained from Dynamics Explorer 1 (DE-1) and those of electrons, obtained from DE-2, are examined in the context of the polar cap environment. Results indicate the presence of two populations: high-speed (10-30 eV, or higher, streaming energies) polar beams and low-speed (generally less than 10-eV streaming energies) streams. The high-speed polar beams show an auroral connection (i.e., they are observed on or near the field lines threading auroral arcs), while the low-speed streams are on or near the field lines threading the dark polar cap and may be converted from the cleft ion fountain. Compared to the high-speed streams, the low-speed streams are significantly more stable with respect to energy and flux.

  3. The Residual South Polar Cap of Mars: Stable or Transitory?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glenar, David A.; Bonev, B. P.; Hansen, G. B.; James, P. B.; Bjorkman, J. E.

    2006-09-01

    It remains uncertain whether the CO2 residual south polar cap (RSPC) is a permanent feature of the present Mars climate, or whether it occasionally sublimes completely during years marked by dramatic dust storm activity. While there is no firm evidence for complete disappearance of the cap in the past, observations show that the residual cap lost significant CO2 material in the spring / summer season prior to the Mariner 9 encounter. On the other hand, little interannual change has been observed in the RSPC during the MGS mission [1], despite the massive early-spring dust storm which occurred in 2001. We discuss whether a global dust storm beginning near perihelion could enhance the net CO2 sublimation sufficiently to completely remove the RSPC. We utilize a surface-plus-aerosol radiative transfer model under conditions of both modest and heavy atmospheric dust loading. The sublimination behavior depends critically on the extended (visible to thermal IR) albedo spectrum of the polar CO2 ice, which we have strongly constrained [2] from a combination of HST photometric imaging, ground based near-IR imaging spectroscopy and spectroscopic measurements by the Mars Express PFS. The extension of the cap spectrum to thermal IR wavelengths was accomplished by forward modeling using a semi-infinite grid of scattering grains. Results of this analysis depend on the strength of possible feedback mechanisms (increased surface dust content; exposure of water ice) as well as on the possibility of dust confinement by the polar vortex; but the general conclusion is that it would require multiple, intense dust storms in a given year in order to completely remove the CO2 ice veneer layer. This work has been supported by the NASA Planetary Astronomy and Mars Data Analysis Programs. [1] Benson and James, Icarus 174, 513, 2005; [2] Bonev et al., Planet Space Sci. 2006 (accepted).

  4. Seasonal aldedo variations on the Martian north polar cap as seen by MGS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, Amy S.; Bass, Deborah S; Tamppari, Leslie K.

    2003-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars' northern redisual cap is water ice. Many researchers have related observed atmospheric water vapor abundances to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, but the extent to which the exchange between the surface and the atmosphere remains uncertain.

  5. Sunlight penetration through the Martian polar caps: Effects on the thermal and frost budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1992-01-01

    An energy balance model of the seasonal polar caps on Mars is modified to include penetration of solar radiation into and through the ice. Penetration of solar radiation has no effect on subsurface temperature or total frost sublimation if seasonal ice overlies a dust surface. An effect is noted for seasonal ice which overlies the residual polar caps. For the case of an exposed water-ice residual polar cap, the temperature at depth is calculated to be up to several degrees warmer and the calculated lifetime of seasonal CO2 frost is slightly lower when penetration of sunlight is properly treated in the model. For the case of a residual polar cap which is perennially covered by CO2 frost, the calculated lifetime of seasonal CO2 frost is very slightly increased as a result of sunlight penetration through the ice. Hence, penetration of sunlight into the ice helps to stabilize the observed dichotomy in the residual polar caps on Mars, although it is a small effect.

  6. Sunlight penetration through the Martian polar caps - Effects on the thermal and frost budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard L.

    1992-01-01

    An energy balance model of the seasonal polar caps on Mars is modified to include penetration of solar radiation into and through the ice. Penetration of solar radiation has no effect on subsurface temperature or total frost sublimation if seasonal ice overlies a dust surface. An effect is noted for seasonal ice which overlies the residual polar caps. For the case of an exposed water-ice residual polar cap, the temperature at depth is calculated to be up to several degrees warmer, and the calculated lifetime of seasonal CO2 frost is slightly lower when penetration of sunlight is properly treated in the model. For the case of a residual polar cap which is perennially covered by CO2 frost, the calculated lifetime of seasonal CO2 frost is very slightly increased as a result of sunlight penetration through the ice. Hence, penetration of sunlight into the ice helps to stabilize the observed dichotomy in the residual polar caps on Mars, although it is a small effect.

  7. Lobe cell convection and polar cap precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, S.; Peria, W. J.; Bonnell, J. W.; Su, Y.-J.; Ergun, R. E.; Tung, Y.-K.; Parks, G. K.; Carlson, C. W.

    2003-05-01

    The characteristic electric and magnetic field signature of lobe cells as observed by the low-altitude FAST satellite in 55 dawn-dusk passes are compared with Polar ultraviolet images of polar cap auroral activity. Initial results from 34 events of UV image coverage suggest that there is an intimate coupling between the sunward convection flow of the lobe cell and transpolar auroral arcs or diffuse polar cap precipitation in ˜62% of these cases. However, in some cases where the field signatures are suggestive of lobe cell convection, there is no detectable particle precipitation either in Polar UVI or the FAST data sets. Moreover, the presence of lobe cells coincide with UV data intensifications in the premidnight 2000-2400 MLT sector and/or the postnoon 1500 MLT region in ˜59% of all cases with UVI coverage. The magnetic local time dependence of the lobe cells and polar cap precipitation on the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) are examined using the upstream Wind monitor. The relative importance of the IMF By and Bz components are investigated and compared with the predictions of the antiparallel merging model and strongly suggests a connection with the magnetospheric sash, as is further implied by the mapping of magnetic field lines using the [2002] (T01) model. It was also noted that a majority of lobe cell events occurred during enhanced AE index substorm-like conditions and that generally stronger AE indices are measured for stronger IMF By magnitudes during these events.

  8. Fourier spectra from exoplanets with polar caps and ocean glint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visser, P. M.; van de Bult, F. J.

    2015-07-01

    Context. The weak orbital-phase dependent reflection signal of an exoplanet contains information on the planet surface, such as the distribution of continents and oceans on terrestrial planets. This light curve is usually studied in the time domain, but because the signal from a stationary surface is (quasi)periodic, analysis of the Fourier series may provide an alternative, complementary approach. Aims: We study Fourier spectra from reflected light curves for geometrically simple configurations. Depending on its atmospheric properties, a rotating planet in the habitable zone could have circular polar ice caps. Tidally locked planets, on the other hand, may have symmetric circular oceans facing the star. These cases are interesting because the high-albedo contrast at the sharp edges of the ice-sheets and the glint from the host star in the ocean may produce recognizable light curves with orbital periodicity, which could also be interpreted in the Fourier domain. Methods: We derive a simple general expression for the Fourier coefficients of a quasiperiodic light curve in terms of the albedo map of a Lambertian planet surface. Analytic expressions for light curves and their spectra are calculated for idealized situations, and dependence of the spectral peaks on the key parameters inclination, obliquity, and cap size is studied. Results: The ice-scattering and ocean glint contributions can be separated out, because the coefficients for glint are all positive, whereas ice sheets lead to even-numbered, higher harmonics. An in-view polar cap on a planet without axial tilt only produces a single peak. The special situation of edge-on observation, which is important for planets in transit, leads to the most pronounced spectral behavior. Then the respective spectra from planets with a circumventing ocean, a circular ocean (eyeball world), polar caps, and rings, have characteristic power-law tails n-2, n-7/2, n-4, and (-1)n + 1n-2. Conclusions: Promising recently discovered

  9. Polar Cap Precursor of Nightside Auroral Oval Intensifications Using Polar Cap Arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Y.; Nishimura, T.; Lyons, L. R.; Donovan, E.; Shiokawa, K.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; McWilliams, K. A.; Nishitani, N.

    2015-12-01

    Recent radar and optical observations have revealed that localized fast flows in the polar cap can closely relate to disturbances within the nightside auroral oval. However, how commonly this connection occurs has been difficult to examine due to limited coverage of radar flow measurements and diffuse and dim nature of airglow patches. This question can now be addressed by using polar cap arcs, which are also associated with fast flows and appear much brighter than patches, allowing evaluation of the interaction between polar cap flows and nightside aurora more definitively. Utilizing an array of high-resolution 630.0 nm all-sky imagers, we have selected quasi-steady polar cap arcs lasting >1 h from six winter seasons. Thirty four arcs are found and for the majority (~85%) of them, as they extend equatorward from magnetic pole, their contact with the nightside auroral poleward boundary is associated with new and substantial intensifications within the oval, in contrast to the otherwise quiet oval. These intensifications are localized (<~1 h MLT) and statistically occur within 10 min and ±1 h MLT from the contact. They appear as poleward boundary intensifications (PBIs) in a thick auroral oval or an intensification of the only resolvable arc in a thin oval, and the latter can also exhibit substantial poleward expansion. When radar echoes are available, they corroborate the association of polar cap arcs with localized enhanced anti-sunward polar cap flows. That the observed oval intensifications are major disturbances that only occur after and initiate near the impingement of polar cap arcs suggest that they are triggered by localized fast flows coming from deep in the polar cap. Such observation suggests that meso-scale fast flows in the lobe can traverse the open-closed field line boundary through enhanced magnetic reconnection and closely couple with disturbances in the plasma sheet.

  10. Correlation between south polar cap composition from OMEGA/MEX data and geomorphologic units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangold, N.; Poulet, F.; Forget, F.; Gendrin, A.; Gondet, B.; Langevin, Y.; Schmitt, B.; Bibring, J.-P.; OMEGA, Team

    A series of observations covering the south polar cap and part of the surrounding terrains have been recorded in the first weeks of OMEGA operation. From these first observations nearly pure H2O ice has been discovered in several areas surrounding the bright cap on which CO2 ice is mainly concentrated. A strong correlation exists between these compositional units and geomorphic features observed on MOC images acquired during the summer of the south hemisphere. As postulated by previous studies using MOC and THEMIS data, CO2 ice is strongly correlated with the geomorphic features called swiss-cheese terrains characterized by quasi-circular depressions. H2O ice, devoid of any CO2 ice, is observed with OMEGA in the periphery of these these swiss-cheese terrains. These H2O ice terrains on MOC images are very smooth and only affected by polygonal cracks which likely result of thermal contraction. The CO2 ice is apparently superimposed on these H2O ice layers confirming that the CO2 ice cap is restricted to a thin layer of few meters thick. Outside of the bright cap, patches of H2O ice are observed with OMEGA in correlation with grooved homogeneous surfaces on MOC images. They represent part of an H2O ice cap devoid of any overlying CO2 units which suggests an extension of the cap far beyond the bright polar cap. Preliminary results of the modeling of the sublimation processes of these different ices units will be presented.

  11. Lithospheric Loading by the Northern Polar CAP on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, C. L.; Solomon, S. C.; Head, J. W.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    1999-03-01

    Loading of the martian lithosphere by the northern polar cap is investigated using elastic and viscoelastic models and constraints from MOLA data and geology. Implications for basement topography, polar cap volume and the gravity field are discussed.

  12. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharp, Marin; Wolken, G.; Burgess, D.; Cogley, J.G.; Copland, L.; Thomson, L.; Arendt, A.; Wouters, B.; Kohler, J.; Andreassen, L.M.; O'Neel, Shad; Pelto, M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps cover an area of over 400 000 km2 in the Arctic, and are a major influence on global sea level (Gardner et al. 2011, 2013; Jacob et al. 2012). They gain mass by snow accumulation and lose mass by meltwater runoff. Where they terminate in water (ocean or lake), they also lose mass by iceberg calving. The climatic mass balance (Bclim, the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual meltwater runoff) is a widely used index of how glaciers respond to climate variability and change. The total mass balance (ΔM) is defined as the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual mass losses (by iceberg calving plus runoff).

  13. Recrystallization Diagram for Polar Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Azuma, Nobuhiko; Faria, Sérgio H.

    2014-05-01

    Ice is the most frequent mineral on the Earth's surface, however experiences conditions comparable to silicate minerals at high metamorphic grades. In all natural conditions ice is a hot material with homologous temperatures between 0.9 and 0.7 at least. Under such circumstances recrystallization plays a decisive role in governing the state and thus the behaviour of the material. This has been recognized and interpreted in many ice cores in the last decades (Faria et al. in press a) assigning recrystallization regimes to ice sheet depth ranges. This assignment made use of microstructure observations (mainly grain size) and estimated boundary conditions (temperature and stress/strain amounts) which change systematically with depth. To generalize the use of recrystallization regimes we decouple their occurrence from the ice sheet depth information and connect them directly to the activators and causes: strain rate and temperature (Faria et al. in press b). References: Faria, S. H.; Weikusat, I. & Azuma, N. The Microstructure of Polar Ice. Part I: Highlights from ice core research. Journal of Structural Geology , in press a, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2013.09.010 Faria, S. H.; Weikusat, I. & Azuma, N. The Microstructure of Polar Ice. Part II: State of the Art .Journal of Structural Geology , in press b, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2013.11.003

  14. Lobe Cell Convection and Polar cap Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, S.; Peria, W. J.; Su, Y.; Ergun, R. E.; Tung, Y.; Parks, G.; Carlson, C. W.

    2002-12-01

    The characteristic electric and magnetic field signature of lobe cells as observed by the low-altitude FAST satellite are compared with Polar ultraviolet images of polar cap auroral activity. Initial results from 55 events suggest that there is an intimate coupling between the sunward convection flow of the lobe cell and transpolar auroral arcs or diffuse polar cap precipitation. Moreover, the presence of lobe cells coincide with UV data intensifications in the premidnight 2100-2400 MLT sector and/or the postnoon 1500 MLT region in ~54% of all cases with UVI coverage. The magnetic local time dependence of the lobe cells and polar cap precipitation on the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) are examined using the upstream Wind monitor. The relative importance of the IMF By and Bz components are investigated and compared with the predictions of the antiparallel merging model and strongly suggests a connection with the magnetospheric sash, as is further implied by the mapping of magnetic field lines using the Tsyganenko [2002] (T01) model. It was also noted that a majority of events occurred during enhanced AE index substorm-like conditions and that generally stronger AE indices are measured for stronger IMF By magnitudes.

  15. The Martian North Polar Cap in Summer - One Year Later

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    In the middle of January 2001, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) completed one Mars year in its 380 km-high (236 mi) mapping orbit. The mapping orbit was originally achieved in late February 1999. In March of that year, MGS conducted a series of operations in preparation for full-up mapping, first calibrating its scientific instruments and then operating in a mode in which the high gain antenna was held fixed against the body of the spacecraft. During this Fixed High Gain Antenna period, 'contingency science' observations were made in case the high gain antenna failed to properly deploy. The wide angle view of the martian north polar cap shown on the left was acquired on March 13, 1999, during early northern summer. The image on the right was acquired almost exactly one Mars year later, on January 26, 2001. The light-toned surfaces are residual water ice that remains through the summer season. The nearly circular band of dark material surrounding the cap consists mainly of sand dunes formed and shaped by wind. The north polar cap is roughly 1100 kilometers (680 miles) across. Close inspection will show that there are differences in the frost cover between the two images (for example, in the upper center of each image, and on the left edge center). Although these changes appear small, they are in fact quite large--the change in frost covering is equivalent to the amount of frost that would be evaporated (in the case of areas that are darker) or deposited (in areas where frost is still on the ground) in almost 5 months. What gives rise to such large changes in the heat budget for the polar caps from one year to the next is not known. Changes in the coloration and brightness of the polar cap suggest dust, deposited perhaps by dust storms during critical periods of the year, may play an important role.

  16. Polar cap size metrics study at CCMC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastaetter, L.; Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Gombosi, T. I.; Raeder, J.; Weimer, D.

    2005-12-01

    The Community-Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) tests space physics models covering space from the Sun's corona to the Earth's ionosphere and makes them available for researchers through a run-on-request capability. The polar cap size and location as observed by global auroral imagers is used as a basis model to study the performance of global MHD simulation models and statistical models of the auroral ionosphere. With good confidence one can assume that auroral emissions are located within the closed magnetic field lines in a narrow region adjacent to the boundary of the open field line region of the polar cap. In this study we are using imager data from POLAR (FUV) for several events from 1997 to 2000 for which reasonable coverage is available. Simulation runs have been performed using the global magnetospheric models BATSRUS (T. Gombosi et al., U. Michigan) and OpenGGCM (J. Raeder, U. New Hampshire) as well as the Weimer (2000,2005) field-aligned current models (D. Weimer, Mission Research Corp.) fed with upstream solar wind data from the ACE or Geotail satellites. In addition to direct field line tracings available from the 3D MHD model outputs, we use field-aligned currents from both MHD models and the Weimer-2K model to determine the polar cap boundary by using the position of the maximum absolute FAC value in 16 local time sectors. We define skill scores that measure the agreement in the polar cap sizes and location between measurements and models as an example of implementations of metrics to track model performance and apply the analysis to a number of storm event days.

  17. North-Polar Martian Cap as Habitat for Elementary Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2008-09-01

    North-polar cap over millenia Atmospheric water in Mars tends currently as for the past millenia to distil onto the polar caps and be buried under dust deposits. Diffusive release from ground-ice (and its excavation in meteorite impacts [1]) replenishes atmospheric water, allowing the gradual build up of polar ice-dust deposits. When sunlit, this warmed and sublimating ice-dust mix has interest as a potential habitat for micro-organisms. Modelling shows precipitable vapour at 10-50μm/yr, varying sensitively with small changes in orbitable obliquity around the present 25° [2]. The modelling applies to a globe with regionally uniform albedo, unlike the steep topography and dark layering of the north polar cap whose upper 300m have accumulated over the last 500 kyr [3]. The cliffs and ravines of the north-polar cap are thought to form through south-facing slopes sublimating and gaining a dirt-encrusted surface, while horizontal surfaces brighten through frost deposits. The two-phase surface derives from the dust and frost feedback on surface albedo [4] and the resulting terrain develops over diurnal cycles of frosting and sublimation, and over annual seasonal cycles. The steep south-facing sides of observed ravines when unshadowed would see for a few hours the full intensity of sunlight at near normal incidence, without the atmospheric dimming at similar inclinations on Earth. As exposed ice sublimates at T > 200K (partial pressure exceeds typical martian 0.1 Pa), a crust of dirt develops to maintain quasi-stability. The dirt crust's main function is to buffer the ice against diurnal temperature fluctuations, but it also slows down vapour diffusion - analogous to south polar ice sublimation [5] and the growth of ground-ice [6]. We envisage 1-10 mm/yr as the net sublimation rate, compatible with the 100 kyr life and scales of the north polar ravines. Modelling of icy-dirt crusts in the polar cap Plane-parallel layers have been used to model the changing temperature

  18. The phase composition of Triton's polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duxbury, N. S.; Brown, R. H.

    1993-01-01

    Triton's polar caps are modeled as permanent nitrogen deposits hundreds of meters thick. Complex temperature variations on Triton's surface induce reversible transitions between the cubic and hexagonal phases of solid nitrogen, often with two coexisting propagating transition fronts. Subsurface temperature distributions are calculated using a two-dimensional thermal model with phase changes. The phase changes fracture the upper nitrogen layer, increasing its reflectivity and thus offering an explanation for the surprisingly high southern polar cap albedo (approximately 0.8) seen during the Voyager 2 flyby. The model has other implications for the phase transition phenomena on Triton, such as a plausible mechanism for the origin of geyser-like plume vent areas and a mechanism of energy transport toward them.

  19. The phase composition of Triton's polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duxbury, N. S.; Brown, R. H.

    1993-08-01

    Triton's polar caps are modeled as permanent nitrogen deposits hundreds of meters thick. Complex temperature variations on Triton's surface induce reversible transitions between the cubic and hexagonal phases of solid nitrogen, often with two coexisting propagating transition fronts. Subsurface temperature distributions are calculated using a two-dimensional thermal model with phase changes. The phase changes fracture the upper nitrogen layer, increasing its reflectivity and thus offering an explanation for the surprisingly high southern polar cap albedo (approximately 0.8) seen during the Voyager 2 flyby. The model has other implications for the phase transition phenomena on Triton, such as a plausible mechanism for the origin of geyser-like plume vent areas and a mechanism of energy transport toward them.

  20. The Phase Composition of Triton's Polar Caps.

    PubMed

    Duxbury, N S; Brown, R H

    1993-08-01

    Triton's polar caps are modeled as permanent nitrogen deposits hundreds of meters thick. Complex temperature variations on Triton's surface induce reversible transitions between the cubic and hexagonal phases of solid nitrogen, often with two coexisting propagating transition fronts. Subsurface temperature distributions are calculated using a two-dimensional thermal model with phase changes. The phase changes fracture the upper nitrogen layer, increasing its reflectivity and thus offering an explanation for the surprisingly high southern polar cap albedo (approximately 0.8) seen during the Voyager 2 flyby. The model has other implications for the phase transition phenomena on Triton, such as a plausible mechanism for the origin of geyser-like plume vent areas and a mechanism of energy transport toward them. PMID:17757213

  1. Geology of the southern hemisphere of Triton: No polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, P.; Moore, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    The bright southern hemisphere, comprising Uhlanga Regio, is perhaps the most poorly understood geologic province on Triton. The entire bright southern hemisphere has been described as a bright polar 'cap', implying a seasonal origin, or as a permanent geologic terrain distinct from the equatorial terrains. Also, thermal models have predicted seasonal migration of frosts and ices from the presently sun-lit south latitudes to the dark northern latitudes. The distribution of frosts and geologic history of this region must be determined observationally. We reexamine the geology of this terrain with the goal of answering these questions.

  2. Slab Ice and Snow Flurries in the Martian Polar Night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titus, T.; Kieffer, H.; Mullins, K.; Christensen, P.

    1999-11-01

    In the 1970s, spacecraft observations of the polar regions of Mars revealed polar brightness temperatures that were significantly below the expected kinetic temperatures for CO_2 sublimation. For the past few decades, we have speculated as to the nature of these Martian polar cold spots. Are the cold spots surface or atmospheric effects? Do the cold spots behave as blackbodies, or do they have emissivities less than unity? Two developments allow us to begin to answer these questions: the measurement of the optical constants of CO_2 by Gary Hansen and direct thermal spectroscopy by the Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (TES). TES thermal data has identified numerous cold spots at the Martian north pole. These areas of the polar cap have a strong absorption feature at 25 microns that is indicative of fine-grained CO_2. Brightness temperatures at 18 microns and 15 microns constrain most of these cold spots to the surface. Cold spot formation is strongly dependent on topography, forming preferentially near craters and on polar slopes. While most cold spots are surface effects, the formation of the fine-grained CO_2 is not restricted to formation on the surface. TES data, combined with MOLA cloud data, atmospheric condensates form a few of the observed cold spots. TES observations seem to indicate that another major component of the north polar cap's composition is slab CO2 ice. Slab ice has near unity spectral emissivity and appears to have a low albedo. Two explanations for the low albedo are that the slab ice is intrinsically dark or the slab ice is transparent and TES is seeing through to the underlying substrate. Regions of the cap where [T_18-T_25] < 5 degrees indicates deposits of slab ice. Slab ice is the dominant endmember of the polar cap at latitudes south of the polar night.

  3. A Warmer Atmosphere on Mars near the Noachian-Hesperian Boundary: Evidence from Basal Melting of the South Polar Ice Cap (Dorsa Argentea Formation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastook, J. L.; Head, J. W.; Marchant, D. R.; Forget, F.; Madeleine, J.-B.

    2012-05-01

    Eskers in the Dorsa Argentea Formation imply the presence of an ice sheet with a wet bed. With an ice sheet model, we examine a range of geothermal heat fluxes and warmer climates to determine what conditions could produce such an ice sheet.

  4. Fast-flowing outlet glaciers on Svalbard ice caps

    SciTech Connect

    Dowdeswell, J.A. ); Collin, R.L. )

    1990-08-01

    Four well-defined outlet glaciers are present on the 2510 km{sup 2} cap of Vestfonna in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. Airborne radio echo sounding and aerial-photograph and satellite-image analysis methods are used to analyze the morphology and dynamics of the ice cap and its component outlet glaciers. The heavily crevassed outlets form linear depressions in the ice-cap surface and flow an order of magnitude faster than the ridges of uncrevassed ice between them. Ice flow on the ridges is accounted for by internal deformation alone, whereas rates of outlet glacier flow require basal motion. One outlet has recently switched into and out of a faster mode of flow. Rapid terminal advance, a change from longitudinal compression to tension, and thinning in the upper basin indicate surge behavior. Observed outlet glacier discharge is significantly greater than current inputs of mass of the ice cap, indicating that present rates of flow cannot be sustained under the contemporary climate.

  5. Estimated bedrock topography and ice thickness of the Renland Ice Cap, East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koldtoft, Iben; Hvidberg, Christine; Panton, Christian

    2016-04-01

    The Renland Ice Cap in East Greenland (71.30°N, 26.72°W) is a separate ice cap located on a high mountain plateau in the Scoresbysund Fjord, with the highest elevation of 2340 m. In 1988 a 324.35 m long ice core was drilled near summit on the eastern dome of the ice cap. The recovered ice core contains a climate record reaching back to the Eemian. In the spring 2015 a new ice core (584 m) was drilled on Renland during the RECAP project. Knowledge of the basal topography of the Renland Ice Cap is very limited. However, old airborne radar surveys show that the bedrock topography is very mountainous. Knowledge of the bedrock topography and ice thickness was needed to locate the best possible drilling site for the new ice core. An iterative inverse method was used to present a modelled estimate of the subglacial topography and ice thickness of the Renland Ice Cap based on the knowledge of the surface topography and climate forcing. The modelled estimate showed initially twice as large ice thickness as expected, but having improved the surface topography with data from the field work on Renland Ice Cap, the modelled ice thickness are in the same order as radar measurements shows.

  6. Topography of Impact Structures on the Northern Polar Cap of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Garvin, J. B.

    1998-01-01

    The north polar residual ice deposits of mars are thought to be relatively young, based on the reported lack of any fresh impact craters in Viking Orbiter images. A handful of possible impact features were identified, but available data were inconclusive. Determining the number and current topographic characteristics of any craters on the polar residual ice surface is important in constraining the surface age, relative importance of polar cap resurfacing processes and ice flow dynamics, and the role of the cap deposits in the global volatile and climate cycles. Subsequent image processing advances and new Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data in the north polar region are now a considerable aid in impact feature identification. This study reconsiders the abundant Viking high-resolution polar images along with the new altimetry data. We examine possible impact features, compare their topography with known mars high-latitude impact features, and use their morphology as a constraint on crater modification processes.

  7. The nonuniform recession of the south polar cap of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veverka, J.; Goguen, J.

    1973-01-01

    The nature of the irregular springtime recession of the Martian polar caps is investigated, with particular reference to the southern polar cap. Our current knowledge about the composition of the caps is outlined, and the historical record of their springtime recession is reviewed. An attempt is made to correlate the irregularities of the recession pattern of the southern polar cap with the features of the terrain revealed by Mariner 9 photography at a time when the southern cap was at its minimum extent. The results are interpreted in terms of the physical and meteorological processes active in the polar regions.

  8. Water-ice clouds in the Martian North Polar Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Qu, Z.; Smith, M. D.; Bass, D. S.; Hale, A. S.

    2004-11-01

    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.

  9. Holocene fluctuations of Bregne ice cap, Scoresby Sund, eastern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Hall, B. L.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic cryosphere is responding rapidly to modern global warming. Documenting past changes in the Arctic cryosphere, particularly during times of warmer than present conditions such as the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; 9,000-5,000 yr BP) provides an important background against which the present response and potential for future changes can be compared. Small ice caps located adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet respond sensitively to climate change and their past extents provide a proxy for the climatic conditions that have influenced the ice sheet margin. In order to document cryosphere and climatic changes during warmer conditions, we are constructing records of Holocene fluctuations of small ice caps in the Scoresby Sund region of eastern Greenland (71° N, 25.6° W). We use geomorphic mapping, lake sediment records, radiocarbon, and surface exposure (10Be) dating to reconstruct past ice extents. Lake sediment records are from both glacially fed (i.e., threshold) lakes and lakes with no glacial input during the time of interest (i.e., control). Here we present a record of the Holocene extents of Bregne ice cap, Milne Land, western Scoresby Sund, ~50 km southeast of Renland ice cap. Sediments from Two Move Lake (TML), a threshold lake, register the entire Holocene in a thickness of ~70 cm. Radiocarbon dates of lake sediments indicate that the onset of organic accumulation in the lake following the Last Glacial Maximum occurred 8,890±120 cal yr BP. The mid-Holocene is characterized by organic rich mud that is finely laminated in some sections. The onset of Neoglaciation (cooling after HTM) occurs at 2,810±50 cal yr BP and finely laminated sediments during Neoglaciation may register annual deposition. The sediment record from Last Chance Lake, a control lake located 0.5 km from TML, indicates that there has been no glacial input since deglaciation from the Last Glacial Maximum. Unweathered moraines occur <0.5 km from the modern ice cap margin, inboard from

  10. Seismic explosion sources on an ice cap - Technical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans

    2015-03-01

    Controlled source seismic investigation of crustal structure below ice covers is an emerging technique. We have recently conducted an explosive refraction/wide-angle reflection seismic experiment on the ice cap in east-central Greenland. The data-quality is high for all shot points and a full crustal model can be modelled. A crucial challenge for applying the technique is to control the sources. Here, we present data that describe the efficiency of explosive sources in the ice cover. Analysis of the data shows, that the ice cap traps a significant amount of energy, which is observed as a strong ice wave. The ice cap leads to low transmission of energy into the crust such that charges need be larger than in conventional onshore experiments to obtain reliable seismic signals. The strong reflection coefficient at the base of the ice generates strong multiples which may mask for secondary phases. This effect may be crucial for acquisition of reflection seismic profiles on ice caps. Our experience shows that it is essential to use optimum depth for the charges and to seal the boreholes carefully.

  11. Elevation changes of ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Yungel, J.; Koerner, R.

    2004-12-01

    Precise repeat airborne laser surveys were conducted over the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the spring of 1995 and 2000 in order to measure elevation changes in the region. Our measurements reveal thinning at lower elevations (below 1600 m) on most of the ice caps and glaciers but either very little change or thickening at higher elevations in the ice cap accumulation zones. Recent increases in precipitation in the area can account for the slight thickening where it was observed but not for the thinning at lower elevations. For the northern ice caps on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, thinning was generally <0.5 m yr-1, which is consistent with what would be expected from the warm temperature anomalies in the region for the 5 year period between surveys, and appears to be a continuation of a trend that began in the mid-1980s. Farther south, however, on the Barnes and Penny ice caps on Baffin Island, this thinning was much more pronounced at over 1 m yr-1 in the lower elevations. Here temperature anomalies were very small, and the thinning at low elevations far exceeds any associated enhanced ablation. The observations on Barnes, and perhaps Penny, are consistent with the idea that the observed thinning is part of a much longer term deglaciation, as has been previously suggested for Barnes ice cap. On the basis of the regional relationships between elevation and elevation change in our data, the 1995-2000 mass balance for the archipelago is estimated to be -25 km3 yr-1 of ice, which corresponds to a sea level increase of 0.064 mm yr-1. This places it among the more significant sources of eustatic sea level rise, though not as substantial as the Greenland ice sheet, Alaskan glaciers, or the Patagonian ice fields.

  12. Elevation Changes of Ice Caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Yungel, J.; Koerner, R.

    2004-01-01

    Precise repeat airborne laser surveys were conducted over the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the spring of 1995 and 2000 in order to measure elevation changes in the region. Our measurements reveal thinning at lower elevations (below 1600 m) on most of the ice caps and glaciers, but either very little change or thickening at higher elevations in the ice cap accumulation zones. Recent increases in precipitation in the area can account for the slight thickening where it was observed, but not for the thinning at lower elevations. For the northern ice caps on the Queen Elizabeth Islands, thinning was generally less than 0.5 m/yr , which is consistent with what would be expected from the warm temperature anomalies in the region for the 5-year period between surveys and appears to be a continuation of a trend that began in the mid 1980s. Further south, however, on the Barnes and Penny ice caps on Baffin Island, this thinning was much more pronounced at over 1 m/yr in the lower elevations. Here temperature anomalies were very small, and the thinning at low elevations far exceeds any associated enhanced ablation. The observations on Barnes, and perhaps Penny are consistent with the idea that the observed thinning is part of a much longer term deglaciation, as has been previously suggested for Barnes Ice Cap. Based on the regional relationships between elevation and elevation-change in our data, the 1995-2000 mass balance for the region is estimated to be 25 cu km/yr of ice, which corresponds to a sea level increase of 0.064 mm/ yr . This places it among the more significant sources of eustatic sea level rise, though not as substantial as Greenland ice sheet, Alaskan glaciers, or the Patagonian ice fields.

  13. Observations of the northern seasonal polar cap on Mars: I. Spring sublimation activity and processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, C. J.; Byrne, S.; Portyankina, G.; Bourke, M.; Dundas, C.; McEwen, A.; Mellon, M.; Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.

    2013-08-01

    Spring sublimation of the seasonal CO2 northern polar cap is a dynamic process in the current Mars climate. Phenomena include dark fans of dune material propelled out onto the seasonal ice layer, polygonal cracks in the seasonal ice, sand flow down slipfaces, and outbreaks of gas and sand around the dune margins. These phenomena are concentrated on the north polar erg that encircles the northern residual polar cap. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been in orbit for three Mars years, allowing us to observe three northern spring seasons. Activity is consistent with and well described by the Kieffer model of basal sublimation of the seasonal layer of ice applied originally in the southern hemisphere. Three typical weak spots have been identified on the dunes for escape of gas sublimed from the bottom of the seasonal ice layer: the crest of the dune, the interface of the dune with the interdune substrate, and through polygonal cracks in the ice. Pressurized gas flows through these vents and carries out material entrained from the dune. Furrows in the dunes channel gas to outbreak points and may be the northern equivalent of southern radially-organized channels ("araneiform" terrain), albeit not permanent. Properties of the seasonal CO2 ice layer are derived from timing of seasonal events such as when final sublimation occurs. Modification of dune morphology shows that landscape evolution is occurring on Mars today, driven by seasonal activity associated with sublimation of the seasonal CO2 polar cap.

  14. Observations of the northern seasonal polar cap on Mars: I. Spring sublimation activity and processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, C.J.; Byrne, S.; Portyankina, G.; Bourke, M.; Dundas, C.; McEwen, A.; Mellon, M.; Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.

    2013-01-01

    Spring sublimation of the seasonal CO2 northern polar cap is a dynamic process in the current Mars climate. Phenomena include dark fans of dune material propelled out onto the seasonal ice layer, polygonal cracks in the seasonal ice, sand flow down slipfaces, and outbreaks of gas and sand around the dune margins. These phenomena are concentrated on the north polar erg that encircles the northern residual polar cap. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been in orbit for three Mars years, allowing us to observe three northern spring seasons. Activity is consistent with and well described by the Kieffer model of basal sublimation of the seasonal layer of ice applied originally in the southern hemisphere. Three typical weak spots have been identified on the dunes for escape of gas sublimed from the bottom of the seasonal ice layer: the crest of the dune, the interface of the dune with the interdune substrate, and through polygonal cracks in the ice. Pressurized gas flows through these vents and carries out material entrained from the dune. Furrows in the dunes channel gas to outbreak points and may be the northern equivalent of southern radially-organized channels (“araneiform” terrain), albeit not permanent. Properties of the seasonal CO2 ice layer are derived from timing of seasonal events such as when final sublimation occurs. Modification of dune morphology shows that landscape evolution is occurring on Mars today, driven by seasonal activity associated with sublimation of the seasonal CO2 polar cap.

  15. Pulsar gamma rays from polar cap regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiang, James; Romani, Roger W.

    1992-01-01

    The production is studied of pulsar gamma rays by energetic electrons flowing in the open field region above pulsar polar caps. The propagation was followed of curvature radiation from primary electrons, as well as hard synchrotron radiation generated by secondary pairs, through the pulsar magnetosphere for vacuum dipole open field geometries. Using data from radio and optical observations, models were constructed for the specific geometries and viewing angles appropriate to particular pulsars. These detailed models produce normalized spectra above 10 MeV, pulse profiles, beaming fractions and phase resolved spectra appropriate for direct comparison with COS-B and GRO data. Models are given for the Crab, Vela, and other potentially detectable pulsars; general agreement with existing data is good, although perturbations to the simplified models are needed for close matches. The calculations were extended to the millisecond pulsar range, which allows the production of predictions for the flux and spectra of populations of recycled pulsars and search strategies are pointed out.

  16. Interannual variability of Mars' south polar CAP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, P. B.; Malolepszy, K. M.; Martin, L. J.

    1987-08-01

    Published observational data on the seasonal recession of the south polar cap on Mars (covering the period 1903-1977) are compiled in tables and graphs and analyzed statistically. The basic data set (photographic observations obtained at Lowell Observatory) of Fischbacher et al. (1960) and James and Lumme (1982) and the reduction procedures described by Baum and Martin (1973) are employed, and Viking data from 1977 are used for comparison; the early onset (relative to the mean) of the 1956 recession is characterized in detail. A list of photographically documented large dust storms is provided, and it is suggested that in years with early spring storms, recession may be slower than in years without such storms.

  17. The small ice cap instability in diffusive climate models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    North, G. R.

    1984-01-01

    Simple climate models which invoke diffusive heat transport and ice cap albedo feedback have equilibrium solutions with no stable ice cap smaller than a radius of about 20 deg on a great circle. Attention is presently given to a solution of this phenomenon which is physically appealing. The ice-free solution has a thermal minimum, and if the minimum temperature is just above the critical value for ice formation, then the artificial addition of a patch of ice leads to a widespread depression of the temperature below the critical freezing temperature. A second stable solution will then exist whose spatial extent is determined by the range of the influence function of a point sink of heat, due to the albedo shift in the patch.

  18. Effects of Snowfall on the Thickness and Stability of Mars' Seasonal Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, P. O.; Paige, D. A.; Aharonson, O.; Schofield, J. T.; Kass, D. M.; Kleinboehl, A.; Heavens, N. G.; Shirley, J. H.; McCleese, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide between the Martian atmosphere and ice caps is responsible for cyclical variations of ~30% in global atmospheric pressure, as well as for the growth and retreat of the seasonal ice caps. Energy balance and general circulation models have had limited success in reproducing the important aspects of this cycle, largely due to uncertainties in the radiative properties (albedo and emissivity) of the ice caps. Evidence from remote sensing by several different orbital investigations suggests that snowfall consisting primarily of solid CO2 contributes substantial material to the growing seasonal caps, strongly affecting their radiative properties. However, the mass of material deposited as snow, its spatial and temporal variation, and its effect on the energy budget, have all remained uncertain. Using data from the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS), we have quantified and mapped snow cloud formation and surface accumulation based on opacity profiles and calculated infrared cooling rates. We then compared the derived snowfall distribution to seasonal cap thicknesses derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) "crossover" data. Large variations in the occurrence, thickness, and timing of snow clouds are observed, with the most extensive and persistent clouds observed over the south polar residual cap (SPRC). We find a strong correlation between clouds, "cold spots" (regions of suppressed thermal emission), and seasonal cap thickness. Furthermore, some of these regions of high snow cloud activity also exhibit high solar albedo in the spring and summer. Together, these results suggest that granular deposits of CO2 snow: 1) are thicker (probably due to lower density) on average than "slab ice" formed by direct vapor deposition; 2) reduce energy loss by thermal emission during the polar night; and 3) reduce energy gain by reflecting solar radiation during spring and summer. As the snowiest place on Mars, the SPRC exhibits all of these properties

  19. The Martian polar caps: Stability and water transport at low obliquities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson, B. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1992-12-01

    The seasonal cycle of water on Mars is regulated by the two polar caps. In the winter hemisphere, the seasonal CO2 deposits at a temperature near 150 K acts as a cold trap to remove water vapor from the atmosphere. When summer returns, water is pumped back into the atmosphere by a number of mechanisms, including release from the receding CO2 frost, diffusion from the polar regolith, and sublimation from a water-ice residual cap. These processes drive an exchange of water vapor between the polar caps that helps shape the Martian climate. Thus, understanding the behavior of the polar caps is important for interpreting the Martian climate both now and at other epochs. Mars' obliquity undergoes large variations over large time scales. As the obliquity decreases, the poles receive less solar energy so that more CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 caps might form at the poles in response to a feedback mechanism existing between the polar cap albedo, the CO2 pressure, and the dust storm frequency. The year-round presence of the CO2 deposits would effectively dry out the atmosphere, while diffusion of water from the regolith would be the only source of water vapor to the atmosphere. We have reviewed the CO2 balance at low obliquity taking into account the asymmetries which make the north and south hemispheres different. Our analysis linked with a numerical model of the polar caps leads us to believe that one summertime cap will always lose its CO2 cover during a Martian year, although we cannot predict which cap this will be. We conclude that significant amounts of water vapor will sublime from the exposed cap during summer, and the Martian atmosphere will support an active water cycle even at low obliquity.

  20. Holocene history of North Ice Cap, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett, L. B.; Kelly, M. A.; Osterberg, E. C.; Axford, Y.; Bigl, M.; Roy, E. P.; Thompson, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    Although much research has focused on the past extents of the Greenland Ice Sheet, less is known about the smaller ice caps on Greenland and how they have evolved over time. These small ice caps respond sensitively to summer temperatures and, to a lesser extent, winter precipitation, and provide valuable information about climatic conditions along the Greenland Ice Sheet margins. Here, we investigate the Holocene history of North Ice Cap (76°55'N 68°00'W), located in the Nunatarssuaq region near Thule, northwest Greenland. Our results are based on glacial geomorphic mapping, 10Be dating, and analyses of sediment cores from a glacially fed lake. Fresh, unweathered and unvegetated boulders comprise moraines and drift that mark an extent of North Ice Cap ~25 m outboard of the present ice margin. It is likely that these deposits were formed during late Holocene time and we are currently employing 10Be surface exposure dating to examine this hypothesis. Just outboard of the fresh moraines and drift, boulders and bedrock show significant weathering and are covered with lichen. Based on glacial geomorphic mapping and detailed site investigations, including stone counts, we suggest that the weathered boulders and bedrock were once covered by erosive Greenland Ice Sheet flow from southeast to northwest over the Nunatarssuaq region. Five 10Be ages from the more weathered landscape only 100-200 m outboard of the modern North Ice Cap margin are 52 and 53 ka (bedrock) and 16, 23, and 31 ka (boulders). These ages indicate that recent ice cover has likely been cold-based and non-erosive, failing to remove inherited cosmogenic nuclides from previous periods of exposure, although the youngest boulder may provide a maximum limiting deglaciation age. Sediment cores collected from Delta Sø, a glacially-fed lake ~1.5 km outside of the modern North Ice Cap margin, contain 130 cm of finely laminated sediments overlying coarse sands and glacial till. Radiocarbon ages from just above

  1. Substorm Bulge/Surge Controlled by Polar Cap Flow Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Nishimura, T.; Zou, Y.; Gallardo-Lacourt, B.; Donovan, E.; Shiokawa, K.; Nicolls, M. J.; Chen, S.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Nishitani, N.; McWilliams, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Previous studies have provided evidence that localized channels of enhanced polar cap flow drive plasma sheet/auroral oval flow channels, auroral poleward boundary intensifications and streamers, and substorm onset. Evidence has also indicated that a persistence of such flow channels after substorm onset may enhance post-onset auroral poleward expansion and activity. Here, we combine auroral imager and radar observations to show evidence that polar-cap flow channels can directly feed the substorm bulge westward motion, i.e., the westward traveling surge, and its poleward expansion well into the pre-existing polar cap. By taking advantage of the capability of tracing polar cap arcs and patches over long distances with red line imaging, we are able to trace flow features that strongly affect the substorm bulge across the polar cap for up to ~1-1.5 hr prior to their impacting and affecting the substorm bulge.

  2. Multi-scale, multi-year investigations of H2O ice deposits observed in late summer, at the time of minimum extent of the Southern polar cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langevin, Y.; Seelos, K.; Russell, P.; Bibring, J.-P.; Vincendon, M.; Gondet, B.

    2012-09-01

    Extended regions exhibiting water ice signatures have been observed by OMEGA on Mars Express at the boundary of the CO2 perennial cap during the first months of operation of the mission [1]. This period in late summer (Ls 335°-340°) corresponds to the minimum extent of the ice coverage around the South pole. The retreat of the South seasonal cap, spectrally dominated by CO2 frost [2, 3] ends at Ls 310° - 315° for years which do not present a global dust storm [4], and the first signs of H2O frost recondensation are observed before the fall equinox (Ls 0°). A large outlier had been identified by OMEGA observations at longitudes from 290°E to 10°E. It was shown to extend over an area representing ~ 25% of the surface of the perennial cap by Themis observations [5]. The H2O covered regions at the boundary of the cap and within the outlier have an intermediate albedo (30-35%) between that of the perennial cap (> 60%) and that of surrounding terrains (~ 20%). These southern surface H2O ice deposits constitute a major source of atmospheric H2O at the end of the Southern summer. They are much smaller in extent than the northern perennial cap and they are exposed to sunlight for 2 months in late summer instead of 6 months in the North over the whole summer. This is in line with the highly asymmetric seasonal cycle of atmospheric water [6, 7]. In late 2009, OMEGA observations of the South cap at the time of minimum extent (Ls 340°) showed a much larger extent of H2O ice signatures compared to what had been observed in early 2004 [1]. H2O ice covered regions appeared homogeneous at the km scales corresponding to OMEGA observations. A series of CRISM observations were planned for the next southern fall season (mid-2011), in order to further investigate the time variability of the southern H2O ice deposits within the outlier at the 20 m scale (CRISM high resolution mode). Combining OMEGA and CRISM observations demonstrates that variegation of surface H2O ice is mainly

  3. Albedo Variations on the Martian Northern Polar Cap as Seen by MGS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, A. S.; Bass, D. S.; Tamppan, L. K.

    2003-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars northern residual cap is water ice. Many researchers have related observed atmospheric water vapor abundances to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, but the extent to which the exchange between the surface and the atmosphere remains uncertain. Early studies of the ice coverage and albedo of the northern residual Martian polar cap using Mariner 9 and Viking images reported that there were substantial internannual differences in ice deposition on the polar cap, a result that suggested a highly variable Martian climate. However, some of the data used in these studies were obtained at differing values of heliocentric solar longitude (Ls). Reevaluation of this dataset in indicated that the residual cap undergoes seasonal brightening throughout the summer, and indicated that this process repeats from year to year. In this study we continue this work with data acquired with Mars Global Surveyor s Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instruments. We use MOC Wide Angel (WA) red filter images

  4. Tracking Retreat of the North Seasonal Ice Cap on Mars: Results from the THEMIS Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Wagstaff, K. L.; Ttus, T. N.

    2005-01-01

    The CO2 ice caps on Mars advance and retreat with the seasons. This phenomenon was first observed by Cassini and then confirmed by numerous ground based observations in 19th and 20th centuries. With the advent of the space age observations of the seasonal ice cap were done by all orbiting spacecraft starting with Mariner 7. Viking Orbiters and more recently the Mars Global Surveyor (particularly Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instruments) have accumulated significant data on the retreat of the CO2 seasonal cap. During Mars year 2 of THEMIS operations at Mars, we planned an observational campaign in which the THEMIS instrument (onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft) repeatedly observed the north seasonal polar cap from midwinter to late spring. THEMIS allows simultaneous observations in both Thermal IR (12.57 m) and Visible wavelengths (0.65 m). One of the goals for this work is to initiate an interannual program for observations of the seasonal ice caps using the THEMIS instrument. The most efficient way to detect the edge between frost and bare ground is directly onboard of the spacecraft. Prior to onboard software design effort, we have developed two groundbased algorithms for automatically finding the edge of the seasonal polar cap in THEMIS IR data. The first algorithm relies on fully calibrated data and can be used for highly reliable groundbased analyses. The second method was specifically developed for processing raw, uncalibrated data in a highly efficient way. It has the potential to enable automatic, onboard detections of the seasonal cap retreat. We have experimentally confirmed that both methods produce similar results, and we have validated both methods against a model constructed from the MGS TES data from the same season.

  5. Viewing Ice Crystals Using Polarized Light.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinsman, E. M.

    1992-01-01

    Describes a method for identifying and examining single ice crystals by photographing a thin sheet of ice placed between two inexpensive polarizing filters. Suggests various natural and prepared sources for ice that promote students' insight into crystal structures, and yield colorful optical displays. Includes directions, precautions, and sample…

  6. Variations of the polar cap potential measured during magnetospheric substorms

    SciTech Connect

    Weimer, D.R.; Kan, J.R.; Akasofu, S.I. )

    1992-04-01

    Measurements of the polar cap potential drop and size have been obtained during magnetospheric substorms. Using double-prove electric field measurements on the DE 2 satellite, 148 measurements have been obtained at random times preceding, during, and after 64 substorms. The polar cap potentials are graphed as a function of the difference between the time of the polar cap measurement and the time of the expansion onset of the corresponding substorm. The ratios of the auroral electrojet (AE) indices and the potential are also determined. The results show that on the average the polar cap potential starts to increase at 1.5 hours before onset. However, on a case-by-case basis there are substantial variations from the average, as polar cap potentials over 1,200 kV were measured as early as 1 hour before substorm onset and values as low as 40 kV were observed during the expansion phase. The size of the polar cap ranged from 23{degree} to 38{degree} invariant latitude at the time of onset, and had an average value of 31{degree}. The AE/{Phi}{sub PC} ratio is nearly constant before and after substorms, but decreases slightly during the substorm growth phase and increases greatly during the expansion phase. This increase is most likely due to a higher conductivity and westward electric field within the electrojet during expansion, which causes AE to increase without a corresponding change in the polar cap potential.

  7. Ir Spectral Mapping of the Martian South Polar Residual CAP Using Crism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Jacqueline; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2016-06-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are considered to be important in theories of abiogenesis (Allamandola, 2011) . There is evidence that PAHs have been detected on two icy Saturnian satellites using the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on the Cassini spacecraft (Cruikshank et al., 2007). The hypothesised presence of PAHs in Mars south polar cap has not been systematically examined even though the Mars south polar cap may allow the preservation of organic molecules that are typically destroyed at the Martian surface by UV radiation (Dartnell et al. 2012). This hypothesis is supported by recent analyses of South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) structural evolution (Thomas et al., 2009) that suggest the possibility that seasonal and long term sublimation may excavate dust particles from within the polar ice. Periodic sublimation is believed to be responsible for the formation of so-called "Swiss Cheese Terrain", a unique surface feature found only in the Martian south polar residual cap consisting of flat floored, circular depressions (Byrne, 2009). We show the first examples of work towards the detection of PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain, using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). CRISM is designed to search for mineralogical indications of past and present water, thus providing extensive coverage of the south polar cap. In this work, we discuss whether CRISM infrared spectra can be used to detect PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain and demonstrate a number of maps showing shifts in spectral profiles over the SPRC.

  8. Extending Icelandic volcanological network operations into the ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogfjord, Kristin; Bean, Chris; Roberts, Matthew; Ofeigsson, Benedikt; Guralp Systems Ltd.

    2013-04-01

    Many of Iceland's most active volcanoes are located under glaciers, with limited access for monitoring equipment. In the warming climate however, a few rock outcrops (nunataks) have emerged from the ice permitting some access improvement, but to properly monitor seismic signals from volcanoes deep inside the ice caps, instruments placed in the ice itself are needed. Continuous, real-time operation of monitoring equipment in harsh climate, heavy snow accumulation and icing conditions on a glacier is a considerable challenge. The FP7 project FUTUREVOLC, which focusses on Icelandic volcanoes, aims for the development of a multiparametric volcano monitoring and early warning system. One of the new developments in the project involves strengthening the existing real-time seismic monitoring and analysis systems by extending the permanent network into the Vatnajökull ice cap. The goal is to improve detection and location of seismic signals, such as microseismicity, LP events, ice-quakes and continuous tremor due to volcanic eruptions at the volcanoes under the ice cap. Real-time processing and discrimination of these signals could give early warnings of an imminent eruption. At subglacial volcanoes however, other processes, such as subglacial floods (jökulhlaup) and subglacial hydrothermal systems - boiling due to sudden drainage -also generate continuous tremor and can therefore lead to false eruption alarms. To minimise the number of false alarms, the network and processing will need to discriminate between the different tremor sources by determining their characteristics and track the temporal evolution and location of the source. For this purpose broad-band instruments will be placed on nunataks as well as in the ice and two short-period arrays will be located at the margin of Vatnajökull, close to subglacial flood paths from the Skaftár ice cauldrons. To record ice movements associated with the jökulhlaups, GPS receivers will be placed on outlet glaciers during

  9. Holocene Activity of the Quelccaya Ice Cap: A Working Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, T. V.; Smith, C. A.; Kelly, M. A.; Stroup, J. S.

    2012-12-01

    The patterns and magnitudes of past climate change in the topics are still under discussion. We contribute here by reporting on patterns of glacier length changes of the largest glacier in the tropics, Quelccaya Ice Cap (~13.9°S, 70.9°W, summit at 5645 m). This ice cap has several local domes that may have different patterns of length changes because of differing elevations of the domes (high to the north, lower to the south). Prior work (Mark et al. 2003, Abbott et al., 2004; Thompson et al., 2005; Buffen, et al., 2009), new radiocarbon ages, and stratigraphic and geomorphic relationships are used to determine the general pattern of length changes for the outlets from this ice cap. We exploit geomorphic relationships and present new radiocarbon ages on interpreted stratigraphic sections to determine the pattern of length changes for this ice cap. Ice retreated during late glacial times (Rodbell and Seltzer, 2000; Kelly et al., in press). By 11,400 yr BP it had reached a position ~1.2 km beyond its present (2000 AD) extent. While length during the early Holocene is problematic, present evidence permits, but does not prove, extents of 0.5 to 1.0 km down-valley from the present margin. Between 6400 and 4400 yr BP the ice cap was smaller than present, but it advanced multiple times during the late Holocene. Lengths of up to 1 km beyond present were achieved at 3400 yr BP and ~500 yr BP. Additionally, the ice advanced to 0.8 km beyond its present margin at 1600 yr BP. Because these glaciers were temperate, we take these lengths to represent primarily changes in temperature. This may suggest that lowering insolation values in the northern hemisphere during the Holocene provide a first order control on tropical temperatures. Alternatively, it may be that major reorganization of the topical circulation belts about 5000 yr BP yields two configurations of the QIC and hence Holocene temperatures - one at the present ice margin and and the second about 1 km beyond the

  10. Response of northern winter polar cap to auroral substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liou, Kan; Sotirelis, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    The three-phase substorm sequence has been generally accepted and is often tied to the Dungey cycle. Although previous studies have mostly agreed on the increase and decrease in the polar cap area during an episode of substorm, there are disparate views on when the polar cap starts to contract relative to substorm onset. Here we address this conflict using high-resolution (~1-3 min) snapshot global auroral images from the ultraviolet imager on board the Polar spacecraft. On the basis of 28 auroral substorm events, all observed in the Northern Hemispheric winter, it is found that the polar cap inflated prior to onset in all events and it attained the largest area ~6 min prior to the substorm expansion phase onset, while the dayside polar cap area remained steady around the onset. The onset of nightside polar cap deflation is found to be attributed to intensifications of aurora on the poleward edge of the nightside oval, mostly in the midnight sector. Although this result supports the loading-unloading and reconnection substorm models, it is not clear if the initial polar cap deflation and the substorm expansion are parts of the same process.

  11. Mars Polar Cap During Transition Phase Instrument Checkout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    During the last week of September and the first week or so of October 2006, scientific instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter were turned on to acquire test information during the transition phase leading up to full science operations. The mission's primary science phase will begin the first week of November 2006, following superior conjunction. (Superior conjunction is where a planet goes behind the sun as viewed from Earth.) Since it is very difficult to communicate with a spacecraft when it is close to the sun as seen from Earth, this checkout of the instruments was crucial to being ready for the primary science phase of the mission.

    Throughout the transition-phase testing, the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) acquired terminator (transition between nighttime and daytime) to terminator swaths of color images on every dayside orbit, as the spacecraft moved northward in its orbit. The south polar region was deep in winter shadow, but the north polar region was illuminated the entire Martian day. During the primary mission, such swaths will be assembled into global maps that portray the state of the Martian atmosphere -- its weather -- as seen every day and at every place at about 3 p.m. local solar time. After the transition phase completed, most of the instruments were turned off, but the Mars Climate Sounder and MARCI have been left on. Their data will be recorded and played back to Earth following the communications blackout associated with conjunction.

    Combined with wide-angle image mosaics taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor at 2 p.m. local solar time, the MARCI maps will be used to track motions of clouds.

    This image is a composite mosaic of four polar views of Mars, taken at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. local Martian time. This is possible because during summer the sun is always shining in the polar region. It shows the mostly water-ice perennial cap (white area), sitting atop the north polar layered

  12. Recent Changes in High-Latitude Glaciers, Ice Caps, and Ice Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdalati, Waleed

    2006-01-01

    The glaciers and ice sheets of the world contain enough ice to raise sea level by approximately 70 meters if they were to disappear entirely, and most of this ice is located in the climatically sensitive polar regions. Fortunately changes of this magnitude would probably take many thousands of years to occur, but recent discoveries indicate that these ice masses are responding to changes in today s climate more rapidly than previously thought. These responses are likely to be of great societal significance, primarily in terms of their implications for sea level, but also in terms of how their discharge of freshwater, through melting or calving, may impact ocean circulation. For millions of years, oceans have risen and fallen as the Earth has warmed and cooled, and ice on land has shrunk and grown. Today is no different in that respect, as sea levels have been rising at a rate of nearly 2 m per year during the last century (Miller and Douglas 2004), and 3 mm/yr in the last 12 years (Leuliette et al. 2004). What is different today, however, is that tens - perhaps hundreds - of millions of people live in coastal areas that are vulnerable to changes in sea level. Rising seas erode beaches, increase flood potential, and reduce the ability of barrier islands and coastal wetlands to mitigate the effects of major storms and hurricanes. The costs associated with a one-meter rise in sea level are estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the United States alone. The worldwide costs in human terms would be far greater as some vulnerable low-lying coastal regions would become inundated, especially in poorer nations that do not have the resources to deal with such changes. Such considerations are particularly important in light of the fact that a one meter sea level rise is not significantly outside the 0.09 to 0.88 range of predictions for this century (IPCC 2001), and rises of this magnitude have occurred in the past in as little as 20 years (Fairbanks 1989

  13. Polar cap arcs: Sun-aligned or cusp-aligned?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Paxton, L. J.; Zhang, Qinghe; Xing, Zanyang

    2016-08-01

    Polar cap arcs are often called sun-aligned arcs. Satellite observations reveal that polar cap arcs join together at the cusp and are actually cusp aligned. Strong ionospheric plasma velocity shears, thus field aligned currents, were associated with polar arcs and they were likely caused by Kelvin-Helmholtz waves around the low-latitude magnetopause under a northward IMF Bz. The magnetic field lines around the magnetopause join together in the cusp region so are the field aligned currents and particle precipitation. This explains why polar arcs are cusp aligned.

  14. Effects of ice-cap unloading on shallow magmatic reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakker, Richard; Frehner, Marcel; Lupi, Matteo

    2015-04-01

    One of the effects of global warming is the increase of volcanic activity. Glacial melting has been shown to cause visco-elastic relaxation of the upper mantle, which in turn promotes upwelling of magmas through the crust. To date, the effects of ice-cap melting on shallow (i.e., less than 10 km depth) plumbing systems of volcanoes are still not clear. We investigate the pressure changes due to glacial unloading around a magmatic reservoir by combining laboratory and numerical methods. As a case study we focus on Snæfellsjökull, a volcano in Western Iceland whose ice cap is currently melting 1.25 meters (thickness) per year. Our approach is as follows: we obtain representative rock samples from the field, preform tri-axial deformation tests at relevant pressure and temperature (PT) conditions and feed the results into a numerical model in which the stress fields before and after ice cap removal are compared. A suite of deformation experiments were conducted using a Paterson-type tri-axial deformation apparatus. All experiments were performed at a constant strain rate of 10-5 s-1, while varying the PT conditions. We applied confining pressures between 50 and 150 MPa and temperatures between 200 and 1000 ° C. Between 200 and 800 ° C we observe a localized deformation and a slight decrease of the Young's modulus from 41 to 38 GPa. Experiments at 900 and 1000 ° C exhibit macroscopically ductile behavior and a marked reduction of the Young's modulus down to 4 GPa at 1000 ° C. These results are used to construct a numerical finite-element model in which we approximate the volcanic edifice and basement by a 2D axisymmetric half-space. We first calculate the steady-state temperature field in the volcanic system and assign the laboratory-derived temperature-dependent Young's modulus to every element of the model. Then the pressure in the edifice is calculated for two scenarios: with and without ice cap. The comparison between the two scenarios allows us estimate the

  15. Model-observation comparison study of multiple polar cap arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, L.; Valladares, C. E.; Sojka, J. J.; Schunk, R. W.; Crain, D. J.

    1996-01-01

    A quantitative model-observation comparison of multiple polar cap arcs has been conducted by using a time-dependent theoretical model of polar cap arcs. In particular, the electrodynamical features of multiple polar cap arcs with various spacings are simulated and the results are compared with the images obtained from the All-Sky Intensified Photometer at Qaanaaq. The results show that the observed and simulated arcs are quite similar, both spatially and temporally. The results support the theory proposed by Zhu et al. [1993a, 1994b] that the structure of polar cap arcs is mainly determined by the magnetosphere-ionosphere (M-I) coupling processes and that the spacing of multiple polar cap arcs is closely related to the hardness of the primary magnetospheric precipitation. It is found that for the multiple polar cap arcs with both narrow and wide spacings, the associated field-aligned currents are mainly closed by Pedersen currents. It is also found that a hard precipitation can lead to a highly structured secondary arc because of the nonlinear M-I coupling processes.

  16. Possible recent and ancient glacial ice flow in the south polar region of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    1992-01-01

    Martian polar science began almost as soon as small telescopes were trained on the planet. The seasonal expansion and contraction of the polar caps and their high albedoes led most astronomers to think that water ice is the dominant constituent. In 1911 Lowell perceived a bluish band around the retreating edge of the polar caps, and interpreted it as water from melting polar ice and seasonal snow. An alternative idea in his time was that the polar caps consist of frozen carbonic acid. Lowell rejected the carbonic acid hypothesis on account of his blue band. He also pointed out that carbonic acid would sublimate rather than melt at confining pressures near and below one bar, hence, carbonic acid could not account for the blue band. In comparing Lowell's theories with today's knowledge, it is recognized that (1) sublimation is mainly responsible for the growth and contraction of Mars' polar caps, (2) carbon dioxide is a major component of the southern polar cap, and (3) Lowell's blue band was probably seasonal dust and/or clouds. Geomorphic evidence that glacial ice and glacial melt waters once flowed over broad areas of the southern polar region. Two aspects of the south polar region suggest possible glacial processes during two distinct eras in Mars' history.

  17. Stratigraphy and evolution of the buried CO2 deposit in the Martian south polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierson, C. J.; Phillips, R. J.; Smith, I. B.; Wood, S. E.; Putzig, N. E.; Nunes, D.; Byrne, S.

    2016-05-01

    Observations by the Shallow Radar instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal several deposits of buried CO2 ice within the south polar layered deposits. Here we present mapping that demonstrates this unit is 18% larger than previously estimated, containing enough mass to double the atmospheric pressure on Mars if sublimated. We find three distinct subunits of CO2 ice, each capped by a thin (10-60 m) bounding layer (BL). Multiple lines of evidence suggest that each BL is dominated by water ice. We model the history of CO2 accumulation at the poles based on obliquity and insolation variability during the last 1 Myr assuming a total mass budget consisting of the current atmosphere and the sequestered ice. Our model predicts that CO2 ice has accumulated over large areas several times during that period, in agreement with the radar findings of multiple periods of accumulation.

  18. Idealized model of polar cap currents, fields, and auroras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornwall, J. M.

    1985-01-01

    During periods of northward Bz, the electric field applied to the magnetosphere is generally opposite to that occurring during southward Bz and complicated patterns of convection result, showing some features reversed in comparison with the southward Bz case. A study is conducted of a simple generalization of early work on idealized convection models, which allows for coexistence of sunward convection over the central polar cap and antisunward convection elsewhere in the cap. The present model, valid for By approximately 0, has a four-cell convection pattern and is based on the combination of ionospheric current conservation with a relation between parallel auroral currents and parallel potential drops. Global magnetospheric issues involving, e.g., reconnection are not considered. The central result of this paper is an expression giving the parallel potential drop for polar cap auroras (with By approximately 0) in terms of the polar cap convection field profile.

  19. The Effect of CO2 Ice Cap Sublimation on Mars Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batterson, Courtney

    2016-01-01

    Sublimation of the polar CO2 ice caps on Mars is an ongoing phenomenon that may be contributing to secular climate change on Mars. The transfer of CO2 between the surface and atmosphere via sublimation and deposition may alter atmospheric mass such that net atmospheric mass is increasing despite seasonal variations in CO2 transfer. My study builds on previous studies by Kahre and Haberle that analyze and compare data from the Phoenix and Viking Landers 1 and 2 to determine whether secular climate change is happening on Mars. In this project, I use two years worth of temperature, pressure, and elevation data from the MSL Curiosity rover to create a program that allows for successful comparison of Curiosity pressure data to Viking Lander pressure data so a conclusion can be drawn regarding whether CO2 ice cap sublimation is causing a net increase in atmospheric mass and is thus contributing to secular climate change on Mars.

  20. Martian North Polar Water-Ice Clouds During the Viking Era

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D. S.

    2000-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars' northern residual cap consists of water ice. Observed atmospheric water vapor abundances in the equatorial regions have been related to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, the regolith and between different phases in the atmosphere. Kahn modeled the physical characteristics of ice hazes seen in Viking Orbiter imaging limb data, hypothesizing that ice hazes provide a method for scavenging water vapor from the atmosphere and accumulating it into ice particles. Given that Jakosky found that these particles had sizes such that fallout times were of order one Martian sol, these water-ice hazes provided a method for returning more water to the regolith than that provided by adsorption alone. These hazes could also explain the rapid hemispheric decrease in atmospheric water in late northern summer as well as the increase during the following early spring. A similar comparison of water vapor abundance versus polar cap brightness has been done for the north polar region. They have shown that water vapor decreases steadily between L(sub s) = 100-150 deg while polar cap albedo increases during the same time frame. As a result, they suggested that late summer water-ice deposition onto the ice cap may be the cause of the cap brightening. This deposition could be due to adsorption directly onto the cap surface or to snowfall. Thus, an examination of north polar waterice clouds could lend insight into the fate of the water vapor during this time period. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Using Coastal Ice Cap Records to Investigate Maritime Climate and Ice Sheet Processes in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, S. B.; Evans, M. J.; Frey, K. E.; Osman, M. B.; Smith, B. E.; Stevens, L. A.; Trusel, L. D.; York, A.; Bingham, M.

    2014-12-01

    Recent changes, including outlet glacier retreat and speedup, and increased rates of surface melting, have dramatically increased the Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea-level rise over the past few decades. Increasingly studies point towards the influence of coupled ocean-ice processes in modulating Greenland ice sheet mass balance and glacier behavior in response to climate change, but many of these studies are limited to the past few years to decades, restricting our ability to understand these ocean-ice relationships over longer time periods. Ice core records have the potential to provide unique, high-resolution records of interest (e.g. accumulation and melt variability, as well as contemporaneous proxy records of regional air temperature and sea surface conditions), but suitable Greenland ice sheet coring regions are often located far inland (>200 km) from many maritime regions of interest. In this study we focus on new records from previously unstudied maritime ice caps (10-30 km from the coast) to reconstruct past environmental conditions in the Disko, Ummannaq and Baffin Bay regions. Here we present results from our recent 2014 field investigation of three high altitude ice caps (1300-2000 m) on Disko Island and the Nuussuaq Peninsula, as well as complementary results from two sites in the western ice sheet accumulation zone. Geophysical observations provide constraints on ice thickness, layering, and ice flow. Physical and chemical stratigraphic observations from snow pits and shallow firn cores are used to reconstruct recent accumulation rate and melt variability, as well as to develop and test environmental proxy relationships over the satellite era. Multi-century records from longer coastal ice cores, to be drilled in 2015, will contribute a key missing component to the existing observational record documenting ice, ocean and atmospheric changes in this region over a time period of dramatic change in Greenland ice sheet behavior (retreat and

  2. Cassini multi-instrument assessment of Saturn's polar cap boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinks, S. L.; Bunce, E. J.; Cowley, S. W. H.; Provan, G.; Yeoman, T. K.; Arridge, C. S.; Dougherty, M. K.; Gurnett, D. A.; Krupp, N.; Kurth, W. S.; Mitchell, D. G.; Morooka, M.; Wahlund, J.-E.

    2014-10-01

    We present the first systematic investigation of the polar cap boundary in Saturn's high-latitude magnetosphere through a multi-instrument assessment of various Cassini in situ data sets gathered between 2006 and 2009. We identify 48 polar cap crossings where the polar cap boundary can be clearly observed in the step in upper cutoff of auroral hiss emissions from the plasma wave data, a sudden increase in electron density, an anisotropy of energetic electrons along the magnetic field, and an increase in incidence of higher-energy electrons from the low-energy electron spectrometer measurements as we move equatorward from the pole. We determine the average level of coincidence of the polar cap boundary identified in the various in situ data sets to be 0.34° ± 0.05° colatitude. The average location of the boundary in the southern (northern) hemisphere is found to be at 15.6° (13.3°) colatitude. In both hemispheres we identify a consistent equatorward offset between the poleward edge of the auroral upward directed field-aligned current region of ~1.5-1.8° colatitude to the corresponding polar cap boundary. We identify atypical observations in the boundary region, including observations of approximately hourly periodicities in the auroral hiss emissions close to the pole. We suggest that the position of the southern polar cap boundary is somewhat ordered by the southern planetary period oscillation phase but that it cannot account for the boundary's full latitudinal variability. We find no clear evidence of any ordering of the northern polar cap boundary location with the northern planetary period magnetic field oscillation phase.

  3. Polar cap auroral arcs: Observations, theories, and a numerical model

    SciTech Connect

    Berg, G.A.

    1993-12-31

    This thesis reports the results of probably the most completely documented study of auroras near the polar cap boundary performed to date. Three fully instrumented rockets flew into the morning sector of the polar cap, complemented on the ground by a digital all-sky camera and incoherent scatter radar. Additionally, DMSP satellite passes over the polar cap bracketed the launches. We use these data to address two main issues: (1) the relationship between the state of the magnetosphere and the formation of polar cap arcs, and (2) the character of the current systems associated with polar cap arcs. The data indicate that in a decaying magnetosphere sun-aligned arcs erupt into the polar cap at high velocity from regions of enhanced brightness in the auroral oval. Two bright polar cap arcs formed in this manner in the region sampled by the rockets. The most equatorward of the arcs, sampled by two of the rockets during its lifetime, erupted into a region already characterized by strong sunward convection. The most poleward, however, which formed after the rockets had passed, pushed into a region where anti-sunward convection pertained less than two minutes earlier. It is likely that the boundary between sunward and anti-sunward convection shifted poleward so that sunward convection pertained at this arc as well. One of the payloads measured, with high resolution, both E and {delta}B as well as energetic particle flux. This permitted an in-depth study of the current systems flown through. The correlation between {delta}E and {delta}B is classic, both fields indicating upward field-aligned currents in virtually every region of enhanced electron precipitation. However, the currents deduced from the electrons do not agree in magnitude with those deduced from the fields. The conclusion is that for arcs embedded in a region of low {Sigma}{sub P} a current composed of upward thermal electrons flows concurrently with the precipitating electrons.

  4. A study of auroral activity in the nightside polar cap

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Q.

    1989-01-01

    Using various ground observations at South Pole, Antarctica (invariant magnetic latitude -74{degree}) and its conjugate point, Frobisher Bay, Canada, the author has studied the following aspects of nightside polar cap auroral activity: the appearance and disappearance of polar cap auroras (diffuse and discrete) associated with substorms and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) variations; auroral optical emission line intensities; and the seasonal variation of auroral conjugacy. The observations show that the polar cap auroras usually fade away before the expansive phase of a substorm and bright auroral arcs reach high latitude (-74{degree}) near the recovery phase. Just before the auroras fade away the discrete polar cap auroral arcs, which are usually on the poleward boundary of the diffuse aurora, intensify for 1 to 2 minutes. The observations also indicate the IMF may have stronger control over polar cap auroral activity than do substorms. A search for energy spectral variation of precipitating electrons using the intensities of 630.0 nm (0) and 427 nm (N{sub 2}{sup +}) auroral emission lines reveals no dramatic changes in the energy spectrum; instead, the data show possible atmospheric scattering and geometric effects on the photometric measurements while the bright auroral arc is moving into the polar cap. The conjugate observations show that the stormtime auroral electrojet current, which is associated with the bright auroral arc, in most cases reaches higher (lower) latitudes in the winter (summer) hemisphere. An asymmetric plasma sheet (with respect to the neutral sheet) is proposed, which expands deeper into the winter lobe, under a tilted geomagnetic dipole. Accordingly, the winter polar cap would have smaller area and the auroral electrojet would be at higher latitude.

  5. Direct Observations of the Evolution of Polar Cap Ionization Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q.; Zhang, B.; Lockwood, M. M.; Hu, H.; Moen, J. I.; Ruohoniemi, J.; Thomas, E. G.; Zhang, S.; Yang, H.; Liu, R.; McWilliams, K. A.; Baker, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    Patches of ionization are common in the polar ionosphere where their motion and associated density gradients give variable disturbances to High Frequency (HF) radio communications, over-the-horizon radar location errors, and disruption and errors to satellite navigation and communication. Their formation and evolution are poorly understood, particularly under disturbed space weather conditions. We report direct observations of the full evolution of patches during a geomagnetic storm, including formation, polar cap entry, transpolar evolution, polar cap exit, and sunward return flow. Our observations show that modulation of nightside reconnection in the substorm cycle of the magnetosphere helps form the gaps between patches where steady convection would give a 'tongue' of ionization (TOI).

  6. The Mars water cycle at other epochs: Recent history of the polar caps and layered terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1992-01-01

    The Martian polar caps and layered terrain presumably evolves by the deposition and removal of small amounts of water and dust each year, the current cap attributes therefore represent the incremental transport during a single year as integrated over long periods of time. The role was studied of condensation and sublimation of water ice in this process by examining the seasonal water cycle during the last 10(exp 7) yr. In the model, axial obliquity, eccentricity, and L sub s of perihelion vary according to dynamical models. At each epoch, the seasonal variations in temperature are calculated at the two poles, keeping track of the seasonal CO2 cap and the summertime sublimation of water vapor into the atmosphere; net exchange of water between the two caps is calculated based on the difference in the summertime sublimation between the two caps (or on the sublimation from one cap if the other is covered with CO2 frost all year). Results from the model can help to explain (1) the apparent inconsistency between the timescales inferred for layer formation and the much older crater retention age of the cap and (2) the difference in sizes of the two residual caps, with the south being smaller than the north.

  7. South Polar Residual Cap Geomorphology and Inferred Environmental Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Ingersoll, A.; Pathare, A.

    2003-12-01

    The CO2 southern residual cap (SRC) both controls circulation patterns regionally and buffers the atmospheric pressure globally. In turn this CO2 deposit is affected by changes in environmental conditions wrought by external forces such as dust storm activity. Mars Global Surveyor data of this area have revealed a rich variety of geomorphic features (1) of which there are several distinct classes. These different classes may be end members of the same basic process of insolation driven ablation. We are currently investigating two types of SRC features. Swiss-cheese features (SCF) are depressions characterized by flat floors and steep walls, which retreat 1-3 meters each Martian year (2). In some regions they have a definite symmetry axis along the north-south direction (3). After the seasonal frost disappears the residual ice exposed in the walls has a lower albedo (4). Previously (5) we modeled the evolution and growth of these depressions as a hole in a layer of CO2 ice underlain by water ice, which best explains their morphologic and thermal properties. The observed thickness of the CO2 slab can be as high as 8 meters but in general is much lower. Larger SCF?s commonly possess a raised central island of CO2 surrounded by a moat that penetrates to the underlying water ice (3). The fast rate of wall retreat observed (2) combined with the small sizes of the SCF?s indicate that all SCF?s visible today were created geologically recently. Within a particular region the size distribution is quite narrow (3): no larger (older) or smaller (younger) features were seen indicating that some relatively abrupt change in environmental conditions initiated the growth of this particular population of features. Fingerprint terrain (1) are areas with evenly spaced parallel ridges, which are steeper on one side. These ridges may have small areas of water ice exposed in the intervening troughs. Their wavelength is on the order of 70-90m with the steep edges facing northeast although

  8. Testing the Expanding-Contracting Polar Cap Paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotirelis, T.; Keller, M. R.; Smith, D.; Barnes, R. J.; Talaat, E. R.; Newell, P. T.; Baker, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The expanding-contracting polar cap (ECPC) paradigm is tested. Under the ECPC paradigm ionospheric convection in the polar cap is driven by the combined effects of dayside merging and nightside reconnection, as opposed to being mapped down from higher altitudes. The ECPC paradigm is tested by separately examining convection when the polar cap is expanding versus contracting. The open magnetic flux is estimated from SuperDARN observations of the convection reversal boundary (CRB) made simultaneously at different local times. (Sotirelis et al. [2005] established the CRB as a proxy for the Open-Closed Boundary (OCB).) The correlation of the ionospheric convection potential with solar wind/IMF driving is indeed found to depend on whether the polar cap is expanding or contracting. Specifically, when the polar cap is expanding, ionospheric convection correlates best (0.86) with the most recent 10 minutes of solar wind/IMF driving (versus 0.57 for contracting). When contracting, convection correlates best (0.87) with 90-minute averages of solar wind/IMF driving (versus 0.51 for expanding). This is consistent with ECPC expectations.

  9. DEAD ZONE IN THE POLAR-CAP ACCELERATOR OF PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Alexander Y.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2013-01-10

    We study plasma flows above pulsar polar caps using time-dependent simulations of plasma particles in the self-consistent electric field. The flow behavior is controlled by the dimensionless parameter {alpha} = j/c{rho}{sub GJ}, where j is the electric current density and {rho}{sub GJ} is the Goldreich-Julian charge density. The region of the polar cap where 0 < {alpha} < 1 is a {sup d}ead zone{sup -}in this zone, particle acceleration is inefficient and pair creation is not expected even for young, rapidly rotating pulsars. Pulsars with polar caps near the rotation axis are predicted to have a hollow-cone structure of radio emission, as the dead zone occupies the central part of the polar cap. Our results apply to charge-separated flows of electrons (j < 0) or ions (j > 0). In the latter case, we consider the possibility of a mixed flow consisting of different ion species, and observe the development of two-stream instability. The dead zone at the polar cap is essential for the development of an outer gap near the null surface {rho}{sub GJ} = 0.

  10. Evolution of the Mars Northern Ice Cap and Results From the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muhleman, D. O.; Ivanov, A. B.

    1998-01-01

    Martian ice caps play an extremely important role in regulating climate of Mars. It is well known that they are acting as a reservoir for CO2 and maybe for water and dust. However, a reliable quantitative estimate of the balance or amount of volatiles inside the ice caps was never possible, because little data were available for this purpose. Here we will present initial results and analysis of topography data over the northern ice cap obtained by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) onboard Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). We interpret the observed shape of the ice caps as created by ablation due to sublimation of water ice.

  11. The Residual Polar Caps of Mars: Geological Differences and Possible Consequences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, P. C.; Sullivan, R.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Murray, B. C.; Danielson, G. E.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Soderblom, L.; Malin, M. C.; Edgett, K. S.; James, P. B.

    2000-01-01

    The Martian polar regions have been known to have thick layered sequences (presumed to consist of silicates and ice), CO2 seasonal frost, and residual frosts that remain through the summer: H2O in the north, largely CO2 in the south. The relationship of the residual frosts to the underlying layered deposits could not be determined from Viking images. The Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor has provided a 50-fold increase in resolution that shows more differences between the two poles. The north residual cap surface has rough topography of pits, cracks, and knobs, suggestive of ablational forms. This topography is less than a few meters in height, and grades in to surfaces exposing the layers underneath. In contrast, the south residual cap has distinctive collapse and possibly ablational topography emplaced in four or more layers, each approx. two meters thick. The top surface has polygonal depressions suggestive of thermal contraction cracks. The collapse and erosional forms include circular and cycloidal depressions, long sinuous troughs, and nearly parallel sets of troughs. The distinctive topography occurs throughout the residual cap area, but not outside it. Unconformities exposed in polar layers, or other layered materials, do not approximate the topography seen on the south residual cap. The coincidence of a distinct geologic feature, several layers modified by collapse, ablation, and mass movement with the residual cap indicates a distinct composition and/or climate compared to both the remainder of the south polar layered units and those in the north.

  12. Polar cap auroral electron fluxes observed with Isis 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winningham, J. D.; Heikkila, W. J.

    1974-01-01

    Three types of auroral particle precipitation have been observed over the polar caps, well inside the auroral oval, by means of the soft particle spectrometer on the Isis 1 satellite. The first type is a uniform, very soft (about 100 eV) electron 'polar rain' over the entire polar cap; this may well be present with very weak intensity at all times, but it is markedly enhanced during worldwide geomagnetic storms. A second type of precipitation is a structured flux of electrons with energies near 1 keV, suggestive of localized 'polar showers'; it seems likely that these are the cause of the sun-aligned auroral arcs that have been observed during moderately quiet conditions. During periods of intense magnetic disturbance this precipitation can become very intense and exhibit a characteristic pattern that we have come to call a 'polar squall'.

  13. Destabilisation of an Arctic ice cap triggered by a hydro-thermodynamic feedback to summer-melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunse, T.; Schellenberger, T.; Kääb, A.; Hagen, J. O.; Schuler, T. V.; Reijmer, C. H.

    2014-05-01

    Mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets currently accounts for two-thirds of the observed global sea-level rise and has accelerated since the 1990s, coincident with strong atmospheric warming in the Polar Regions. Here we present continuous GPS measurements and satellite synthetic aperture radar based velocity maps from the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard, that demonstrate strong links between surface-melt and multiannual ice-flow acceleration. We identify a hydro-thermodynamic feedback that successively mobilizes stagnant ice regions, initially frozen to their bed, thereby facilitating fast basal motion over an expanding area. By autumn 2012, successive destabilization of the marine terminus escalated in a surge of the ice cap's largest drainage basin, Basin-3. The resulting iceberg discharge of 4.2 ± 1.6 Gt a-1 over the period April 2012 to May 2013 triples the calving loss from the entire ice cap. After accounting for the terminus advance, the related sea-level rise contribution of 7.2 ± 2.6 Gt a-1 matches the recent annual ice-mass loss from the entire Svalbard archipelago. Our study highlights the importance of dynamic glacier wastage and illuminates mechanisms that may trigger a sustained increase in dynamic glacier wastage or the disintegration of ice-sheets in response to climate warming, which is acknowledged but not quantified in global projections of sea-level rise.

  14. Landscape Evolution and the Reincarnation of the Southern Residual Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M. T.

    2006-10-01

    Given the present rate of erosion on the southern residual ice cap, it is unlikely that any part of the cap is older than a few centuries. Unless we're lucky, why is there a residual cap present today for us to observe? We propose a solution involving constant destruction and renewal of the cap.

  15. F-layer polar-cap arcs. Master's thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Fite, D.D.

    1987-09-01

    Two types of ionospheric anomalies were discovered recently in the polar cap: patches and arcs. Polar-cap arcs are the focus of this study, which seeks correlation between arcs and total election content (TEC) enhancements and amplitude scintillation effects. Simultaneous optical and radio-frequency measurements were taken at Thule AFB and Qanaaq, Greenland, using the All-Sky Imaging Photometer (ASIP) and a specially equipped Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Arcs were discovered to produce significant, rapidly varying TEC increases, and small but measurable amplitude scintillation.

  16. Transformation of Polar Ice Sublimate Residue into Martian Circumpolar Sand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.; Parker, T. J.; Stephens, J. B.; Laue, E. G.; Fanale, F. P.

    1985-01-01

    The experimental demonstration that a credible Martian sand may be formed from dust-bearing ice provides a new set of possible explanations for some of the observed Martian aeolian landforms. It is hypothesized that a light-weight fluffy rind is formed on the polar caps. This could provide material easily entrainable by Martian winds, which generally blow equatorward from the poles. These winds would peel the fluffy rind from the surface of the sublimating summer polar caps and from the equatorward slopes of the polar troughs. These pieces of material would then be rolled into lumps (of high sailarea/mass ratio) by the wind. They would become pigmented as they saltate across the surface, perhaps gathering carbonaceous meteoritic dust or other impurities on their surfaces, or through chemical reactions with the ice-free environment away from their point of origin. Once they became trapped in topographic wind shadows, they would form dune structures because they are hydraulically equivalent to sand particles.

  17. Evolution of lunar polar ice stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegler, Matt; Paige, David; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Bills, Bruce

    2015-07-01

    The polar regions of the Moon and Mercury both have permanently shadowed environments, potentially capable of harboring ice (cold traps). While cold traps are likely to have been stable for nearly 4 Gyr on Mercury, this has not been the case for the Moon. Roughly 3 ± 1 Gya, when the Moon is believed to have resided at approximately half of its current semimajor axis, lunar obliquities have been calculated to have reached as high as 77°. At this time, lunar polar temperatures were much warmer and cold traps did not exist. Since that era, lunar obliquity has secularly decreased, creating environments over approximately the last 1-2 Gyr where ice could be stable (assuming near current recession rates). We argue that the paucity of ice in the present lunar cold traps is evidence that no cometary impact has occurred in the past billion years that is similar to the one(s) which are thought to have delivered volatiles to Mercury's poles. However, the present ice distribution may be compatible with a cometary impact if it occurred not in today's lunar thermal environment, but in a past one. If ice were delivered during a past epoch, the distribution of ground ice would be dictated not by present day temperatures, but rather by these ancient, warmer, temperatures. In this paper, we attempt to recreate the thermal environments for past lunar orbital configurations to characterize the history of lunar environments capable of harboring ice. We will develop models of ice stability and mobility to examine likely fossil remains of past ice delivery (e.g. a comet impact) that could be observed on the present Moon. We attempt to quantify when in the Moon's outward evolution areas first became stable for ice deposition and when ice mobility would have ceased.

  18. Self-sustaining Mars colonies utilizing the North Polar Cap and the Martian atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Powell, J; Maise, G; Paniagua, J

    2001-01-01

    A revolutionary new concept for the early establishment of robust, self-sustaining Martian colonies is described. The colonies would be located on the North Polar Cap of Mars and utilize readily available water ice and the CO2 Martian atmosphere as raw materials to produce all of the propellants, fuel, air, water, plastics, food, and other supplies needed by the colony. The colonists would live in thermally insulated large, comfortable habitats under the ice surface, fully shielded from cosmic rays. The habitats and supplies would be produced by a compact, lightweight (~4 metric tons) nuclear powered robotic unit termed ALPH (Atomic Liberation of Propellant and Habitat), which would land 2 years before the colonists arrived. Using a compact, lightweight 5 MW (th) nuclear reactor/steam turbine (1 MW(e)) power source and small process units (e.g., H2O electrolyzer, H2 and O2 liquefiers, methanator, plastic polymerizer, food producer, etc.) ALPH would stockpile many hundreds of tons of supplies in melt cavities under the ice, plus insulated habitats, to be in place and ready for use when the colonists landed. With the stockpiled supplies, the colonists would construct and operate rovers and flyers to explore the surface of Mars. ALPH greatly reduces the amount of Earth supplied material needed and enables large permanent colonies on Mars. It also greatly reduces human and mission risks and vastly increases the capability not only for exploration of the surrounding Martian surface, but also the ice cap itself. The North Polar Cap is at the center of the vast ancient ocean that covered much of the Martian Northern Hemisphere. Small, nuclear heated robotic probes would travel deep (1 km or more) inside the ice cap, collecting data on its internal structure, the composition and properties of the ancient Martian atmosphere, and possible evidence of ancient life forms (microfossils, traces of DNA, etc.) that were deposited either by wind or as remnants of the ancient ocean

  19. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G.

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers. PMID:25941518

  20. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers. PMID:25941518

  1. Extending permanent volcano monitoring networks into Iceland's ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogfjörd, Kristín S.; Bergsson, Bergur H.; Kjartansson, Vilhjálmur; Jónsson, Thorsteinn; Ófeigsson, Benedikt G.; Roberts, Matthew J.; Jóhannesson, Tómas; Pálsson, Finnur; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Erlendsson, Pálmi; Ingvarsson, Thorgils; Pálssson, Sighvatur K.

    2015-04-01

    The goals of the FUTUREVOLC project are the establishment of a volcano Supersite in Iceland to enable access to volcanological data from the country's many volcanoes and the development of a multiparametric volcano monitoring and early warning system. However, the location of some of Iceland's most active volcanoes inside the country's largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, makes these goals difficult to achieve as it hinders access and proper monitoring of seismic and deformation signals from the volcanoes. To overcome these obstacles, one of the developments in the project involves experimenting with extending the permanent real-time networks into the ice cap, including installation of stations in the glacier ice. At the onset of the project, only one permanent seismic and GPS site existed within Vatnajökull, on the caldera rim of the Grímsvötn volcano. Two years into the project both seismic and GPS stations have been successfully installed and operated inside the glacier; on rock outcrops as well as on the glacier surface. The specific problems to overcome are (i) harsh weather conditions requiring sturdy and resilient equipment and site installations, (ii) darkness during winter months shutting down power generation for several weeks, (iii) high snow accumulation burying the instruments, solar panels and communication and GPS antennae, and in some locations (iv) extreme icing conditions blocking transmission signals and connection to GPS satellites, as well as excluding the possibility of power generation by wind generators. In 2013, two permanent seismic stations and one GPS station were installed on rock outcrops within the ice cap in locations with 3G connections and powered by solar panels and enough battery storage to sustain operation during the darkest winter months. These sites have successfully operated for over a year with mostly regular maintenance requirements, transmitting data in real-time to IMO for analysis. Preparations for two permanent seismic

  2. Holocene Fluctuations of North Ice Cap, a Proxy for Climate Conditions along the Northwestern Margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, M. A.; Osterberg, E. C.; Lasher, G. E.; Farnsworth, L. B.; Howley, J. A.; Axford, Y.; Zimmerman, S. R. H.

    2015-12-01

    North Ice Cap (~76.9°N, 68°W, summit elevation 1322 m asl), a small, independent ice cap in northwestern Greenland, is located within ~25 km of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin and Harald Molkte Bræ outlet glacier. We present geochronological, geomorphic and sedimentological data constraining the Holocene extents of North Ice Cap and suggest that its past fluctuations can be used as a proxy for climate conditions along the northwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Prior work by Goldthwait (1960) used glacial geomorphology and radiocarbon ages of subfossil plants emerging along shear planes in the ice cap margin to suggest that that North Ice Cap was not present during the early Holocene and nucleated in the middle to late Holocene time, with the onset of colder conditions. Subfossil plants emerging at shear planes in the North Ice Cap margin yield radiocarbon ages of ~4.8-5.9 cal kyr BP (Goldthwait, 1960) and ~AD 1000-1350 (950-600 cal yr BP), indicating times when the ice cap was smaller than at present. In situ subfossil plants exposed by recent ice cap retreat date to ~AD 1500-1840 (450-110 cal yr BP) and indicate small fluctuations of the ice cap margin. 10Be ages of an unweathered, lichen-free drift <100 m from the present North Ice Cap margin range from ~500 to 8000 yrs ago. We suggest that the drift was deposited during the last ~500 yrs and that the older 10Be ages are influenced by 10Be inherited from a prior period of exposure. We also infer ice cap fluctuations using geochemical data from a Holocene-long sediment core from Deltasø, a downstream lake that currently receives meltwater from North Ice Cap. The recent recession of the North Ice Cap margin influenced a catastrophic drainage of a large proglacial lake, Søndre Snesø, that our field team documented in August 2012. To our knowledge, this is the first significant lowering of Søndre Snesø in historical time.

  3. Nature and History of Cenozoic Polar Ice Covers: The Case of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielhagen, R.; Thiede, J.

    2009-04-01

    The nature of the modern climate System is characterized by steep temperature gradients between the tropical and polar climatic zones and finds its most spectacular expression in the formation of ice caps in high Northern and Southern latitudes. While polar regions of Planet Earth have been glaciated repeatedly in the long course of their geological history, the Cenozoic transition from a „greenhouse" to an „icehouse" has in fact produced a unique climatic scenario with bipolar glacation, different from all previous glacial events. The Greenland ice sheet is a remainder of the Northern Hemisphere last glacial maximum ice sheets and represents hence a spectacular anomaly. Geological records from Tertiary and Quaternary terrestrial and oceanic sections have documented the presence of ice caps and sea ice covers both on the Southern as well on the Northern hemisphere since Eocene times, aqpprox. 45 Mio. years ago. While this was well known in the case of Antarctica already for some time, previous ideas about the origin of Northern hemisphere glaciation during Pliocene times (approx. 2-3 Mio. years ago) have been superceded by the dramatic findings of coarse, terrigenous ice rafted detritus in Eocene sediments from Lomonosov Ridge (close to the North Pole) apparently slightly older than the oldest Antarctic records of ice rafting.The histories of the onset of Cenozoic glaciation in high Northern and Southern latitudes remain enigmatic and are presently subjects of international geological drilling projects, with prospects to reveal some of their secrets over the coming decades. By virtue of the physical porperties of ice and the processes controlling the dynamics of the turn-over of the ice-sheets only young records of glacial ice caps on Antarctica and on Greemnland have been preserved, on Greenland with ice probably not older than a few hundred thousand years, on Antarctica potentially as old as 1.5-2 Mio. years. Deep-sea cores with their records od ice

  4. Numerical Modeling of the Last Glacial Maximum Yellowstone Ice Cap Captures Asymmetry in Moraine Ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, L. S.; Wickert, A. D.; Colgan, W. T.; Anderson, R. S.

    2014-12-01

    The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Yellowstone Ice Cap was the largest continuous ice body in the US Rocky Mountains. Terminal moraine ages derived from cosmogenic radionuclide dating (e.g., Licciardi and Pierce, 2008) constrain the timing of maximum Ice Cap extent. Importantly, the moraine ages vary by several thousand years around the Ice Cap; ages on the eastern outlet glaciers are significantly younger than their western counterparts. In order to interpret these observations within the context of LGM climate in North America, we perform two numerical glacier modeling experiments: 1) We model the initiation and growth of the Ice Cap to steady state; and 2) We estimate the range of LGM climate states which led to the formation of the Ice Cap. We use an efficient semi-implicit 2-D glacier model coupled to a fully implicit solution for flexural isostasy, allowing for transient links between climatic forcing, ice thickness, and earth surface deflection. Independent of parameter selection, the Ice Cap initiates in the Absaroka and Beartooth mountains and then advances across the Yellowstone plateau to the west. The Ice Cap advances to its maximum extent first to the older eastern moraines and last to the younger western and northwestern moraines. This suggests that the moraine ages may reflect the timescale required for the Ice Cap to advance across the high elevation Yellowstone plateau rather than the timing of local LGM climate. With no change in annual precipitation from the present, a mean summer temperature drop of 8-9° C is required to form the Ice Cap. Further parameter searches provide the full range of LGM paleoclimate states that led to the Yellowstone Ice Cap. Using our preferred parameter set, we find that the timescale for the growth of the complete Ice Cap is roughly 10,000 years. Isostatic subsidence helps explain the long timescale of Ice Cap growth. The Yellowstone Ice Cap caused a maximum surface deflection of 300 m (using a constant effective elastic

  5. Rapidly Melting Ice Caps of Northern Baffin Island: Insights From Cosmogenic and Conventional Radiocarbon Dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. K.; Miller, G. H.; Briner, J. P.; Lifton, N.; Devogel, S. B.

    2006-12-01

    The interior plateau of northern Baffin Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic is home to several small (< 50 km2) ice caps whose melt has been well recorded since 1949. Modern equilibrium line altitude (ELA) is well above all existing ice and a continuation of current climatic conditions will lead to the disappearance of all ice on the plateau in the future. Between 2000 and 2005, approximately 1 km2 of ice was lost per year, equivalent to ~1.3% of the total ice cover on the plateau. To put this current melt into a larger picture of ice-cap history on the plateau since deglaciation 6 ka, several techniques have been used in concert. The recent extent of the ice caps during the Little Ice Age can be estimated from the preservation of lichen trimlines across much of the plateau. These trimlines represent previous multi-year snow or ice cover and their aerial extent can be measured via satellite imagery. Based on these measurements, modern ice caps represent only ~3% of ice-cap extent during the Little Ice Age. Radiocarbon dating of moss, preserved beneath the ice caps due to their cold-based nature, suggests a sudden expansion of ice cover around 520 calendar years before present (cal BP), indicated by a mode of 7 dates of approximately this age. This coincides with a pulse of global volcanic activity; predicted cooling from increased aerosol loading may have triggered rapid ice-cap growth. However, dead moss emerging at three sites is more than 1000 years old, with a maximum age of 1326±15 cal BP, indicating that portions of the remaining ice caps have remained intact from more than 1000 years Further constraints on ice cap size are provided by 14C cosmogenic exposure dating. 14C concentrations in rocks at the modern ice margin are too low to be the result of continuous exposure since deglaciation followed by shielding for 500-1000 years by ice cover. Exposure history modeling indicates at least one additional prior period of ice cover of approximately 1000 years

  6. Subsurface radar sounding of the martian polar cap: radiative transfer approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyushin, Ya. A.; Seu, R.; Phillips, R. J.

    2005-12-01

    The problem of subsurface radar sounding of the martian polar caps [Ilyushin, 2004. Martian northern polar cap: layering and possible implications for radar sounding. Planet. Space Sci. 52, 1195-1207] is considered from the point of view of incoherent radiative transfer theory. Since it has been previously shown that the radar signal field within the polar cap has diffuse structure, there is a need for a statistical approach to the problem. Radiative transfer theory, which is now well developed, seems to be the most appropriate formalism for this approach. Several physical models of polar caps have been formulated. The asymptotic solutions for all proposed models are derived here. In the present paper only the case of orbital ground penetrating radar is considered, because it is of great interest in relationship to currently developed radar experiments. In principle, the approach is believed to be applicable to a wide class of short pulse and compressed chirp radar experiments, including both orbital and landed instruments and media more complicated than a simple plane parallel geometry. This work, however, is postponed to future papers. Techniques for retrieval of physical properties of polar caps from the radar measurements are proposed. From the observational data, the macroscopic parameters of the medium appearing in radiative transfer theory, i.e. the single scattering albedo and volume extinction coefficient can be estimated. These estimates put certain constraints on the physical parameters of the medium model introduced in the paper. With some additional information, known a priori or from other observations, these estimates can be used to retrieve physically meaningful information, for example, the average content of impurities in the ice.

  7. ICESat Estimates of Elevation and Volume Changes of Greenland Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbins, J. W.; Zwally, J.; Yi, D.; Li, J.; Saba, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    ICESat Laser Altimetry acquired over the period 2003-2008 has been processed to provide estimates of changes in elevation for each aligned laser footprint. These are then interpolated, geographically, yielding estimates of volume change on nearly two dozen peripheral ice caps, mostly located in northern Greenland. Definition of ice cap edges are provided by the Greenland Mapping Project 90m, high-resolution, ice mask (GIMP). The results provide a geometric measure of sub-decadal ice cap gain or loss, with the outcome being that more ice caps are losing volume than gaining. Ice caps ranging in size from 200 to 7500 square km have been considered. Over the five-years, ice cap volume changes range from -1.586 cubic km for the Ikke Opmålt cap (2965.1 sq. km areal extent) to +0.582 cubic km on the Kronprins Christian Land cap (7414.6 sq. km). The corresponding averaged rates of elevation change range from -0.535 m/yr to +0.079 m/yr, respectively. Estimates of elevation changes from variations in the rate of firn compaction are also applied. Additionally, examination of time histories of ICESat elevation profiles crossing select ice caps reveal seasonal losses and gains.

  8. Effective area for northern Polar Cap index data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The northern (PCN) and southern (PCS) Polar Cap indices are used, among other, in applications to forecast geomagnetic storms and substorms. The index values are based on geomagnetic observations that for the forecast are transmitted in real-time from selected stations, PCN on data from Qaanaaq (Thule) in Greenland and PCS on geomagnetic data from Vostok in Antarctica. Observational conditions in the harsh polar environments are difficult and data transmission links are vulnerable. Hence, it could be advantageous to base real-time PC index values on data from multiple sites in order to safeguard the forecasts. The presentation shall compare PCN index values derived from a range of further observatories in Greenland and Canada in order to delimit an effective Polar Cap area for providing geomagnetic data for a useful index and to settle whether reliable (preliminary) index values could be derived from other than the standard observatories particularly during strongly disturbed conditions.

  9. Direct observations of the evolution of polar cap ionization patches.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing-He; Zhang, Bei-Chen; Lockwood, Michael; Hu, Hong-Qiao; Moen, Jøran; Ruohoniemi, J Michael; Thomas, Evan G; Zhang, Shun-Rong; Yang, Hui-Gen; Liu, Rui-Yuan; McWilliams, Kathryn A; Baker, Joseph B H

    2013-03-29

    Patches of ionization are common in the polar ionosphere, where their motion and associated density gradients give variable disturbances to high-frequency (HF) radio communications, over-the-horizon radar location errors, and disruption and errors to satellite navigation and communication. Their formation and evolution are poorly understood, particularly under disturbed space weather conditions. We report direct observations of the full evolution of patches during a geomagnetic storm, including formation, polar cap entry, transpolar evolution, polar cap exit, and sunward return flow. Our observations show that modulation of nightside reconnection in the substorm cycle of the magnetosphere helps form the gaps between patches where steady convection would give a "tongue" of ionization (TOI). PMID:23539601

  10. Frost streaks in the south polar cap of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, P.; Veverka, J.; Campos-Marquetti, R.

    1979-01-01

    Viking Orbiter images of the annual south polar cap on Mars exhibit elongated bright features that are associated with craters and resemble wind streaks observed elsewhere on Mars. The study focuses on the well-documented frost streaks. The discussion covers the morphology of frost streaks, occurrence, seasonal behavior, thickness of frost in streak deposits, wind patterns inferred from frost streaks and other eolian features in the south polar region, formation of frost streaks, and other locales of preferential frost accumulation. The form and seasonal behavior of the bright elongated albedo markings which extend from the rims of many craters in the south polar cap suggest that they are accumulations of CO2 frost in the lee of craters. The frost streaks appear in the fall, increasing in length but not changing in direction during fall and winter. The frost streaks indicate a prograde circulation pattern of near-surface winds around the pole. Other details are also presented.

  11. The spatial coherence of Schumann activity in the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtham, P. M.; McAskill, B. J.

    1988-02-01

    The spatial coherence of the first two Schumann resonant modes has been studied at two locations in the polar cap separated by 1100 km. Measurements were made at Assistance Bay and Mould Bay, which have geomagnetic latitudes of 83 and 79 deg, respectively, and satellite time-keeping was employed to accurately synchronize the field stations. The coherence was found to be high, typically 95 percent for the first Schumann mode, and was unaffected by changes in Kp, a storm sudden commencement, or a solar flare event. Polarization rotations were observed between the two stations, which could most likely be attributed to the coastline effect. The results are consistent with a stable propagation of Schumann activity from midlatitudes to high latitudes that is relatively unaffected by changes in the polar cap ionosphere.

  12. Variations in Surface Texture of the North Polar Residual Cap of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milkovich, S. M.; Byrne, S.; Russell, P. S.

    2011-01-01

    The northern polar residual cap (NPRC) of Mars is a water ice deposit with a rough surface made up of pits, knobs, and linear depressions on scales of tens of meters. This roughness manifests as a series of bright mounds and dark hollows in visible images; these bright and dark patches have a characteristic wavelength and orientation. Spectral data indicate that the surface of the NPRC is composed of large-grained (and therefore old) water ice. Due to the presence of this old ice, it is thought that the NPRC is in a current state of net loss of material a result potentially at odds with impact crater statistics, which suggest ongoing deposition over the past 10-20 Kyr.

  13. Space weather challenges of the polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moen, Jøran; Oksavik, Kjellmar; Alfonsi, Lucilla; Daabakk, Yvonne; Romano, Vineenzo; Spogli, Luca

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents research on polar cap ionosphere space weather phenomena conducted during the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) action ES0803 from 2008 to 2012. The main part of the work has been directed toward the study of plasma instabilities and scintillations in association with cusp flow channels and polar cap electron density structures/patches, which is considered as critical knowledge in order to develop forecast models for scintillations in the polar cap. We have approached this problem by multi-instrument techniques that comprise the EISCAT Svalbard Radar, SuperDARN radars, in-situ rocket, and GPS scintillation measurements. The Discussion section aims to unify the bits and pieces of highly specialized information from several papers into a generalized picture. The cusp ionosphere appears as a hot region in GPS scintillation climatology maps. Our results are consistent with the existing view that scintillations in the cusp and the polar cap ionosphere are mainly due to multi-scale structures generated by instability processes associated with the cross-polar transport of polar cap patches. We have demonstrated that the SuperDARN convection model can be used to track these patches backward and forward in time. Hence, once a patch has been detected in the cusp inflow region, SuperDARN can be used to forecast its destination in the future. However, the high-density gradient of polar cap patches is not the only prerequisite for high-latitude scintillations. Unprecedented high-resolution rocket measurements reveal that the cusp ionosphere is associated with filamentary precipitation giving rise to kilometer scale gradients onto which the gradient drift instability can operate very efficiently. Cusp ionosphere scintillations also occur during IMF BZ north conditions, which further substantiates that particle precipitation can play a key role to initialize plasma structuring. Furthermore, the cusp is associated with flow channels and

  14. The Geomorphic Footprint of Ice Streaming in the Newfoundland Ice Cap Mapped from Remotely Sensed Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundon, Phillip

    Although ice streams have long been proposed within the Newfoundland Ice Cap, this work confirms, for the first time, ice stream operation within terrestrial areas. Through the application of a multi-scale mapping approach several ice stream footprints were identified and characterized. These footprints are characterized by convergence of elongated flow-parallel landforms including drumlins, mega flutes, and crag-and-tail hills. Detailed investigation of the Exploits Ice Stream showed that variations in landform morphology mimic predicted velocity fields within ice steams. All flow sets are characterized by generally thin sediment cover and typically display some form of topographic control, suggesting that topography was more important in controlling ice stream location than the presence of a soft deformable bed. Investigation of landform mapping procedures using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation models and aerial photographs, shows that while not as detailed, mapping from SRTM DEMs was able to produce landform maps showing trends similar to those identified on aerial photographs, highlighting their use in reconnaissance level landform mapping.

  15. When is O+ Observed in the High Altitude Polar Cap?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, H. A.; Comfort, R. H.; Craven, P. D.; Chandler, M. O.; Moore, T. E.

    2000-01-01

    Solar wind and IMF properties are correlated with the properties of O+ and H+ in the polar cap at altitudes greater than 5.5 Re geocentric using the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) on the Polar satellite. O+ is of primary interest in this study because the fraction of O+ present in the magnetosphere is commonly used as a measure of the ionospheric contribution to the magnetosphere. O+ is observed to be most abundant at lower latitudes when the solar wind speed is low and across most of the polar cap at high solar winds speeds and Kp. As the solar wind dynamic pressures increases more O+ is present in the polar cap. The O+ density is also shown to be more highly correlated with the solar wind dynamic pressure when IMF Bz is positive. H+ was not as well correlated with solar wind and IMF parameters although some correlation with IMF By is observed. H+ is more plentiful when IMF By is negative than when it is positive. In this data set H+ is very dominate so that if this plasma makes it to the plasma sheet its contribution to the plasma sheet would have a very low O+ to H+ ratio.

  16. Sedimentation Waves on the Martian North Polar Cap: Analogy with Megadunes in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herny, C.; Masse, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Carpy, S.; Le Mouelic, S.; Appéré, T.; Smith, I. B.; Spiga, A.; Perret, L.; Rodriguez, S.; Piquet, T.; Gaudin, D.; Le Menn, E.

    2014-12-01

    Complex feedbacks between katabatic winds and the cryosphere may lead to the development of sedimentation waves at the surface of ice sheets. These have been first described and named megadunes in Antarctica. Here we use topographic data, optical images, spectroscopic data and radar soundings, acquired by Mars orbiters, to show that the surface of the Martian North Polar Cap displays two superimposed sets of sedimentation waves with differing wavelengths. These sedimentation waves grow and migrate upwind in response to the development of periodic accumulation/ablation patterns controlled by katabatic winds. They have similarities with Antarctic megadunes regarding their surface morphology, texture, grain size, and internal stratigraphic architecture. Based on this analogy, we are currently developing a model of ice/wind interaction at the surface of ice sheets. In Antarctica the accumulation processes on megadunes fields is generally attributed to the wind-blown snow transport while on sedimentation waves of the North Polar Cap of Mars the accumulation seems to be dominated by sublimation/condensation processes at the surface. The model is designed to explore the implication of the water vapor mass transfer and heat transfer on the development of sedimentation waves both on Mars and Earth.

  17. Lineations on the ``White'' Accumulation Areas of the Residual Northern Ice Cap of Mars: Their Relation to the ``Accublation'' and Ice Flow Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, David A.; Winebrenner, Dale P.; Stern, Harry

    2002-09-01

    Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images of the whiter areas of the residual North Polar Cap (P. C. Thomas et al. 2000, Nature404, 161-164) show a gentle hummocky pitted surface that has been popularly called "cottage cheese" terrain. The pits are 1 or 2 m deep and tens of meters across. They are typically joined in roughly linear strings or long depressions and these features are referred to here as "lineations." The lineations tend to have one or occasionally two preferred directions. We have examined the MOC imagery for the North Cap and using high-resolution images that have good wide-angle context images were able to determine the lineation angles for 31 sites scattered over most of the ice cap. We propose a process that will produce linear features in the white areas, then relate the orientation of the lineations over much of the North Cap to these processes and the inferred ice flow direction. There is first-order agreement between the measured sign of the lineation angles and those predicted assuming ice flow. Higher accumulations and velocities are predicted in the catchment for ice that flows into Chasma Boreale. This comes from the indications that katabatic winds are concentrated in this catchment.

  18. Palmer Quest: A Feasible Nuclear Fission "Vision Mission" to the Mars Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Beegle, L. W.; Nakagawa, R.; Elliott, J. O.; Matthews, J. B.; Coleman, M. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Ivaniov, A. B.; Head, J. W.; Milkovich, S.

    2005-01-01

    We are engaged in a NASA Vision Mission study, called Palmer Quest after the American Antarctic explorer Nathaniel Palmer, to assess the presence of life and evaluate the habitability of the basal domain of the Mars polar caps. We address this goal through four objectives: 1. Determine the presence of amino acids, nutrients, and geochemical heterogeneity in the ice sheet. 2. Quantify and characterize the provenance of the amino acids in Mars ice. 3. Assess the stratification of outcropped units for indications of habitable zones. 4. Determine the accumulation of ice, mineralogic material, and amino acids in Mars ice caps over the present epoch. Because of the defined scientific goal for the vision mission, the Palmer Quest focus is astrobiological; however, the results of the study make us optimistic that aggressive multi-platform in-situ missions that address a wide range of objectives, such as climate change, can be supported by variations of the approach used on this mission. Mission Overview: The Palmer Quest baseline

  19. Condensation phase of the Martian south polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Capuano, J.; Reed, M.; James, P. B.

    1992-01-01

    One type of database that can be useful in limiting models of the Mars surface-atmosphere system is the time dependent boundary of CO2 frost for the polar caps. Data acquired by the thermal infrared sensors on spacecraft are not limited by the lighting problems that hamper visual observations. The surface temperature of solid CO2 is limited by Clapeyron's equation as a function of the local partial pressure of CO2 gas. The growth was studied of the Martian south polar cap using the Viking IRTM dataset. These data are available in five bands, four of which should correspond to surface radiation in clear conditions; the 20 micron data was examined in the first phase.

  20. Review of methods to derive a Polar Cap (PC) index.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2016-07-01

    Since a Polar Cap (PC) index was introduced in 1985, several different methods have been used to derive index values. Basically, the northern (PCN) and southern (PCS) are based on geomagnetic recordings at Qaanaaq (Thule) and Vostok, respectively. However, different derivation methods can give index values differing by more than a factor 2. The PC indices are used, among other, in scientific analyses to link solar wind conditions to relevant geophysical effects and in forecast efforts to establish numerical criteria for imminent risk of geomagnetic storms and substorms. Thus, it is unfortunate that several different versions of the PC index have been in use, often without specifically mentioning the index version being used or without ensuring that proper documention and specification of the derivation method is available. The presentation shall briefly describe the basic calculation of a Polar Cap index and point specifically to the differences between the different derivation methods and to the consequences for the index values

  1. Polar cap F layer patches: structure and dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.J.; Klobuchar, J.A.; Buchau, J.; Carlson, H.C.; Livingston, R.C.

    1986-11-01

    Coordinated measurements of F-region plasma patches were conducted on February 3/4, 1984, from Thule and Sondrestrom, Greenland. Optical, ionsonde, amplitude scintillation, total electron content (TEC), and incoherent scatter radar measurements were combined to reveal several new aspects of the structure and transport of these localized regions of enhanced F region ionization. For the first time, these patches were directly tracked flowing in the antisunward direction over distances of 3000 km from the center of the polar cap to the poleward edge of the auroral oval. Quantative measurements of TEC show increases of 10-15 TEC units within the patches, above a background polar cap value of 5 TEC units. Amplitude scintillation measurements show the presence of ionospheric irregularities through the entire patch, with a weak indication of stronger scintillation on the trailing (or E x B unstable) edge.

  2. Polar cap F layer patches: structure and dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.J.; Klobuchar, J.A.; Buchau, J.; Carlson H.C. Jr.; Livingston, R.C.; De La Beaujardiere, O.; McCready, M.; Moore, J.G.; Bishop, G.J.

    1986-11-01

    Coordinated measurements of F region plasma patches were conducted on February 3/4, 1984, from Thule and Sondrestrom, Greenland. Optical, ionosonde, amplitude scintillation, total electron content (TEC), and incoherent scatter radar measurements were combined to reveal several new aspects of the structure and transport of these localized regions of enhanced F region ionization. For the first time these patches were directly tracked flowing in the antisunward direction over distances of 3000 km from the center of the polar cap to the poleward edge of the auroral oval. Quantitative measurements of TEC show increases of 10--15 TEC units within the patches, above a background polar cap value of 5 TEC units. Amplitude scintillation measurements show the presence of ionospheric irregularities through the entire patch, with a weak indication of stronger scintillation on the trailing (or E x B unstable) edge.

  3. On magnetic pair production above fast pulsar polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    An, S.

    1985-01-01

    Magnetic pair production is one of high-energy electromagnetic conversion processes important to the development of pair-photon cascades in pulsars. On the basis of current polar cap models, the properties of magnetic pair production in fast pulsars are discussed. Suppose there is a roughly dipole magnetic field at the stellar surface, the author estimate the effects on non-zero curvature of magnetic field lines upon curvature radiation from primary particles and pair production rate near the surface of pulsars.

  4. Pulsar Polar Cap and Slot Gap Models: Confronting Fermi Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.

    2012-01-01

    Rotation-powered pulsars are excellent laboratories for studying particle acceleration as well as fundamental physics of strong gravity, strong magnetic fields and relativity. I will review acceleration and gamma-ray emission from the pulsar polar cap and slot gap. Predictions of these models can be tested with the data set on pulsars collected by the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope over the last four years, using both detailed light curve fitting and population synthesis.

  5. May the continuous trapping of atmospheric water on the permanent South polar cap affect the global atmospheric D/H ratio on Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chassefiere, E.; Montmessin, F.; Fouchet, T.; Forget, F.

    It is generally admitted that thermal escape is the only process responsible for hydrogen isotopic fractionation in Mars atmosphere (enrichment by a factor of 5.5 relative to SMOW value). The aim of the present paper is to show that thermodynamic processes (condensation/ sublimation) may potentially play a significant role in fractionating atmospheric H2O. The cycle of Martian H2O is complex. During northern summer, the North permanent water ice cap is assumed to release a few precipitable microns (pr. μ m), globally averaged, to the atmosphere. Part of this water vapor finally returns to North cap during northern winter, whereas a small fraction (<10%) is trapped in the South permanent carbonic ice cap, which acts as a permanent sink. Water vapor is probably cycled through regolith by adsorption/deposition and further sublimation/desorption. It is believed that the ultimate fate of water molecules released by the North water ice cap, and/or by the permafrost, is to stick to the South carbonic ice cap, with a time scale longer than one seasonal cycle. If so, a molecule released by the North cap must undergo a number of adsorption/desorption and deposition/sublimation cycles, through regolith and polar caps, before being trapped irreversibly in South cap carbonic ice. Recent IR observations of pure water ice on South polar cap by Mars-Express during southern spring show that water, migrating southward together with the edge of the retreating seasonal south CO2 cap, is finally deposited near cap edges in substantial amount. The fraction of this deposited water not released back to the atmosphere at later times (southern summer), therefore incorporated to carbonic ice, is not well known at present time. Because, during southern winter, water vapor above the South permanent cap is much depleted in deuterium, by at least a factor of 3 (Montmessin et al, AGU meeting, 2003), the polar cap tends to be depleted in deuterium (similarly to Earth's case), with a related

  6. Polar volatiles on Mars - Theory versus observation. [solid carbon dioxide in north residual cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, B. C.; Malin, M. C.

    1973-01-01

    Synthesis of the results of the Mariner 9 mission, as they pertain to polar volatiles, and comparison of them with a description of the solid-vapor equilibrium relations believed to be presently active on Mars. The discovery by Mariner 9 of extensive volcanic deposits on portions of the Martian surface suggests that the total amount of CO2 liberated to the surface probably exceeds that now present in the atmosphere. Thus excess CO2 in the solid form is to be expected in the polar areas. Although the simplified model of Leighton and Murray (1966), which predicts a permanent CO2 cap, has significant deficiencies both theoretically and observationally, the seasonal caps are composed of CO2, as predicted, excess CO2 is quite likely, and a permanent deposit of solid CO2 evidently is in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. It is suggested that there must be a large reservoir of solid CO2 in gaseous equilibrium with the atmosphere, but buried immediately below the exposed residual water-ice cap. This reservoir is believed to be located near the north pole. The principal effect of such a reservoir is to average out annual and longer-term fluctuations in the polar heat balance.

  7. The Contribution of Water Ice Clouds to the Water Cycle in the North Polar Region of Mars: Preliminary Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bass, D. S.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2000-01-01

    While it has long been known that Mars' north residual polar cap and the Martian regolith are significant sources of atmospheric water vapor, the amount of water vapor observed in the northern spring season by the Viking Mars Atmospheric Water Detector instrument (MAWD) cannot be attributed to cap and regolith sources alone. Kahn suggested that ice hazes may be the mechanism by which additional water is supplied to the Martian atmosphere. Additionally, a significant decrease in atmospheric water vapor was observed in the late northern summer that could not be correlated with the return of the cold seasonal C02 ice. While the detection of water ice clouds on Mars indicate that water exists in Mars' atmosphere in several different phases, the extent to which water ice clouds play a role in moving water through the Martian atmosphere remains uncertain. Work by Bass et. al. suggested that the time dependence of water ice cap seasonal variability and the increase in atmospheric water vapor depended on the polar cap center reaching 200K, the night time saturation temperature. Additionally, they demonstrated that a decrease in atmospheric water vapor may be attributed to deposition of water ice onto the surface of the polar cap; temperatures were still too warm at this time in the summer for the deposition of carbon dioxide. However, whether water ice clouds contribute significantly to this variability is unknown. Additional information is contained in original extended abstract.

  8. Monthly average polar sea-ice concentration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schweitzer, Peter N.

    1995-01-01

    The data contained in this CD-ROM depict monthly averages of sea-ice concentration in the modern polar oceans. These averages were derived from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) instruments aboard satellites of the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program from 1978 through 1992. The data are provided as 8-bit images using the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

  9. Observations of the north polar water ice annulus on Mars using THEMIS and TES

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagstaff, K.L.; Titus, T.N.; Ivanov, A.B.; Castano, R.; Bandfield, J.L.

    2008-01-01

    The Martian seasonal CO2 ice caps advance and retreat each year. In the spring, as the CO2 cap gradually retreats, it leaves behind an extensive defrosting zone from the solid CO2 cap to the location where all CO2 frost has sublimated. We have been studying this phenomenon in the north polar region using data from the THermal EMission Imaging System (THEMIS), a visible and infra-red (IR) camera on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor. Recently, we discovered that some THEMIS images of the CO2 defrosting zone contain evidence for a distinct defrosting phenomenon: some areas just south of the CO2 cap edge are too bright in visible wavelengths to be defrosted terrain, but too warm in the IR to be CO2 ice. We hypothesize that we are seeing evidence for a seasonal annulus of water ice (frost) that recedes with the seasonal CO2 cap, as predicted by previous workers. In this paper, we describe our observations with THEMIS and compare them to simultaneous observations by TES and OMEGA. All three instruments find that this phenomenon is distinct from the CO2 cap and most likely composed of water ice. We also find strong evidence that the annulus widens as it recedes. Finally, we show that this annulus can be detected in the raw THEMIS data as it is collected, enabling future long-term onboard monitoring. ?? 2007.

  10. Localized polar cap flow enhancement tracing using airglow patches: Statistical properties, IMF dependence, and contribution to polar cap convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Ying; Nishimura, Yukitoshi; Lyons, Larry R.; Shiokawa, Kazuo; Donovan, Eric F.; Ruohoniemi, J. Michael; McWilliams, Kathryn A.; Nishitani, Nozomu

    2015-05-01

    Recent radar observations have suggested that polar cap flows are highly structured and that localized flow enhancements can lead to nightside auroral disturbances. However, knowledge of these flows is limited to available echo regions. Utilizing wide spatial coverage by an all-sky imager at Resolute Bay and simultaneous Super Dual Auroral Radar Network measurements, we statistically determined properties of such flows and their interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) dependence. We found that narrow flow enhancements are well collocated with airglow patches with substantially larger velocities (≥200 m/s) than the weak large-scale background flows. The flow azimuthal widths are similar to the patch widths. During the evolution across the polar cap, the flow directions and speeds are consistent with the patch propagation directions and speeds. These correspondences indicate that patches can optically trace localized flow enhancements reflecting the flow width, speed, and direction. Such associations were found common (~67%) in statistics, and the typical flow speed, propagation time, and width within our observation areas are 600 m/s, tens of minutes, and 200-300 km, respectively. By examining IMF dependence of the occurrence and properties of these flows, we found that they tend to be observed under By-dominated IMF. Flow speeds are large under oscillating IMF clock angles. Localized flow enhancements are usually observed as a channel elongated in the noon-midnight meridian and directed toward premidnight (postmidnight) for +By (-By). The potential drops across localized flow enhancements account for ~10-40% of the cross polar cap potential, indicating that they significantly contribute to polar cap plasma transport.

  11. The Martian polar CAP - Radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1990-02-01

    The solar and thermal flux striking the polar cap of Mars is computed for various ozone, dust, and cloud abundances and for three solar zenith angles. Ozone does not significantly affect the total energy budget of the polar cap. Hence the observed hemispherical asymmetry in ozone abundance causes only an insignificant hemispherical asymmetry in the polar caps. Vertical optical depths of dust and cloud ranging from zero to 1 cause little change in the total flux absorbed by the polar cap near its edge but increase the absorbed flux significantly as one travels poleward. Hemispherical asymmetries in dust abundance, cloud cover, and surface pressure combine to cause a significant hemispherical asymmetry in the total flux absorbed by the residual polar caps, which helps to explain the dichotomy in the residual polar caps on Mars. Other processes which affect the energy budget of the polar cap are proposed and reviewed, particularly with respect to their interaction with the radiative effects of clouds and dust.

  12. Slab Ice and Snow Flurries in the Mars Northern Polar Night

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    In the 1970s, spacecraft observations of the polar regions of Mars revealed polar brightness temperatures that were significantly below the expected kinetic temperatures for CO_2 sublimation. For the past few decades, we have speculated as to the nature of these Martian polar cold spots. Are the cold spots surface or atmospheric effects? Do the cold spots behave as blackbodies, or do they have emissivities less than unity? Two developments have allowed us to answer these questions: (1) the measurement of the optical constants of CO_2 by Gary Hansen (1997) and (2) direct thermal spectroscopy of the north polar cap by MGS TES (Kieffer et al., 1998).

    With a few possible excepts, cold spots are surface effects. The CO_2 frost in cold regions of the polar cap show a strong absorption feature at 25 microns that is indicative of fine-grained CO_2, thus explaining the low brightness temperatures observed by the Viking IRTM. Brightness temperatures at 18 microns are usually consistent with expected kinetic surface temperatures. In many cases, the brightness temperatures at 15 microns reveals an atmosphere that is too warm for CO_2 condensation to occur.

    Cold spot formation is strongly dependent on topography, forming preferentially near craters and on slopes of the perennial cap. While cold spots are surface effects, the formation of the fine-grained CO_2 deposits is not entirely restricted to surface formation. TES data, combined with MOLA cloud data (Ivanov and Muhleman, 1999), suggest that at least a few of these cold spots were formed from atmospheric condensates.

    Another major component to the north polar cap composition is slab CO_2 ice. Slab ice has near unity spectral emissivity (Kieffer et al.,1999; Hansen, 1998) and appears to have a low albedo. Two explanations for the low albedo are that the slab ice is intrinsically dark or the slab ice is transparent and we are seeing through to the underlying substrate. Regions of the cap where T_18-T_25 <5

  13. Physical processes in polar stratospheric ice clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, Owen B.; Turco, Richard; Jordan, Joseph

    1988-01-01

    A one dimensional model of cloud microphysics was used to simulate the formation and evolution of polar stratospheric ice clouds. Some of the processes which are included in the model are outlined. It is found that the clouds must undergo preferential nucleation upon the existing aerosols just as do tropospheric cirrus clouds. Therefore, there is an energy barrier between stratospheric nitric acid particles and ice particles implying that nitric acid does not form a continuous set of solutions between the trihydrate and ice. The Kelvin barrier is not significant in controlling the rate of formation of ice particles. It was found that the cloud properties are sensitive to the rate at which the air parcels cool. In wave clouds, with cooling rates of hundreds of degrees per day, most of the existing aerosols nucleate and become ice particles. Such clouds have particles with sizes on the order of a few microns, optical depths on order of unity and are probably not efficient at removing materials from the stratosphere. In clouds which form with cooling rates of a few degrees per day or less, only a small fraction of the aerosols become cloud particles. In such clouds the particle radius is larger than 10 microns, the optical depths are low and water vapor is efficiently removed. Seasonal simulations show that the lowest water vapor mixing ratio is determined by the lowest temperature reached, and that the time when clouds disappear is controlled by the time when temperatures begin to rise above the minimum values.

  14. Transient bright "halos" on the South Polar Residual Cap of Mars: Implications for mass-balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane; Brown, Adrian J.

    2015-05-01

    Spacecraft imaging of Mars' south polar region during mid-southern summer of Mars year 28 (2007) observed bright halo-like features surrounding many of the pits, scarps and slopes of the heavily eroded carbon dioxide ice of the South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC). These features had not been observed before, and have not been observed since. We report on the results of an observational study of these halos, and spectral modeling of the SPRC surface at the time of their appearance. Image analysis was performed using data from MRO's Context Camera (CTX), and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), as well as images from Mars Global Surveyor's (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). Data from MRO's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) were used for the spectral analysis of the SPRC ice at the time of the halos. These data were compared with a Hapke reflectance model of the surface to constrain their formation mechanism. We find that the unique appearance of the halos is intimately linked to a near-perihelion global dust storm that occurred shortly before they were observed. The combination of vigorous summertime sublimation of carbon dioxide ice from sloped surfaces on the SPRC and simultaneous settling of dust from the global storm, resulted in a sublimation wind that deflected settling dust particles away from the edges of these slopes, keeping these areas relatively free of dust compared to the rest of the cap. The fact that the halos were not exhumed in subsequent years indicates a positive mass-balance for flat portions of the SPRC in those years. A net accumulation mass-balance on flat surfaces of the SPRC is required to preserve the cap, as it is constantly being eroded by the expansion of the pits and scarps that populate its surface.

  15. Fourier analysis of polar cap electric field and current distributions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbosa, D. D.

    1984-01-01

    A theoretical study of high-latitude electric fields and currents, using analytic Fourier analysis methods, is conducted. A two-dimensional planar model of the ionosphere with an enhanced conductivity auroral belt and field-aligned currents at the edges is employed. Two separate topics are treated. A field-aligned current element near the cusp region of the polar cap is included to investigate the modifications to the convection pattern by the east-west component of the interplanetary magnetic field. It is shown that a sizable one-cell structure is induced near the cusp which diverts equipotential contours to the dawnside or duskside, depending on the sign of the cusp current. This produces characteristic dawn-dusk asymmetries to the electric field that have been previously observed over the polar cap. The second topic is concerned with the electric field configuration obtained in the limit of perfect shielding, where the field is totally excluded equatorward of the auroral oval. When realistic field-aligned current distributions are used, the result is to produce severely distorted, crescent-shaped equipotential contours over the cap. Exact, analytic formulae applicable to this case are also provided.

  16. MARCI and MOC observations of the atmosphere and surface cap in the north polar region of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, Bruce A.; James, Philip B.; Calvin, Wendy M.

    2010-07-01

    We used MGS-MOC and MRO-MARCI daily mapping images of the North Polar Region of Mars from 16 August 2005 ( Ls = 270°) to 21 May 2009 ( Ls = 270°), covering portions of three consecutive martian years (MY 27-MY 29), to observe the seasonal behavior of the polar ice cap and atmospheric phenomena. The rate of cap regression was similar in MY 28 and MY 29, but was advanced by 3.5° of Ls (˜7-8 sols) in MY 29. The spatial and temporal behaviors of dust and condensate clouds were similar in the two years and generally in accord with prior years. Dust storms (>100 km 2) were observed in all seasons, with peak activity occurring at Ls = 10-20° from 50°N to 70°N and at Ls = 135-140° from 70°N to 90°N. The most active quadrant was 0-90°W in MY 28, shifting to 180-270°W in MY 29. The majority of regional storms in both years developed in longitudes from 10°W to 60°W. During late summer the larger storms obscure the North Polar Region in a cloud of dust that transitions to north polar hood condensate clouds around autumnal equinox. Changes in the distribution of perennial ice deposits, especially in Olympia Planum, were observed between the 2 years, with the MY 29 ice distribution being the most extensive observed to date. Modeling suggests that the small, bright ice patches on the residual cap are not the result of slope or elevation effects. Rather we suggest that they are the result of local meteorological effects on ice deposition. The annual darkening and brightening of peripheral areas of the residual cap around summer solstice can be explained by the sublimation of a brighter frost layer revealing an underlying darker, ice rich layer that itself either sublimes to reveal brighter material below or acts as a cold trap, attracting condensation of water vapor that brightens the surface. An alternative explanation invokes transport and deposition of dust on the surface from the cap interior, and later removal of that dust. The decrease in cap albedo and

  17. Mercury radar imaging: evidence for polar ice.

    PubMed

    Slade, M A; Butler, B J; Muhleman, D O

    1992-10-23

    The first unambiguous full-disk radar mapping of Mercury at 3.5-centimeter wavelength, with the Goldstone 70-meter antenna transmitting and 26 antennas of the Very Large Array receiving, has provided evidence for the presence of polar ice. The radar experiments, conducted on 8 and 23 August 1991, were designed to image the half of Mercury not photographed by Mariner 10. The orbital geometry allowed viewing beyond the north pole of Mercury; a highly reflective region was clearly visible on the north pole during both experiments. This polar region has areas in which the circular polarization ratio (pt) was 1.0 to 1.4; values < approximately 0.1 are typical for terrestrial planets. Such high values of have hitherto been observed in radar observations only from icy regions of Mars and icy outer planet satellites. PMID:17748898

  18. A Sublimation Model for the Martian Polar Swiss-Cheese Features. Observational and Modeling Studies of the South Polar Residual Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byrne, Shane; Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2002-01-01

    In their pioneering work Leighton and Murray argued that the Mars atmosphere, which is 95 percent CO2 today, is controlled by vapor equilibrium with a much larger polar reservoir of solid CO2. Here we argue that the polar reservoir is small and cannot function as a long-term buffer to the more massive atmosphere. Our work is based on modeling the circular depressions (Swiss-cheese features) in the south polar cap. We argue that a solid CO2 layer approximately 8 meters thick is being etched away to reveal water ice underneath. Preliminary results from the THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) instrument seem to confirm our model.

  19. Earth's polar cap ionization patches lead to ion upflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q. H.; Zong, Q.; Lockwood, M. M.; Liang, J.; Zhang, B.; Moen, J. I.; Zhang, S.; Zhang, Y.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Thomas, E. G.; Liu, R.; Dunlop, M. W.; Yang, H. G.; Hu, H.; Liu, Y.; Lester, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Earth constantly losses matter through ions escaping from the polar ionosphere. This makes the ionosphere as an important source of plasma for the magnetosphere and could modulate atmospheric isotope abundances on geological timescales, depending on what fraction of the upflowing ions subsequently return to the ionosphere and what fraction are ejected into interplanetary space. It has been proposed that the magnetosphere is dynamically modulated by the presence of the ionospheric ions, particularly heavy ions O+, during magnetic substorms and storms. The origin and formation mechanism of ionospheric ion upflow is, however, poorly understood, particularly under disturbed space weather conditions. We report simultaneous direct observations of ion upflow and a patch of ionization at the center of the polar cap region during a geomagnetic storm. Our observations indicate enhanced fluxes of upwelling O+ ions originate from the patch and were accelerated by the enhanced ambipolar electric field. This enhancement is caused by soft electron precipitations. Polar cap patches therefore provide an important source of upwelling ions for accelerations mechanisms at greater altitudes which can eject the ions. These observations give new insight into the processes of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling and the potential loss of terrestrial water dissociation products into space which, although extremely slow in the case of Earth, may be significant for other planets and moons.

  20. 35 GHz Measurements of CO2 Crystals for Simulating Observations of the Martian Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J. L.; Chang, A. T. C.; Hall, D. K.; Tait, A. B.; Barton, J. S.

    1998-01-01

    In order to learn more about the Martian polar caps, it is important to compare and contrast the behavior of both frozen H2O and CO2 in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Relatively little attention has been given, thus far, to observing the thermal microwave part of the spectrum. In this experiment, passive microwave radiation emanating from within a 33 cm snowpack was measured with a 35 GHz hand-held radiometer, and in addition to the natural snow measurements, the radiometer was used to measure the microwave emission and scattering from layers of manufactured CO2 (dry ice). A 1 m x 2 m plate of aluminum sheet metal was positioned beneath the natural snow so that microwave emissions from the underlying soil layers would be minimized. Compared to the natural snow crystals, results for the dry ice layers exhibit lower' microwave brightness temperatures for similar thicknesses, regardless of the incidence angle of the radiometer. For example, at 50 degree H (horizontal polarization) and with a covering of 21 cm of snow and 18 cm of dry ice, the brightness temperatures were 150 K and 76 K, respectively. When the snow depth was 33 cm, the brightness temperature was 144 K, and when the total thickness of the dry ice was 27 cm, the brightness temperature was 86 K. The lower brightness temperatures are due to a combination of the lower physical temperature and the larger crystal sizes of the commercial CO2 Crystals compared to the snow crystals. As the crystal size approaches the size of the microwave wavelength, it scatters microwave radiation more effectively, thus lowering the brightness temperature. The dry ice crystals in this experiment were about an order of magnitude larger than the snow crystals and three orders of magnitude larger than the CO2 Crystals produced in the cold stage of a scanning electron microscope. Spreading soil, approximately 2 mm in thickness, on the dry ice appeared to have no effect on the brightness temperatures.

  1. Zonally averaged thermal balance and stability models for nitrogen polar caps on Triton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stansberry, John A.; Lunine, J. I.; Porco, C. C.; Mcewen, A. S.

    1990-01-01

    Voyager four-color imaging data of Triton are analyzed to calculate the bolometric hemispheric albedo as a function of latitude and longitude. Zonal averages of these data have been incorporated into a thermal balance model involving insolation, reradiation, and latent heat of sublimation of N2 ice for the surface. The current average bolometric albedo of Triton's polar caps is 0.8, implying an effective temperature of 34.2 K and a surface pressure of N2 of 1.6 microbar for unit emissivity. This pressure is an order of magnitude lower than the surface pressure of 18 microbar inferred from Voyager data (Broadfoot et al., 1989; Conrath et al., 1989), a discrepancy that can be reconciled if the emissivity of the N2 on Triton's surface is 0.66. The model predicts that Triton's surface north of 15 deg N latitude is experiencing deposition of N2 frosts, as are the bright portions of the south polar cap near the equator. This result explains why the south cap covers nearly the entire southern hemisphere of Triton.

  2. Magnetohydrostatics in the polar caps of accreting magnetized white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hameury, J. M.; Lasota, J. P.

    1985-04-01

    The mechanism of quasi-periodic luminosity variations seen in cataclysmic variable stars is investigated theoretically. Numerical calculations are performed for the model proposed by Livio (1984), in which matter accreted onto the polar caps of a magnetized white dwarf causes repeated breaking of the magnetic-field lines; the method is based (by analogy) on the analysis of magnetic-field disruption in magnetized neutron stars of Hameury et al. (1983). It is found that any such magnetic-field breaking gives recurrence times orders of magnitude greater than those actually observed in magnetized cataclysmic variables suggesting that some other mechanism must be found for the quasi-periodic variations.

  3. Seasonal recession of Mars' south polar cap in 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, Philip B.; Martin, Leonard J.; Henson, Jean R.; Birch, Peter V.

    1990-01-01

    Photographs of Mars obtained during the 1986 opposition of the planet have been used to derive the regression curve for the south polar cap between Ls = 190 deg and Ls = 255 deg. The 1986 regression appears to have been unexceptional until after Ls = 230 deg, when it becomes retarded relative to the normal established by the 1971 and 1977 regressions. A study of the data as a function of the filter used suggests that circumpolar clouds were present in early spring, unlike the case in the 1977 recession.

  4. Plasma density increase in the high altitude polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitanoya, Yugo; Abe, Takumi; Mukai, Toshifumi

    In general situation, the electron density in the ionosphere decreases with altitude. As for the latitudinal variation, the electron density is generally smaller in the polar cap than in the midor low-latitude region. Few reliable measurements have been made to estimate thermal electron density and temperature with a simple instrument such as Langmuir probe in the highaltitude polar cap region. For example, only the limited amount of the electron temperature and density data are available for the high-altitude (> 3000 km) polar cap, where the density is generally less than 2.0*103 [/cm3 ]. Since the plasma density significantly correlates with the solar activity, thermal plasma density becomes smaller for the minimum solar activity period. Thermal Electron energy Distribution (TED) instrument onboard "AKEBONO" (EXOS-D) satellite has been operated in two modes; 1) DC mode to obtain the probe characteristic, 2) SH (second harmonic) mode to estimate the electron energy distribution function based on Druyvesteyn method, from which the electron temperature and density can be estimated even on the condition of low electron density. On the basis of statistical study of the Akebono observation for over 10 years, it is found that the electron number density occasionally increases up to 3.0-4.0*103 [/cm3 ] above altitude of 3000 km. While the electron temperature is believed to be about 8000 K at such a high altitude, the temperature inside the high density region is observed to be lower than that by several thousand degrees. It is noticeable that such a density enhancement occurs during the geomagnetically active period at solar maximum. The high density region is observed to exist not in whole but in part of the polar cap. In addition, it is obvious from the Suprathermal Mass Spectrometer (SMS) observations that the H+ velocity parallel to the upward field aligned direction is observed to be lower in the high density region than the surrounding region. Also, it is

  5. Ice in the lunar polar regions revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodges, R. Richard

    2002-02-01

    The common wisdom that water ice may exist in lunar polar cold traps has become a significant factor in the selection of space research objectives. The purpose of this paper is to address two topics that are missing from the discourse on lunar water: the effect that the pristine cleanliness of the regolith has on water transport on the moon, and the limits on water exposure implied by the extremely high adsorption potentials of the surfaces of soil grains. Water transport is characterized by chemisorption on soil grains and the mixing of ``wet'' grains into the regolith by meteoritic gardening. Ballistic lateral flow, which is generally thought to be an efficient conduit for moving water to the poles, is actually a secondary phenomenon that is facilitated by solar wind and micrometeor erosion but not by thermal desorption, as is the case for the dominant lunar exospheric gases, He and 40Ar. Simulation results show that even under the most optimistic conditions, less than 7% of the water accumulated in the regolith resides in the polar cold traps, where water concentrations cannot be greater than 350 ppm. More important, when realistic transport parameters are used in the simulator, the polar water concentration is reduced by almost 2 orders of magnitude. In a word, the concept of water ice at the lunar poles is insupportable.

  6. POLAR/TIDE Perigee Observations of Thermal O(+) Characteristics in the Polar Cap Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, B. A.; Horwitz, J. L.; Su, Y. J.; Elliott, Heather A.; Comfort, Richard H.; Craven, Paul D.; Chandler, Michael O.; Moore, Thomas E.; Giles, Barbara L.; Pollock, Craig J.

    1998-01-01

    We analyze in situ moment measurements of thermal O(+) from the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) on POLAR for April - May, 1996. These measurements were obtained near 5000 km altitude within the polar cap ionosphere - magnetosphere interface region. Su explored certain aspects of O(+) parameters in this region. In this report, we hope to expand our knowledge of the O(+) behavior by examining relationships of densities, parallel velocities, and temperatures to the convection velocities, IMF By and Bz components. Preliminary studies with the convection velocities currently require further analysis. In doing so, we are guided in part by the Cleft Ion Fountain paradigm and model developed by which involves downward O(+) flows in the polar magnetosphere. Initial results tend to indicate that in the extreme antisunward region of the polar cap, the density decreases with increasing convection velocity.

  7. Expanded Late Wisconsinan ice cap and ice sheet margins in the western Queen Elizabeth Islands, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, F. Chantel; England, John H.

    2014-05-01

    Recent mapping of surficial geology and geomorphology in the western Canadian High Arctic (Melville and Eglinton islands), together with new radiocarbon dates acquired from ice-contact raised marine sediments, document expanded late Wisconsinan ice limits for the northwest Laurentide Ice Sheet and the western Innuitian Ice Sheet. An extension of the northwestern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet onto Eglinton Island is proposed based on evidence from till containing erratics derived from the Canadian Shield and a pattern of meltwater channels indicating ice retreat offshore into M'Clure Strait. Expansion of the western Melville Island Ice Cap (part of the western, lowland sector of the Innuitian Ice Sheet) to its offshore late Wisconsinan limit was facilitated by coalescence with the Laurentide Ice Sheet, whose buttressing allowed thickening to occur. Estimates of ice extent and thickness (>500 m) of the western Melville Island Ice Cap are in agreement with high marine limits (≤70 m asl). Lateral and proglacial meltwater channels, moraines and glaciomarine, glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial deposits indicate radial retreat of the western Melville Island Ice Cap onto central highlands after ˜13.0 cal ka BP. Older marine limit shorelines on southern Eglinton Island (˜13.6 cal ka BP) are broadly synchronous with the early and rapid deglaciation of other areas formerly glaciated by the northwestern Laurentide Ice Sheet to the southeast and southwest (˜14.2-13.6 cal ka BP). The collapse of the northwest Laurentide Ice Sheet in M'Clure Strait beginning at ˜14.2 cal ka BP, in addition to prior inferred thinning, opens the possibility that it made a significant contribution to meltwater pulse 1A.

  8. Characteristics of GPS TEC variations in the polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Chris; Jayachandran, P. T.; MacDougall, John W.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents statistical characteristics (occurrence rate, amplitude, and frequency) of low-frequency (<100 mHz) variations in total electron content (TEC) observed in the polar cap ionosphere. TEC variations were primarily associated with mesoscale (tens to hundreds of kilometers) ionization structures and were observed by five Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers over a 6 year period (2009-2014). The altitude of ionization structures was estimated by using colocated ionosonde radars. High data rate receivers combined with broad spatial coverage of multisatellite TEC measurements provided high-resolution magnetic local time/latitude maps of TEC variation characteristics, which were examined as a function of solar cycle and season. These high-resolution maps improve upon the current observational picture of mesoscale structuring in the polar cap and provide accurate links to particular magnetospheric source regions. Occurrence of TEC variations was consistently highest in dayside regions mapping to low latitude and plasma mantle boundary layers, while largest-amplitude TEC variations were observed in dayside regions close to the polar cusp, and lower latitudes around midnight. Occurrence and amplitude of TEC variations increased significantly during the ascending phase of the solar cycle, independent of solar wind conditions, while seasonal statistics showed highest dayside occurrence and amplitude in winter months, lowest in summer, and highest nightside occurrence and amplitude around equinox. A surprising result in the frequency distributions of TEC variations was discrete frequencies of about 2 and 4 mHz, which appeared to originate from regions corresponding to the plasma mantle, immediately poleward of the polar cusp.

  9. The Changing South Polar Cap of Mars: 1999-2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    13 July 2005 The south polar residual cap of Mars is composed of layered, frozen carbon dioxide. In 1999, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) showed that the carbon dioxide layers have been eroded to form a variety of circular pits, arcuate scarps, troughs, buttes, and mesas. In 2001, MOC images designed to provide repeated views of the areas imaged in 1999 -- with the hope of creating stereo (3-D) images, so that the height of scarps and depth of pits could be measured -- showed that the scarps had retreated, pits enlarged, and buttes and mesas shrank. Only carbon dioxide is volatile enough in the martian environment to have caused such dramatic changes -- the scarps were seen to retreat at an average rate of 3 meters (about 3 yards) per Mars year. Most of the scarp retreat occurs during the southern summer season; in some areas the scarps move as much as 8 meters, in others, only 1 meter per Mars year.

    Three Mars years have now elapsed since MOC first surveyed the south polar cap in 1999. Over the past several months, MGS MOC has been re-imaging areas that were seen in 1999, 2001, and 2003, to develop a detailed look at how the landscape has been changing. This animated GIF provides an example of the dramatic changes that have occurred during the past three martian years. The first image, a sub-frame of M09-05244, was acquired on 21 November 1999. The second image, a sub-frame of S06-00973, was obtained on 11 May 2005. The animation shows the changes that have occurred between 1999 and 2005. Each summer, the cap has lost more carbon dioxide. This may mean that the carbon dioxide content of the martian atmosphere has been increasing, bit by very tiny little bit, each of the years that MGS has been orbiting the red planet. These observations also imply that there was once a time, in the not-too-distant past (because there are no impact craters on the polar cap), when the atmosphere was somewhat thinner and colder, to permit the layers

  10. Monitoring the perennial martian northern polar cap with MGS MOC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, A. Snyder; Bass, D. S.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2005-04-01

    We have used the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Wide Angle (MGS MOC WA) dataset to study albedo trends on the martian northern residual cap. Six study regions were selected, the Chasma Boreale source region, three regions near the center of the cap ("fish hook" region, latitude = 87°; "bottle opener" region, latitude = 87°, "steep-shallow" region, latitude = 85°), and two lower latitude regions (crater, latitude = 77°, and polar outlier, latitude = 82°), and the albedos of these six regions were examined. These regions were chosen due to their good temporal coverage in the MOC dataset, as well as having been studied by other researchers (Bass et al., 2000, Icarus 144, 382-396; Calvin and Titus, 2004, Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXV, Abstract 1455). The picture which emerges is complex. Most areas experience a combination of darkening and brightening through the northern summer; only one area consistently brightens (the polar outlier region). A good deal of interannual repeatability in each region's albedo behavior is seen, however. Possible causes for the observed complex behaviors include dust deposition from late summer storms, sintering of frost grains over the course of the summer, and cold trapping of volatiles on bright, cold surfaces.

  11. Composition of Auroral Polar Cap Boundary Ion Conics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tung, Y.; Carlson, C. W.; McFadden, J. P.; Parks, G. K.; Lund, E. J.; Eriksson, S.; Ergun, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    Ion conics have frequently been observed by FAST on the auroral polar cap boundary, which we have defined as where the ion energy flux sharply drops off. These polar cap boundary (PCB) ion conics are particularly prevalent in the nightside sector near midnight. Of medium energies (100 eV to 1 keV), these ion conics are characterized by intense number fluxes and often constitute the majority of the outflow from the nightside auroral oval. An earlier study has reported that the PCB ion outflow consisted predominantly of H+ and He+, while a separate study presented data that showed PCB ion conics that consisted primarily of oxygen ions. Possible explanations for the composition change include solar cycle variation or seasonal variation. We will explore through a systematic consideration of FAST orbits from 1997 through 2000 the change in composition of PCB ion conics. Since neither the solar cycle nor the seasons alone seem to explain the variation in ion composition of the PCB ion conics, we will consider alternative possibilities such as convection, IMF dependence, or auroral activity level and history.

  12. Does a "substorm precursor" exist in the polar cap?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosikova, Nataliya; Lorentzen, Dag; Yagova, Nadezda; Baddeley, Lisa; Pilipenko, Vyacheslav; Kozyreva, Olga

    2015-04-01

    An isolated auroral substorm, which occurs without external triggering, can develop as a result of inner instabilities in the geomagnetic tail. The comparative analysis of presubstorm variations of the geomagnetic field and particle flux in the geomagnetic tail along with geomagnetic and auroral disturbances in the polar caps is of key importance for the discrimination between direct triggering and intra-magnetospheric processes in a substorm onset. In the present study we compare the auroral disturbances and geomagnetic pulsations in the frequency range 1-5 mHz (Pc5/Pi3) at nighttime high latitudes during both quiet geomagnetic intervals preceding isolated substorms and non-substorm intervals. Superposed epoch analysis is applied to reveal pre-substorm variations ("substorm precursors"). The data from IMAGE magnetometer network, the Meridian Scanning photometer (Svalbard), and particle flux measured by GEOTAIL, has been used. The effect of presubstorm activation (Yagova, 2000) is reproduced during the solar minimum conditions. References Yagova N., V. Pilipenko, A. Rodger, V. Papitashvili, J. Watermann, Long period ULF activity at the polar cap preceding substorm, in: Proc. 5th International Conference on Substorms, St. Peterburg, Russia (ESA SP-443), 603-606, 2000.

  13. Gravity Waves Near 300 km Over the Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, F. S.; Hanson, W. B.; Hodges, R. R.; Coley, W. R.; Carignan, G. R.; Spencer, N. W.

    1995-01-01

    Distinctive wave forms in the distributions of vertical velocity and temperature of both neutral particles and ions are frequently observed from Dynamics Explorer 2 at altitudes above 250 km over the polar caps. These are interpreted as being due to internal gravity waves propagating in the neutral atmosphere. The disturbances characterized by vertical velocity perturbations of the order of 100 m/s and horizontal wave lengths along the satellite path of about 500 km. They often extend across the entire polar cap. The associated temperature perturbations indicate that the horizontal phase progression is from the nightside to the dayside. Vertical displacements are inferred to be of the order of 10 km and the periods to be of the order of 10(exp 3) s. The waves must propagate in the neutral atmosphere, but they usually are most clearly recognizable in the observations of ion vertical velocity and ion temperature. By combining the neutral pressure calculated from the observed neutral concentration and temperature with the vertical component of the neutral velocity, an upward energy flux of the order of 0.04 erg/sq cm-s at 250 km has been calculated, which is about equal to the maximum total solar ultraviolet heat input above that altitude. Upward energy fluxes calculated from observations on orbital passes at altitudes from 250 to 560 km indicate relatively little attenuation with altitude.

  14. Glacio-isostatic crustal movements caused by historical volume change of the Vatnajokull ice cap, Iceland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Einarsson, Pall

    1992-01-01

    Measurements of the lake level of Lake Langisjor at the SW edge of the Vatnajokull ice cap indicate a tilt of 0.26 +/- 0.06 microrad/yr away from the ice cap in the years of 1959-1991. The tilt is too large to be explained as an elastic Earth response to ice retreat this century, or to be caused by change in the gravitational pull of the ice cap, but it can be explained by sub-lithospheric viscous adjustment. Regional subsidence in historical times in SE Iceland can similarly be attributed to viscous adjustment resulting from the increased load of Vatnajokull during the Little Ice Age. The inferred sublithospheric viscosity is 1 x 10 exp 18 - 5 x 10 exp 19 Pa s.

  15. The Drangajökull ice cap, northwest Iceland, persisted into the early-mid Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schomacker, Anders; Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Andreassen, Julie M.; Gudmundsdóttir, Esther Ruth; Olsen, Jesper; Odgaard, Bent V.; Håkansson, Lena; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Larsen, Nicolaj K.

    2016-09-01

    Most glaciers and ice caps in Iceland experienced rapid deglaciation in the early Holocene, reaching a minimum extent during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Here we present evidence of the Holocene glacial history from lake sediment cores retrieved from seven threshold lakes around the Drangajökull ice cap in the Vestfirðir peninsula, NW Iceland. The sediment cores show on/off signals of glacial meltwater activity, as minerogenic material deposited from glacial meltwater alternates with organic-rich material (gyttja) deposited without glacial meltwater. We base the chronology of the sediment cores on 14C ages and geochemical identification of key tephra layers with known ages. A 25-cm thick layer of the Saksunarvatn tephra in Lake Skorarvatn indicates that the northern part of the ice cap had reached a similar size as today or was smaller already by 10.2 cal kyr BP. However, 14C ages of lake sediment cores from the highlands southeast of Drangajökull suggest that this part of the ice cap was larger than today until 7.8-7.2 cal kyr BP. Even today, the Drangajökull ice cap has a different behavior than the main ice caps in Iceland, characterized by a very low glaciation limit. Because palaeoclimatic proxies show an early-mid Holocene temperature optimum in this part of Iceland, we suggest that the persistence of Drangajökull into the early Holocene and, possibly, also the entire Holocene was due to high winter precipitation.

  16. Swarm In Situ Observations of F-Region Polar Cap Patches Created by Cusp Ionization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodwin, L. V.; Iserhienrhien, B.; Miles, D. M.; Patra, S.; van der Meeren, C.; Buchert, S. C.; Burchill, J. K.; Clausen, L.; Knudsen, D. J.; McWilliams, K. A.; Moen, J.

    2014-12-01

    Multi-point in situ measurements from the Swarm spacecraft provide a novel tool to investigate the creation, transport, and evolution of polar cap patches. The string-of-pearls spacecraft configuration allow the motion and dynamics of electron density to be resolved on a one minute timescale. Swarm flew northward through the Scandinavian dayside cusp, passing through auroral features and high frequency radar backscatter. The observations reveal that plasma flow channels, the transport of photoionized plasma, and cusp particle precipitation are all important processes involved in creating the structures which become polar cap patches. Newly created electron density structures are transported across the polar cap via convection. The observed time-history of density structure indicates that particle impact ionization can add structure to both photoionized plasma and lower density polar cap plasma. Newly created and highly structured plasma evolves into lower density, less structured polar cap patches as they transit the polar cap.

  17. Modeling the Quiet Time Outflow Solution in the Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glocer, Alex

    2011-01-01

    We use the Polar Wind Outflow Model (PWOM) to study the geomagnetically quiet conditions in the polar cap during solar maximum, The PWOM solves the gyrotropic transport equations for O(+), H(+), and He(+) along several magnetic field lines in the polar region in order to reconstruct the full 3D solution. We directly compare our simulation results to the data based empirical model of Kitamura et al. [2011] of electron density, which is based on 63 months of Akebono satellite observations. The modeled ion and electron temperatures are also compared with a statistical compilation of quiet time data obtained by the EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR) and Intercosmos Satellites (Kitamura et al. [2011]). The data and model agree reasonably well. This study shows that photoelectrons play an important role in explaining the differences between sunlit and dark results, ion composition, as well as ion and electron temperatures of the quiet time polar wind solution. Moreover, these results provide validation of the PWOM's ability to model the quiet time ((background" solution.

  18. Integrated firn elevation change model for glaciers and ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saß, Björn; Sauter, Tobias; Braun, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    We present the development of a firn compaction model in order to improve the volume to mass conversion of geodetic glacier mass balance measurements. The model is applied on the Arctic ice cap Vestfonna. Vestfonna is located on the island Nordaustlandet in the north east of Svalbard. Vestfonna covers about 2400 km² and has a dome like shape with well-defined outlet glaciers. Elevation and volume changes measured by e.g. satellite techniques are becoming more and more popular. They are carried out over observation periods of variable length and often covering different meteorological and snow hydrological regimes. The elevation change measurements compose of various components including dynamic adjustments, firn compaction and mass loss by downwasting. Currently, geodetic glacier mass balances are frequently converted from elevation change measurements using a constant conversion factor of 850 kg m‑³ or the density of ice (917 kg m‑³) for entire glacier basins. However, the natural conditions are rarely that static. Other studies used constant densities for the ablation (900 kg m‑³) and accumulation (600 kg m‑³) areas, whereby density variations with varying meteorological and climate conditions are not considered. Hence, each approach bears additional uncertainties from the volume to mass conversion that are strongly affected by the type and timing of the repeat measurements. We link and adapt existing models of surface energy balance, accumulation and snow and firn processes in order to improve the volume to mass conversion by considering the firn compaction component. Energy exchange at the surface is computed by a surface energy balance approach and driven by meteorological variables like incoming short-wave radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speed, all-phase precipitation, and cloud cover fraction. Snow and firn processes are addressed by a coupled subsurface model, implemented with a non-equidistant layer

  19. Dust-Driven Halos on the Martian South Polar Residual CAP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, P.; Byrne, S.; Brown, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    The CO2 ice South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) on Mars may be a sensitive indicator of inter-annual planetary climate variability. Imaging by HiRISE [1], and CTX [2] found that many scarps and pits in the 'Swiss cheese terrain' [3] of the SPRC exhibited a bright 'halo' around their edges. These halos appeared during Martian southern summer in Mars Year 28 (MY28, [4]), and have been observed in only one of eight mars years for which observations at high enough resolution exist. We hypothesize that the formation of these features is linked to the late-summer global dust storm of MY28 and report on observations and formation models. We surveyed HiRISE, CTX, and CRISM [5] data to constrain the optical properties and composition of the halos, as well as their time of appearance and location within the SPRC. The halos appeared throughout most of the surface area of the SPRC between Ls 280° and 330° in MY28. The widest portions of the halos occurred adjacent to north-facing walls, and the brightest parts adjacent to sun-facing walls, which points to a connection between insolation and halo appearance. CRISM spectral products rule out the presence of water ice as a factor in the halos' appearance. These data also imply larger CO2 ice grain sizes where the bright halos were seen, which are normally associated with lower, rather than higher, albedos [6]. Thus, we also ruled out CO2 ice grain size differences as the main cause for the halos. The remaining possibility is that the halos appeared due to differences in dust content between the terrain adjacent to the pit walls and the surrounding ice. To investigate this we made a Hapke [7] surface reflectance model in which the CO2 ice grain size, dust volumetric content and dust particle size were free parameters. We used the HiRISE and CRISM bandpass coefficients to simulate HiRISE I/F values and CRISM spectra, and attempted to match the HiRISE RED I/F, HiRISE BG/RED color ratio, and the CRISM 1.43 μm band depths. A self

  20. Heating of the Sunlit Polar Cap Ionosphere by Reflected Photoelectrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varney, R. H.; Solomon, S. C.; Nicolls, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Photoelectrons escape from the ionosphere on sunlit polar cap field lines. In order for those field lines to carry zero current without significant heavy ion outflow or cold electron inflow, field-aligned potential drops must form to reflect a portion of the escaping photoelectron population back to the ionosphere. Using a 1-D ionosphere-polar wind model and measurements from the Resolute Bay Incoherent Scatter Radar (RISR-N), this paper shows that these reflected photoelectrons are a significant source of heat for the sunlit polar cap ionosphere. The model includes a kinetic suprathermal electron transport solver, and it allows energy input from the upper boundary in three different ways: thermal conduction, soft precipitation, and potentials that reflect photoelectrons. The simulations confirm that reflection potentials of several 10s of eV are required to prevent cold electron inflow and demonstrate that the flux tube integrated change in electron heating rate (FTICEHR) associated with reflected photoelectrons can reach 109 eV cm-2s-1. Soft precipitation can produce FTICEHR of comparable magnitudes, but this extra heating is divided among more electrons as a result of electron impact ionization. Simulations with no reflected photoelectrons and with downward field-aligned currents (FAC) primarily carried by the escaping photoelectrons have electron temperatures which are ~250-500 K lower than the RISR-N measurements in the 300-600 km region; however, simulations with reflected photoelectrons, zero FAC, and no other form of heat flux through the upper boundary can satisfactorily reproduce the RISR-N data.

  1. Heating of the sunlit polar cap ionosphere by reflected photoelectrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varney, R. H.; Solomon, S. C.; Nicolls, M. J.

    2014-10-01

    Photoelectrons escape from the ionosphere on sunlit polar cap field lines. In order for those field lines to carry zero current without significant heavy ion outflow or cold electron inflow, field-aligned potential drops must form to reflect a portion of the escaping photoelectron population back to the ionosphere. Using a 1-D ionosphere-polar wind model and measurements from the Resolute Bay Incoherent Scatter Radar (RISR-N), this paper shows that these reflected photoelectrons are a significant source of heat for the sunlit polar cap ionosphere. The model includes a kinetic suprathermal electron transport solver, and it allows energy input from the upper boundary in three different ways: thermal conduction, soft precipitation, and potentials that reflect photoelectrons. The simulations confirm that reflection potentials of several tens of eV are required to prevent cold electron inflow and demonstrate that the flux tube integrated change in electron heating rate (FTICEHR) associated with reflected photoelectrons can reach 109eV cm-2s-1. Soft precipitation can produce FTICEHR of comparable magnitudes, but this extra heating is divided among more electrons as a result of electron impact ionization. Simulations with no reflected photoelectrons and with downward field-aligned currents (FAC) primarily carried by the escaping photoelectrons have electron temperatures which are ˜250-500 K lower than the RISR-N measurements in the 300-600 km region; however, simulations with reflected photoelectrons, zero FAC, and no other form of heat flux through the upper boundary can satisfactorily reproduce the RISR-N data.

  2. Correlation of Martian South Polar CO2 Seasonal Cap Retreat With Low Altitude Clouds: A Control On Annual Accumulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Isaac; Spiga, Aymeric

    2014-05-01

    Both the north and south polar layered deposits (NPLD and SPLD) comprise the majority of surface ice on Mars and offer a historical record for understanding recent climate. Of importance, the deposits undergo seasonal variability, between winter (when CO2 ice frost covers the polar regions) and summer (when the CO2 ice has sublimed). Recent evidence has shown that winds and atmospheric deposition played major roles for forming the spiral troughs that cover the NPLD. Observations of low altitude clouds (or visible expressions of katabatic jumps), radar stratigraphy, and surface morphology, in combination with high resolution mesoscale simulations from the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, demonstrate that ice is transported across the NPLD by wind to form and modify the troughs [Smith et al., 2013]. We employ the same techniques on the SPLD to find that the processes affecting southern spiral troughs are very similar, although there is an additional seasonal component not detected on the NPLD. Clouds, as mechanisms of deposition, retreat pole-ward during southern spring and summer. The retreat is matched spatially to modeled high speed winds near the CO2 seasonal ice cap boundary. Our mesoscale simulations reveal that topographic heights of the SPLD primarily drive slope-wind (katabatic) circulations. This existing circulation is reinforced by an additional thermally-direct circulation driven by the retreating CO2 ice in proximity to nearby exposed low albedo deposits, explaining why enhanced winds (and trough clouds) are mostly found in the vicinity of the CO2 seasonal ice boundary. In one simulation, at Ls 290°, the ice line is located so that the slope winds produced by the SPLD topography are optimally enhanced (up to 20 ms-1) by thermally directed circulations caused by a nearly 100 K thermal contrast. This work, in combination with detailed stratigraphic analysis from ground penetrating radar indicates that sites of deposition and retention of ice on

  3. A perchlorate brine lubricated deformable bed facilitating flow of the north polar cap of Mars: Possible mechanism for water table recharging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, David A.; Hecht, Michael H.; Kounaves, Samuel P.; Catling, David C.

    2010-02-01

    The Phoenix Wet Chemistry Lab (WCL) discovered substantial amounts of magnesium, calcium, and sodium perchlorate in the soil of polar Mars. Magnesium perchlorate is likely the dominant salt in the polar region's soils. But it could be that the cations are contributed by a mixture of Mg, Ca, and Na. Mg, Ca, and Na perchlorate brines can stay liquid as low as ˜-69, -74, -32°C, respectively. WCL reports 0.7 % (wt) of the soil is pure perchlorate, and if 5% of the northern permanent ice cap is soil, then the perchlorate could make about 1/2800 of the ice cap. This suggests there could be enough perchlorate in the ice cap to generate about 1-3 m of brine at the bed. Large areas under the north polar cap have basal temperatures above -69°C so the Mg and Ca perchlorate brines would be liquid. Because of its high density, the perchlorate brine would pool over impervious layers and make the bed into a perchlorate sludge, which could be mobilized and deformed by the weight of the overburden of ice and soil. The sludge would be deformed and moved outward and stop where the basal temperature dropped below -69°C. During the warmest climates, any frozen cold dam at the edge could be breached and the brine reintroduced to the polar surface. Some of the brine could have penetrated downward under the ice cap. This mobile sludge-bed ice cap has been modeled with a 2-D time-varying model. Results of such model runs have similarities to measured layers found by shallow subsurface radar.

  4. A Novel Approach to Exploring the Mars Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Carsey, Frank D.; Rodgers, David H.; Soderblom, L. A.; Wilcox, Brian H.

    2000-01-01

    The Martian polar caps contain some of the most important scientific sites on the planet. There is much interest in exploring them with a view to understanding their role in the Mars climate system. By gaining access to the stratigraphy of the polar terrain, it is probable that one can access the climate history of the planet. Additionally, investigations aimed at localizing subsurface water--liquid or solid--are not only of great scientific interest but are also germane to the long-term interests of the manned space flight program. A major difficulty with polar exploration is access. Current techniques using chemical propulsion, Holman transfers, and direct-entry landers with aeroshells have limited capability to access the polar terrain. For the near term the authors propose a new approach to solving this transportation issue by using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), recently flight demonstrated on NASA's DS1 Mission to an asteroid and a comet. For a longer-term approach there are additional ways in which access to Mars, as well as other planets, can be significantly improved. These include the use of Chaos orbit theory to enable transportation between LaGrange points in the solar system, gossamer structures enabling very low-mass mobility, and advanced ascent vehicles. In this paper the authors describe how a 1000-kG payload can be transported to the surface of Mars and a polar sample obtained and returned to Earth in less than five years using SEP. A vision of how this approach can be integrated into a long-term Mars exploration strategy building toward the future is also discussed.

  5. Estimates of total quantity of meteorites in the East Antarctic ice cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, E. J.

    1981-01-01

    Based on a steady-state model of the East Antarctic ice cap, and current estimates of meteorite influx, a model is developed which predicts that the steady-state number of meteorites being carried in or on the ice is at least 760,000. This large meteorite population does not require unusual influx conditions, since the cold, dry climate preserves virtually all meteorites that fall with the exception of the fragile, porous carbonaceous chondrites. Application of the model to the Greenland ice cap yields a steady-state population of about 61,000 meteorites.

  6. Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene cold-based ice cap dynamics on Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margreth, Annina; Dyke, Arthur S.; Gosse, John C.; Telka, Alice M.

    2014-05-01

    Radiocarbon dating of fossil flora and fauna collected along receding cold-based ice caps and cold-based sections of polythermal glaciers on Cumberland Peninsula reveal insights into Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene ice dynamics. The taphonomic advantages of subfossilized moss were exploited to precisely document regional expansions of ice caps through the late Holocene. When compared with climate proxies and records of volcanic eruptions, the moss radiocarbon age distributions indicate i) onset of Neoglaciation shortly after 5 ka, concomitant with increased sea ice cover, ii) intensification of ice expansion between 1.9 and 1.1 ka, followed by halt of ice growth, or ice recession during the Medieval Warm Period, and iii) renewed ice expansion after 0.8 ka, in response to cooling related to a combination of large volcanic eruptions and low solar activity. Overall, the observations support a model of near-instantaneous glacial response to regional climate controls and that these responses were synchronous throughout eastern Canadian Arctic and possibly eastern Greenland.

  7. Emergent Dead Vegetation and Paired Cosmogenic Isotope Constraints on Ice Cap Activity, Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendleton, S.; Miller, G. H.

    2014-12-01

    Recent summer warming has now raised the equilibrium line above almost all ice caps on Baffin Island, resulting in surface lowering and marginal recession everywhere. As cold-based ice recedes it frequently exposes in situ tundra plants that were living at the time ice expanded across the site. Radiocarbon dates for each plant records when cold summers dropped regional snowline below the site, killing the plants, and snowline remained below the site until the collection date. The kill dates also represent the last time that the climate was warm enough to expose the sampling location. Seventy-six vegetation samples collected in 2013 from the Penny Ice Cap region have been dated, with significant age populations at ~0.5, 1.8, 2.3, and 3.6 ka. The absence of ages around ~1, 2, 3, 4.5, and 5.5 ka suggest periods of either no snowline depression or stability. Sixteen vegetation samples returned ages of >45 ka (2 revisited sites from 2010, 14 new). It is postulated that these radiocarbon dead samples were last exposed during the last interglaciation (~120 ka), the last time climate was as warm as present. In addition to plant collections, bedrock exposures at the ice margins were sampled for 26Al/10Be cosmogenic nuclide dating. Seven samples from and around the Penny Ice cap have returned maximum exposure ages from ~ 0.6-0.9 ma and total histories of ~0.6-1.5 ma. In general, samples from the larger Penny Ice Cap exhibited lower amounts of exposure (~20% of total history) than those samples from smaller, localized ice caps (~55%). Radiocarbon dead sites north of the Penny Ice cap experienced significantly more exposure over their lifetimes than their counterparts east of the Penny Ice cap, suggesting significant differences in local and regional land ice fluctuations over the last 2 million years. Utilizing both the method of in situ moss and 26Al/10Be dating provides new insight into both the recent activity and long-term evolution of ice on Baffin Island. In particular

  8. Polar cap plasma patch primary linear instability growth rates compared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burston, Robert; Mitchell, Cathryn; Astin, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    Four primary plasma instability processes have been proposed in the literature to explain the generation of phase scintillation associated with polar cap plasma patches. These are the gradient drift, current convective, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities and a small-scale "turbulence" process. In this paper the range of possible values of the linear growth rates for each of these processes is explored using Dynamics Explorer 2 satellite observations. It is found that the inertial turbulence instability is the dominant process, followed by inertial gradient drift, collisional turbulence, and collisional shortwave current convective instabilities. The other processes, such as Kelvin-Helmholtz, collisional gradient drift, and inertial shortwave current convective instabilities, very rarely (<1% of the time) give rise to a growth rate exceeding 1/60, that is deemed to be significant (in publications) to give rise to GPS scintillation.

  9. Topography of the South Polar Cap and Layered Deposits of Mars: Viking Stereo Grametry at Regional and Local Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, P.; Moore, J.; Stoker, C.

    1998-01-01

    Layered deposits and residual polar caps on Mars may record the deposition of ice and sediment modulated by periodic climate change. Topographic information relating to layer thicknesses, erosional processes, and formation of dark spirals within these deposits has been sparce or unreliable until the arrival of MOLA in orbit in September 1997. To assist in evaluating these terrains prior to launch and to assess formation and erosion processes in the polar deposits, we have assembled Viking stereo mosaics of the region and have produced the first reliable DEM models of the south polar deposits using automated stereogrammetry tools. Here we report our preliminary topographic results, pending final image pointing updates. The maximum total thickness of the layered deposits in the south polar region is 2.5 km. The thick layered deposits consist of a series of megaterraces. Each terrace is several tens of kilometers wide and is flat or slopes very gently toward the pole. These terraces step downward from a central plateau near the south pole. Terraces are bounded by relatively steep scarps 100-500 meters high that face toward the equator. These scarps correspond to the pattern of dark spirals observed within the residual cap in southern summer, and are interpreted as ice or frost-free surfaces warmed by solar insolation. Several tongue-shaped troughs, with rounded cirquelike heads, are observed near the margins of the deposit. These troughs are 300-600 meters in deep and may be similar to troughs observed in the northern polar deposit.

  10. Physical State of the ``Bright'' South Seasonal Polar Cap From OMEGA Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doute, S.; Schmidt, F.; Schmitt, B.; Vincendon, M.; Langevin, Y.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J.

    2009-12-01

    The composition, physical state and texture of the South Seasonal Polar Cap (SSPC) have important consequences on energy balance. The imaging spectrometer OMEGA on board Mars Express has acquired the most comprehensive set of observations to date in the near-infrared (0.93-5.1 microns) on the SSPC from mid-winter solstice (Ls=110° , December 2004) to the end of the recession at Ls=320° (November 2005) [1]. The time resolution is 3 days to one month and the spatial resolution ranges from 700m to 10 km/pixel. [1] showed that during southern spring and summer, there is a very complex evolution in terms of effective grain size of CO2 ice and contamination by dust or H2O ice. H2O ice does not play a significant role except close to the end of the recession. [2] systematically segmented the South Seasonal Polar Cap into different spectral units and tested diverse surface representations by the modeling of spectral end-members and average unit spectra. Here we focus on the “bright” part of the SSPC corresponding to spectral unit SSPC1 (I.b of [1]). Regions belonging to this unit have a very bright albedo (≈ 0.6-0.8) associated with strong CO2 ice absorption features. According to [1] such characteristics are compatible with granular CO2 deposits with grain size in the range of 5 cm implying an extremely low contamination by dust and water ice. Furthermore, from their study of a representative region at 34° E, 76° S, the albedo increases from Ls=223° up to a maximum at Ls=240° and then decreases until total disappearance of the ice. The albedo increase would require a decrease of grain size if the granular model is really relevant. However the mean free path within CO2 ice as well as its thermodynamic behavior would rather favor a porous CO2 slab model [3]. Then photometric effects could be expected that could explain the brightening. In this paper we propose to further study the physical state of the “bright” part of the SSPC and its evolution by

  11. Spatial and Depth Distribution of Sub-surface Ice in the Polar Regions of Mars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boynton, W.; Kim, K.; Janes, D.; Kerry, K.; Williams, R.; Reedy, R.; Drake, D.

    The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has been in its mapping orbit for slightly over one Mars year. The Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) has been collecting data with the boom extended since June 2002 and has not quite collected a full Mars year of data in this configuration. Nevertheless, the statistical precision in the polar regions is such that the spatial resolution of the GRS maps are only slightly degraded by having to average over a larger region to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Especially in the northern region, clear spatially resolved regions of different apparent ice contents can be resolved. For example in the region near 315E E. longitude, near the mouth of Chasma Boreale, has distinctly less ice (or deeper ice) than do the regions of similar latitude but at other longitudes. Although less easily resolved, it appears that the region around the Olympia Planitia also has less ice than regions surrounding it. In the case of Olympia Planitia, the hydrogen gamma ray signal is lower even than regions more equatorward at the same longitude. We have completed a detailed examination of the ground-truth calibration of the GRS by comparing the signal to that expected from a pure water ice northern residual cap. Doing so allows us to set accurate limits on the distribution of ice (really ice equivalent hydrogen) abundance with depth. Over much of the north polar region we can set limits that the distribution of ice with depth. If we assume the ice is buried beneath a hydrogen-poor dust layer, we can also set a limit on how deep the ice can be buried by assuming the lower ice-rich layer is pure ice. In this case the ice cannot be buried by more than 10 to 20 g/cm2 of hydrogen-poor dust, otherwise the gamma-ray flux would be too weak to account for the observed signal. If, on the other hand, we make the assumption that there is no dust layer to attenuate the gamma-ray signal, the ice content must be between 35% and 50% ice by mass. Because it is likely that there is at

  12. Polar Cap Disturbances: Mesosphere and Thermosphere-Ionosphere Response to Solar-Terrestrial Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sivjee, G.; McEwen, D.; Walterscheid, R.

    2003-01-01

    The Polar Cap is the Upper-Atmosphere cum Mag-netosphere region which is enclosed by the poleward boundary of the Auroral Oval and is threaded by open geomagnetic tield lines. In this region, there is normally a steady precipition (Polar "drizzle") of low energy (w 300eV) electrons that excite optical emissions from the ionosphere. At times, enhanced ionization patches are formed near the Dayside Cusp regions that drift across the Polar Cap towards the Night Sector of the Auroral Oval. Discrete auroral arcs and auroras formed during Solar Magnetic Cloud (SMC)/Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) events are also observed in the Polar Cap. Spectrophotometric observations of all these Polar Cap phenomena provide a measure of the average energy as well a energy flux of the electrons precipitating in the Polar Cap region during these disturbances. Such measurements also point to modulations of the Polar Cap Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere (MLT) air density and temperature by zonally symmetric tides whose Hough functions peak in the Polar region. MLT cooling during Stratospheric Warming events and their relation to Polar Vortex and associated Gravity wave activities are also observed at the Polar Cap sites.

  13. Sedimentation waves on the Martian North Polar Cap: Analogy with megadunes in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herny, C.; Massé, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Carpy, S.; Le Mouélic, S.; Appéré, T.; Smith, I. B.; Spiga, A.; Rodriguez, S.

    2014-10-01

    Complex interactions between katabatic winds and the cryosphere may lead to the formation of sedimentation waves at the surface of ice sheets. These have been first described and named snow megadunes in Antarctica. Here we use topographic data, optical images, subsurface radar soundings and spectroscopic data acquired by Mars orbiters, to show that the surface of the Martian North Polar Cap displays two superimposed sets of sedimentation waves with differing wavelengths. These sedimentation waves have similarities with Antarctic snow megadunes regarding their surface morphology, texture, grain size asymmetry, and internal stratigraphic architecture. Both sets of Martian sedimentation waves present young ice and occasional sastrugi fields, indicative of net accumulation, on their shallow-dipping upwind sides, their tops and the intervening troughs. Old layers of dusty ice, indicative of net ablation, are exhumed on the steep-dipping downwind sides of the larger waves. Smooth surfaces of coarse-grained ice, indicative of reduced accumulation associated with sublimation metamorphism, cover the steep-dipping downwind sides of the smaller waves. These surface characteristics and the internal stratigraphy revealed by radar soundings are consistent with the interpretation that both sets of Martian sedimentation waves grow and migrate upwind in response to the development of periodic accumulation/ablation patterns controlled by katabatic winds. The recognition of these sedimentation waves provides the basis for the development of a common model of ice/wind interaction at the surface of Martian and terrestrial glaciers. Martian smaller waves, characterized by reduced net accumulation on their downwind sides, are analogous to Antarctic snow megadunes that have been described so far. A terrestrial equivalent remains to be discovered for the larger Martian waves, characterized by net ablation on their downwind sides.

  14. 3-D Radar Imaging Reveals Deep Structures and Buried Craters Within the Martian Polar Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putzig, N. E.; Foss, F. J., II; Campbell, B. A.; Phillips, R. J.; Smith, I. B.

    2015-12-01

    We use Shallow Radar (SHARAD) observations on thousands of orbital passes by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to produce fully imaged 3-D data volumes encompassing both polar ice caps of Mars. Greatly clarifying the view of subsurface features, a completed volume for Planum Boreum provides new constraints on the nature and timing of emplacement of the northern polar deposits and their relationship to climate. The standard method of mapping subsurface features with single-pass 2-D radargrams has been very fruitful (see Brothers et al. 2015, JGR 120 in press, and references therein), but a full assessment of internal structures has been hindered by interfering off-nadir echoes from spiral troughs and other variable topography prevalent on both caps. By assembling the SHARAD radargrams into a volume and applying a 3-D imaging process (migration) borrowed from seismic processing techniques, we enhance the signal-to-noise ratio while repositioning the echoes to their proper locations, thereby unraveling the interference. As part of the process, we correct ionospheric distortions and delays of the radar echoes (Campbell et al. 2014, IEEE GRSL 11 #3). Interfaces painstakingly mapped in radargrams (e.g., the basal-unit surface, a buried chasma) are clearly visible in the 3-D volume, and new features are revealed. Structures may now be mapped through trough-rich regions, including a widespread sequence that provides corroborative evidence of recent ice ages (Smith et al. 2015, LPSC XLVI #2574). Distinctive radar signatures associated with known, partially buried craters also occur elsewhere in the volume but without surface expression. Presumably, these are fully buried craters that may provide a new means to estimate the age of the deposits. Preliminary work for Planum Australe demonstrates that the 3-D processing currently underway will illuminate deep structures that are broadly obfuscated in 2-D radargrams by a shallow scatterer (Campbell et al. 2015, LPSC XLVI #2366).

  15. Complex Burial and Exhumation of South Polar Cap Pitted Terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. The two prominent bright stripes at the left/center of the image are covered with bright frost and thus create the illusion that they are sunlit from the lower left.

    The large pits, troughs, and 'swiss cheese' of the south polar residual cap appear to have been formed in the upper 4 or 5 layers of the polar material. Each layer is approximately 2 meters (6.6 feet) thick. Some Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images of this terrain show examples in which older pitted and eroded layers have been previously buried and are now being exhumed. The example shown here includes two narrow, diagonal slopes that trend from upper left toward lower right at the left/center portion of the frame. Along the bottoms of these slopes are revealed a layer that underlies them in which there are many more pits and troughs than in the upper layer. It is likely in this case that the lower layer formed its pits and troughs before it was covered by the upper layer. This observation suggests that the troughs, pits, and 'swiss cheese' features of the south polar cap are very old and form over long time scales.

    The picture is located near 84.6oS, 45.1oW, and covers an area 3 km by 5 km (1.9 x 3.1 mi) at a resolution of about 3.8 meters (12 ft) per pixel. The image was taken during southern spring on August 29, 1999.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  16. Snow algae in an ice core drilled on Grigoriev Ice cap in the Kyrgyz Tien Shen Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honda, M.; Takeuchi, N.; Sera, S.; Fujita, K.; Okamoto, S.; Naoki, K.; Aizen, V. B.

    2012-12-01

    Snow algae are photosynthetic microorganisms and are living on the surfase of glaciers. They grow on melting surface from spring to summer and their biomass and community structure are changed with physical and chemical conditions on glaciers. Ice cores drilled from glaciers also contain snow algae that grew in the past. Studying biomass and community structure of snow algae in ice cores could reveal the temporal variation in snow algae in the past, and also environmental conditions relating propagation of snow algae. In this study, we anlalyzed snow algae preserved in an ice core of Grigoriev Ice cap located in eastern Kyrgyzstan of the central Asia, and to describe their temporal variations for the last 200 years. The ice core drilling was carried out on September in 2007 on the Grigoriev Ice cap in the Kyrgyz Tien Shen Mountains. A 87 m long ice core from the surface to the bedrock was recovered at the top of the ice cap. The core was horizontally cut every 5 cm (total 1212 samples). The samples were melted and preserved as a 3% formalin solution. After the sample water was filtered through a hydrophilized PTFE membrane filter, observed by microscope. Snow algae in the sample water were counting. The algal biomass was represented by the cell number per unit water volume. Here, we showed the results between the surface to the 64 m in depth. We also analyzed the snow algal communities on the surface of the ice cap collected from five different sites from the top down to the terminus. Microscopy revealed that the ice core contained three taxa of filamentous cyanobacteria, an unicellular cyanobacterium, and two green algae. They were also found on the ice or snow surface of the i Ice cap. The quantitative analyses of the algae in the part of upper 64 m deep of the ice core samples revealed that the algal biomass varied significantly and showed many peaks. Furthermore, the biomass profile differed among the taxa. The filamentous cyanobacterium varied from 0.0 to 4

  17. Radiative transfer in layered media: Application to the radar sounding of Martian polar ices. II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyushin, Ya. A.

    2007-01-01

    The paper addresses the problem of the retrieval of the physical parameters of the Martian polar ices from the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) measurements. The results of the previous paper [Ilyushin, Y.A., Seu, R., Phillips, R.J., 2005. Subsurface radar sounding of the Martian polar cap: radiative transfer approach. Planet. Space Sci. 53(14-15), 1427-1436, doi: 10.1016/j.pss.2005.08.002] are further developed. Several electrical models of the Martian polar caps are considered, and several radiative transfer models, appropriate for layered media, are reviewed and compared to each other. Both 1D case, applicable to the orbital GPR instruments, and 2D and 3D geometry, applicable to the landed radars, are studied. A technique for retrieval of the average loss in the medium, which can be attributed to the impurities content in the ice, is proposed. The retrieval technique is numerically tested with the exact solutions of electromagnetic equations for the waves in the layered media. Numerical tests show that the loss in the medium can be determined from the observed radar signal in the whole range of values, expected to be the case in Martian polar caps.

  18. Application of Polar Cap (PC) indices in analyses and forecasts of geophysical conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) indices could be considered to represent the input of power from the solar wind to the Earth's magnetosphere. The indices have been used to analyse interplanetary electric fields, effects of solar wind pressure pulses, cross polar cap voltages and polar cap diameter, ionospheric Joule heating, and other issues of polar cap dynamics. The PC indices have also been used to predict auroral electrojet intensities and global auroral power as well as ring current intensities. For specific space weather purposes the PC indices could be used to forecast substorm development and predict associated power line disturbances in the subauroral regions. The presentation shall outline the general background for applying the PC indices in analyses or forecasts of solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions and provide illustrative examples of the use of the Polar Cap indices in specific cases

  19. Field-Aligned Electric Potential in the Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wing, S.; Hildebrand, L.

    2014-12-01

    Reconnection with the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on the dayside magnetosphere opens the previously closed Earth's field line, allowing solar wind particles to enter the magnetosphere, some of which precipitate into the ionosphere. As the open-field line ExB convects to the nightside, fewer ions can enter the magnetosphere. As a result, field-aligned (parallel) electric potential increases with latitude to prevent more electrons from entering, in order to maintain charge quasi-neutrality. The APL open-field line model predicts that the parallel potential drop increases from cusp to mantle to polar rain. This trend has been confirmed in a study that compared phase space densities of ACE solar wind electrons to those of DMSP precipitating electrons. However, the same study also found that sometimes there is an anomaly: the parallel potential drop would have the opposite polarity such that solar wind electrons are accelerated downward in the afternoon polar cap. Using DMSP magnetometer and particle precipitation data, we show that this accelerating potential drop can be found often in the poleward upward field-aligned current region. The velocity shear at the magnetopause boundary leads to a voltage drop across the boundary, which drives the upward field-aligned currents. At higher latitude or further away from noon, the field line maps to the magnetopause location that is further down the magnetotail where the magnetosheath velocity shear is higher and density is lower. When the velocity shear and hence field-aligned current density (J//) is too high or density too low, parallel potential develops to accelerate more electron downward, in accordance with Knight relation.

  20. Growth and Decay of the South Polar Residual Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; McEwen, A.; HiRISE Team

    2008-12-01

    The southern residual ice cap (SRC) is composed of high-albedo solid CO2, is a few meters thick and has areas at its margins and in its interior where the underlying water ice of the polar layered deposits shows through. Previous observations show that pits within the SRC expose sections of layering in the CO2 ice (up to 10m thick) and are expanding by meters/year (Thomas et al., Icarus, 2005). The expansion of these pits is a problem as their spatial density and expansion rates indicate that there should be nothing left of the SRC within a century or so. Our analysis of pit expansion rates indicates that they increase during periods of dust-storm activity. The sensitivity of SRC evolution to climate indicates that its stratigraphy is likely also a valuable source of information about recent climate variability. We are using HiRISE data to constrain landscape evolution models of CO2 ice landscapes to quantify the history of the SRC and the connection of its stratigraphy to martian climate. Here we report on two investigations utilizing different models. 1. We use a landscape evolution model to simulate growth of an accumulating CO2 deposit. This model shows pits naturally form in this landscape, without any associated change in climate, due to increases in surface roughness with time and the feedback between slope and ice ablation. Comparison of model results with the current SRC indicates the thickest sections of stratigraphy likely represent up to 100 martian years of accumulation. 2. HiRISE data shows that some pits expand by faster retreat of the lower ice layers, undercutting of the upper bright ice and subsequent mass-wasting. A separate model that can handle topographic overhangs has been developed and is being used to investigate this behavior. Using this model to reproduce the non- circular aspects of the pit-shapes and their expansion rates (which HiRISE can measure as a function of azimuth) constrains properties of the lower CO2 ice layers such as

  1. Mesoscale variability of water vapor, surface ice aging and precipitation in the Martian polar regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evdokimova, Nadezda; Rodin, Alexander V.; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Fedorova, Anna

    We present the results of analysis of the H2 O and CO2 ices and the atmospheric water vapor distribution in the polar regions of Mars, based on the OMEGA C channel data obtained during the period of MY 26-27. We employ observations of the North polar cap (NPC) obtain during the aphelion campaigns of 26-27 MY, and corresponding South polar cap (SPC) observations obtained during the perihelion season. In both cases ices were mapped using spectral indices corresponding to specific adsorption bands. At the NPC where H2 O ices is presented during the spring-summer season we used square-based index of the 1.5 µm for estimation of the net ice content and one of the 1.25 µm band for the analysis of ice microstructure. At the SPC square indices are unreliable because of contamination of narrow CO2 absorption bands, so the relative depth of 1.5 µm was used for mapping of H2 O ice. CO2 ice was mapped using 1.57 µm band. In both hemispheres, wave-2 and wave-3 structures were observed in the circumpolar regions during limited period of time. At the NPC wave-2 pattern was found in the 1.25 µm index distribution during early aphelion season that presumably reflects enhanced aging rates of the NPC frost caused by cyclonic wind system in the circumpolar vortex, resulting in enlargement of grains in the optically active skin layer. Later in the aphelion season, wave-2 pattern is followed by wave-3 which is a consequence of change of the leading wavenumber in the polar vortex. At the SPC, wave-3 pattern is observed during the shot period when seasonal CO2 ice cap retreats. We interpret this structure as the outcropping of H2 O ice deposits accumulated during south hemisphere for autumn-winter season. Water vapor distribution inferred from OMEGA data also demonstrates zonal variations correlating with such wave structures. GCM simulations with comprehensive treatment of the water cycle reproduce stationary cyclonic eddies during the string-summer, and transient wave-3 system

  2. Electron polar cap and the boundary of open geomagnetic field lines.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, L. C.; Stone, E. C.

    1972-01-01

    A total of 333 observations of the boundary of the polar access region for electrons (energies greater than 530 keV) provides a comprehensive map of the electron polar cap. The boundary of the electron polar cap, which should occur at the latitude separating open and closed field lines, is consistent with previously reported closed field line limits determined from trapped-particle data. The boundary, which is sharply defined, seems to occur at one of three discrete latitudes. Although the electron flux is generally uniform across the polar cap, a limited region of reduced access is observed about 10% of the time.

  3. Buried CO2 Ice traces in South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars detected by radar sounder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castaldo, L.; Mège, D.; Orosei, R.; Séjourné, A.

    2014-12-01

    SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) is the subsurface sounding radar provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as a facility instrument to NASA's 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Reduced Data Record of SHARAD data covering the area of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD), has been used. The elaboration and interpretation of the data, aimed to estimate electromagnetic properties of surface layers, has been performed in terms of permittivity. The theory of electromagnetic scattering from fractal surfaces, and the estimation of geometric parameters from topographic data by Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) which was one of five instruments on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, has been used. A deep analysis of inversion has been made on all Mars and extended to the South Polar Caps in order to extract the area with a permittivity constant of CO2 ice. Several corrections have been applied to the data, moreover the calibration of the signal requires the determination of a constant that takes into account the power gain due to the radar system and the surface in order to compensate the power losses due to the orbitographic phenomena. The determination of regions with high probability of buried CO2 ice in the first layer of the Martian surface, is obtained extracting the real part of the permittivity constant of the CO2 ice (~2), estimated by other means. The permittivity of CO2ice is extracted from the Global Permittivity Map of Mars using the global standard deviation of itself as following: ɛCO2ice=ɛCO2ice+ Σ (1)where Σ=±std(ɛMapMars)/2Figure 1(a) shows the south polar areas where the values of the permittivity point to the possibility of a CO2 ice layer. Figure 1(b) is the corresponding geologic map. The comparison between the two maps indicates that the area with probable buried CO2 overlaps Hesperian and Amazonian polar units (Hp, Hesperian plains-forming deposits marked by narrow sinuous, anabranching ridges and irregular depressions, and

  4. Polar sea ice observations by means of microwave radiometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gloersen, P.; Chang, T. C.; Wilheit, T. T.; Campbell, W. J.

    1973-01-01

    Principles pertinent to the utilization of 1.55 cm wavelength radiation emanating from the surface of the earth for studying the changing characteristics of polar sea ice are briefly reviewed. Recent data obtained at that wavelength with an imaging radiometer on-board the Nimbus 5 satellite are used to illustrate how the seasonal changes in extent of sea ice in both polar regions may be monitored free of atmospheric interference. Within a season, changes in the compactness of the sea ice are also observed from the satellite. Some substantial areas of the Arctic sea ice canopy identified as first-year ice in the past winter were observed not to melt this summer, a graphic illustration of the eventual formation of multiyear ice in the Arctic. Finally, the microwave emissivity of some of the multiyear ice areas near the North Pole was found to increase significantly in the summer, probably due to liquid water content in the firm layer.

  5. Lunar polar ice deposits: scientific and utilization objectives of the Lunar Ice Discovery Mission proposal.

    PubMed

    Duke, Michael B

    2002-03-01

    The Clementine mission has revived interest in the possibility that ice exists in shadowed craters near the lunar poles. Theoretically, the problem is complex, with several possible sources of water (meteoroid, asteroid, comet impact), several possible loss mechanisms (impact vaporization, sputtering, photoionization), and burial by meteorite impact. Opinions of modelers have ranged from no ice to several times 10(16) g of ice in the cold traps. Clementine bistatic radar data have been interpreted in favor of the presence of ice, while Arecibo radar data do not confirm its presence. The Lunar Prospector mission, planned to be flown in the fall of 1997, could gather new evidence for the existence of ice. If ice is present, both scientific and utilitarian objectives would be addressed by a lunar polar rover, such as that proposed to the NASA Discovery program, but not selected. The lunar polar rover remains the best way to understand the distribution and characteristics of lunar polar ice. PMID:11902177

  6. Comparisons of the North Polar Cap of Mars and the Earth's Northern Hemisphere snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1985-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the Earth the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960's when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as Earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. In this study data on the year to year variations in the extent of the polar caps of Mars and Earth were assembled and analyzed together with data on annual variations in solar activity to determine if associations exist between these data. It was found that virtually no correlation exists between measurements of Mars north polar cap and solar variability. An inverse relationship was found between variations in the size of the north polar caps of Mars and Earth, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  7. Landscape Evolution and the Reincarnation of the Residual CO2 Ice Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M.

    2006-12-01

    Observations of the southern residual CO2 cap of Mars reveal a wide range of landforms including flat-floored quasi-circular pits with steep walls (dubbed Swiss-cheese features). Interannual comparisons show that these depressions are expanding laterally at rates of ~2m/yr to ~4m/yr, prompting suggestions of climate change. The residual CO2 ice cap is up to 10m thick and underlain by an involatile basement, it also contains layers roughly 2m thick representing different accumulation episodes in the recent past. Changes in the appearance of the residual ice between the Mariner 9 and Viking missions indicate that the top-most layer was deposited in that time-frame, soon after the global dust storm of 1971. The spatial density of the Swiss-cheese features, and the rate at which they expand, mean that it is unlikely that any part of the residual ice cap is older than a few centuries. Given this, we may ask: how can there be a residual cap present today for us to observe? To answer this and other questions we have developed a model to examine the evolution of a CO2 ice landscape. This model reproduces the morphologies and expansion rates seen in the actual residual CO2 ice cap. Our model results indicate that the fate of CO2 ice surfaces is controlled by their surface roughness. Surface roughness always increases with time, which results in an unstable situation. When the surface roughness exceeds a critical point small pits can begin to develop. The walls of these pits rapidly steepen and begin retreating which enlarges and deepens the pit. This situation always occurs even if the surface of the CO2 slab has a high enough albedo to have a net mass gain each year. Once these pits begin expanding they quickly erode the entire ice slab. When the underlying non-CO2 material is exposed, it will not frost over again if Mars were to repeat like clockwork every year. We conclude that interannual climatic variability is actually a requirement for the continued existence of a

  8. POLAR/TIDE Survey of Thermal O+ Characteristics near 5000km Altitude over the Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, B. A.; Horwitz, J. L.; Su, Y. J.; Elliott, Heather A.; Comfort, Richard H.; Moore, Thomas E.; Giles, Barbara A.; Craven, Paul D.; Chandler, Michael O.; Pollock, Craig J.

    1998-01-01

    We analyze measurements of thermal 0+ parameters from the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) on POLAR for April - May, 1996 obtained near 5000 km altitude within the polar cap ionosphere - magnetosphere interface region. Certain aspects of O+ parameters in this region were explored by Su et. al. [1998]. In this report, we hope to extend our understanding of the O+ behavior by examining relationships of densities, parallel velocities, and temperatures to the convection velocities, IMF By and Bz components. Preliminary results with the convection velocities are currently being analyzed. In doing so, we are guided in part by the Cleft Ion Fountain paradigm and model developed by Horwitz and Lockwood [1985] which involves downward O+ flows in the polar magnetosphere.

  9. Ice Shelf Modeling: A Cross-Polar Bayesian Statistical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, N.; Furrer, R.; Jakobsson, M.; Zwally, H. J.

    2010-12-01

    Ice streams interlink glacial terrestrial and marine environments: embedded in a grounded inland ice such as the Antarctic Ice Sheet or the paleo ice sheets covering extensive parts of the Eurasian and Amerasian Arctic respectively, ice streams are major drainage agents facilitating the discharge of substantial portions of continental ice into the ocean. At their seaward side, ice streams can either extend onto the ocean as floating ice tongues (such as the Drygalsky Ice Tongue/East Antarctica), or feed large ice shelves (as is the case for e.g. the Siple Coast and the Ross Ice Shelf/West Antarctica). The flow behavior of ice streams has been recognized to be intimately linked with configurational changes in their attached ice shelves; in particular, ice shelf disintegration is associated with rapid ice stream retreat and increased mass discharge from the continental ice mass, contributing eventually to sea level rise. Investigations of ice stream retreat mechanism are however incomplete if based on terrestrial records only: rather, the dynamics of ice shelves (and, eventually, the impact of the ocean on the latter) must be accounted for. However, since floating ice shelves leave hardly any traces behind when melting, uncertainty regarding the spatio-temporal distribution and evolution of ice shelves in times prior to instrumented and recorded observation is high, calling thus for a statistical modeling approach. Complementing ongoing large-scale numerical modeling efforts (Pollard & DeConto, 2009), we model the configuration of ice shelves by using a Bayesian Hiearchial Modeling (BHM) approach. We adopt a cross-polar perspective accounting for the fact that currently, ice shelves exist mainly along the coastline of Antarctica (and are virtually non-existing in the Arctic), while Arctic Ocean ice shelves repeatedly impacted the Arctic ocean basin during former glacial periods. Modeled Arctic ocean ice shelf configurations are compared with geological spatial

  10. Changes of the Arctic Ice Caps from ICESat and GRACE - A study of mass balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Johan; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Forsberg, René

    2013-04-01

    Data from ICESat, compared with GRACE data, were used to estimate the mass balance of the smaller Arctic ice caps on Svalbard, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic from the years 2003-2009. In this study we used the repeat track method to estimate the surface elevation change of the Arctic ice caps from ICESat altimetry. The GRACE mass balance was obtained using a point mass modeling method, which allowed a better separation of the dominant signal from the Greenland Ice Sheet. In the ICESat part of the study we used several different methods for estimating the mass balance. The methods where based on both interpolation and extrapolation of the elevation change estimates over the ice caps, using both parametric and non-parametric approaches. We found that all Arctic ice caps show a consistent negative mass balance from the year 2003-2009. Ranging from -3 to -26 Gt/yr from the ICESat estimates for the different regions, which is in good agreement with the GRACE results. Also found is that the choice of method used for the ICESat analysis can have a significant impact on the mass balance.

  11. Power grid disturbances and polar cap index during geomagnetic storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2013-06-01

    The strong geomagnetic storm in the evening of 30 October 2003 caused high-voltage power grid disturbances in Sweden that expanded to produce hour-long power line outage in Malmö located in the southern part of the country. This was not a unique situation. The geomagnetic storm on 13 March 1989 caused extensive disruptions of high-voltage power circuits especially in the Province of Quebec, Canada, but also to a lesser degree in Scandinavia. Similar events have occurred earlier, among others, during the great storms of 13-14 July 1982 and 8-9 February 1986. These high-voltage power grid disturbances were related to impulsive magnetic variations accompanying extraordinarily intense substorm events. The events were preceded by lengthy intervals of unusually high values of the Polar Cap (PC) index caused by enhanced transpolar ionospheric convection. The transpolar convection transports magnetic flux from the dayside to nightside which causes equatorward displacements of the region of auroral activity enabling the substorms to hit vital power grids. During the 30 October 2003 event the intense solar proton radiation disabled the ACE satellite observations widely used to provide forecast of magnetic storm events. Hence in this case the alarmingly high PC index could provide useful warning of the storm as a back-up of the missing ACE-based forecast. In further cases, monitoring the PC index level could provide supplementary storm warnings to the benefit of power grid operators.

  12. The role of rotation and polar-cap currents on pulsar radio emission and polarization

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, D.; Gangadhara, R. T. E-mail: ganga@iiap.res.in

    2013-06-01

    Perturbations such as rotation and polar-cap current (PC-current) have been believed to greatly affect the pulsar radio emission and polarization. The two effects have not been considered simultaneously in the literature; each one of these has been considered separately, and a picture has been deduced by simply superposing them, but such an approach can lead to spurious results. Hence, by considering pulsar rotation and PC-current perturbations together instead of one at a time, we have developed a single particle curvature radiation model, which is expected to be much more realistic. By simulating a set of typical pulse profiles, we have made an attempt to explain most of the observational results of pulsar radio emission and polarization. The model predicts that due to the perturbations the leading side component can become either stronger or weaker than the corresponding trailing one in any given cone, depending on the passage of the sight line and modulation (nonuniform source distribution). Further, we find that the phase delay of the polarization angle inflection point with respect to the core component greatly depends on the viewing geometry. The correlation between the sign reversal of circular polarization and the polarization angle swing in the case of core-dominated pulsars becomes obscure once the perturbations and modulation become significant. However, the correlation between the negative circular polarization and the increasing polarization angle and vice versa is very clear in the case of conal-double pulsars. The 'kinky'-type distortions in polarization angle swing could be due to the incoherent superposition of modulated emission in the presence of strong perturbations.

  13. Day-night coupling by a localized flow channel visualized by polar cap patch propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, T.; Lyons, L. R.; Zou, Y.; Wang, B.; Oksavik, K.; Moen, J. I.; Clausen, L.; Donovan, E.; Angelopoulos, V.; Shiokawa, K.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Nishitani, N.; McWilliams, K. A.; Lester, M.

    2014-12-01

    Although plasma convection in the polar cap is often thought of large-scale two-cell convection, recent radar observations have shown that dynamic meso-scale fast flows of the order of 100 km size are embedded within the large-scale convection. Those flow channels are colocated with polar cap airglow patches in many cases, and thus optical measurements can be used to track the origin of such flows, evolution in the polar cap, and their influence on nightside auroral activity. We present unique coordinated observations of the dayside auroral oval, polar cap, and nightside auroral oval by three All-Sky Imagers (ASIs), two SuperDARN radars, and DMSP. This dataset revealed that a dayside Poleward-Moving Auroral Form (PMAF) evolved into a polar cap airglow patch that propagated across the polar cap, and then nightside poleward boundary intensifications (PBIs). Radar observations detected fast anti-sunward flows associated with the PMAF, and the DMSP satellite, whose conjunction occurred within a few minutes after the PMAF initiation, measured enhanced Low-Latitude Boundary Layer (LLBL) precipitation and enhanced plasma density with a strong anti-sunward flow burst. The polar cap patch was spatially and temporally coincident with a localized anti-sunward flow channel. The propagation across the polar cap and the subsequent PBIs suggest that the flow channel originated from dayside reconnection and then reached the nightside open-closed boundary, triggering localized nightside reconnection and flow bursts within the plasma sheet. In addition, we have also statistically investigated the property of dayside and nightside polar cap flow channels using imagers, radars and low-altitude satellites. The flow channels are typically found to have a ~300 km width, propagate a few hundred km/s faster than background flows, and to occur during a By-dominant IMF with a weak southward component.

  14. Polar cap auroral arcs: Observations, theories, and a numerical model. Ph.D. Thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Berg, G.A.

    1993-01-01

    This thesis reports the results of probably the most completely documented study of auroras near the polar cap boundary performed to date. Three fully instrumented rockets flew into the morning sector of the polar cap, complemented on the ground by a digital all-sky camera and incoherent scatter radar. Additionally, DMSP satellite passes over the polar cap bracketed the launches. The authors use these data to address two main issues: (1) the relationship between the state of the magnetosphere and the formation of polar cap arcs, and (2) the character of the current systems associated with polar cap arcs. The data indicate that in a decaying magnetosphere sun-aligned arcs erupt into the polar cap at high velocity from regions of enhanced brightness in the auroral oval. Two bright polar cap arcs formed in this manner in the region sampled by the rockets. The most equatorward of the arcs, sampled by two of the rockets during its lifetime, erupted into a region already characterized by strong sunward convection. The most poleward, however, which formed after the rockets had passed, pushed into a region where anti-sunward convection pertained less than two minutes earlier. It is likely that the boundary between sunward and anti-sunward convection shifted poleward so that sunward convection pertained at this arc as well. The formation of polar cap arcs may be tied closely to the reconfiguration of the magnetosphere into a system characterized by a smaller polar cap. One of the payloads measured, with high resolution, both E and delta B as well as energetic particle flux. This permitted an in-depth study of the current systems flown through. The correlation between delta E and delta B is classic, both fields indicating upward field-aligned currents in virtually every region of enhanced electron precipitation. However, the currents deduced from the electrons do not agree in magnitude with those deduced from the fields.

  15. The Role of Viscous Deformation in the Morphology of the Martian North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.; Lim, L.; Zwally, H. J.

    1998-01-01

    The first detailed topographic measurements of Mars' north polar cap have recently been collected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). These new data provide the opportunity to address in a quantitative way the processes responsible for the origin and evolution of the martian polar caps. On the basis of imaging and spectral observations from the Mariner 9 and Viking orbiters, it was recognized that a number of physical mechanisms. including radiative transfer, wind erosion, and viscous flow, represent possible or probable contributors to the morphology of the polar cap. Here we review rheological data for H2O and CO2 at conditions relevant to the martian polar regions. We then use MOLA topographic profiles to perform a preliminary assessment of the role of power law flow in contributing to the regional-scale planform of the north polar cap.

  16. Spectral albedo and emissivity of CO2 in Martian polar caps - Model results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Stephen G.; Wiscombe, Warren J.; Firestone, John F.

    1990-01-01

    In this paper, a snow albedo model previously developed for terrestrial snow is extended to the case of CO2 snow on Mars. Pure CO2 snow is calculated to have high albedo at visible wavelengths but not as high as that of water snow. At any given wavelength, the primary variable controlling albedo and emissivity is the snow grain size, with albedo decreasing and emissivity increasing as grain size increases. Observations that red albedo is much higher than blue albedo in the Martian south polar cap indicates that the snow or the atmosphere is contaminated with red dust. The absorption coefficient of CO2 ice in the thermal infrared is two to three orders of magnitude smaller than that measured for H2O ice. CO2 snow emissivity is therefore much lower than H2O snow, varying substantially with wavelength and quite sensitive to grain size and emission angle. Factors tending to increase emissivity are large grain size, small emission angle, and large concentrations of dust or water.

  17. HiRISE Images of the Sublimation of the Southern Seasonal Polar Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, C. J.; McEwen, A. S.; Okubo, C.; Byrne, S.; Becker, T.; Kieffer, H.; Mellon, M.; HiRISE Team

    2007-12-01

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has returned images with unprecedented resolution of Mars southern seasonal CO2 polar cap. Several high latitude sites were selected for systematic monitoring throughout the spring as the seasonal cap sublimed away. The capability of MRO to turn off-nadir enabled acquisition of stereo pairs to study the topography. HiRISE color capability distinguishes processes involving dust and frost. Color images show evidence of localized migration of frost as dark spots sublimate. Unique landforms are found in the cryptic terrain[1] region of Mars polar cap. These unusual landforms have narrow channels emanating radially, dubbed spiders[2]. Fans of dust blown by the prevailing wind are hypothesized to come from gas jets of CO2 subliming beneath translucent seasonal ice [3]. HiRISE images show a wide variety of morphologies of narrow channels. In some regions deep narrow channels converge radially, while in others the high channel density is more akin to lace. A smooth evolution of one form to another has been observed. Channels converge dendritically, often uphill, consistent with formation by flowing gas, not liquid. More dust fans are observed in regions of spiders than in lace, suggesting that the sublimating gas under the seasonal ice builds up more pressure and can entrain more dust in spidery areas. These differing terrain types are found within a single 6 x 10 km image, which has presumably homogeneous weather, thus a uniform layer of ice and exposure to atmospheric dust. HiRiSE images show that the dust fans tend to emerge from low spots, where the subsurface is accessed, then are blown up and out onto the surface of the seasonal ice. The fans evolve from a thin diffuse covering to thick blankets filling in the narrow channels. We hypothesize that dust collects in the channels, and that these relatively more permeable dust-filled channels form pathways for the next seasons

  18. Short-term sea ice forecasting: An assessment of ice concentration and ice drift forecasts using the U.S. Navy's Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebert, David A.; Allard, Richard A.; Metzger, E. Joseph; Posey, Pamela G.; Preller, Ruth H.; Wallcraft, Alan J.; Phelps, Michael W.; Smedstad, Ole Martin

    2015-12-01

    In this study the forecast skill of the U.S. Navy operational Arctic sea ice forecast system, the Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS), is presented for the period February 2014 to June 2015. ACNFS is designed to provide short term, 1-7 day forecasts of Arctic sea ice and ocean conditions. Many quantities are forecast by ACNFS; the most commonly used include ice concentration, ice thickness, ice velocity, sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, and sea surface velocities. Ice concentration forecast skill is compared to a persistent ice state and historical sea ice climatology. Skill scores are focused on areas where ice concentration changes by ±5% or more, and are therefore limited to primarily the marginal ice zone. We demonstrate that ACNFS forecasts are skilful compared to assuming a persistent ice state, especially beyond 24 h. ACNFS is also shown to be particularly skilful compared to a climatologic state for forecasts up to 102 h. Modeled ice drift velocity is compared to observed buoy data from the International Arctic Buoy Programme. A seasonal bias is shown where ACNFS is slower than IABP velocity in the summer months and faster in the winter months. In February 2015, ACNFS began to assimilate a blended ice concentration derived from Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) and the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS). Preliminary results show that assimilating AMSR2 blended with IMS improves the short-term forecast skill and ice edge location compared to the independently derived National Ice Center Ice Edge product.

  19. Identifying Surface Changes on HRSC Images of the Mars South Polar Residual CAP (sprc)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putri, Alfiah Rizky Diana; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2016-06-01

    The surface of Mars has been an object of interest for planetary research since the launch of Mariner 4 in 1964. Since then different cameras such as the Viking Visual Imaging Subsystem (VIS), Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) have been imaging its surface at ever higher resolution. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board of the European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express, has been imaging the Martian surface, since 25th December 2003 until the present-day. HRSC has covered 100 % of the surface of Mars, about 70 % of the surface with panchromatic images at 10-20 m/pixel, and about 98 % at better than 100 m/pixel (Neukum et. al., 2004), including the polar regions of Mars. The Mars polar regions have been studied intensively recently by analysing images taken by the Mars Express and MRO missions (Plaut et al., 2007). The South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) does not change very much in volume overall but there are numerous examples of dynamic phenomena associated with seasonal changes in the atmosphere. In particular, we can examine the time variation of layers of solid carbon dioxide and water ice with dust deposition (Bibring, 2004), spider-like channels (Piqueux et al., 2003) and so-called Swiss Cheese Terrain (Titus et al., 2004). Because of seasonal changes each Martian year, due to the sublimation and deposition of water and CO2 ice on the Martian south polar region, clearly identifiable surface changes occur in otherwise permanently icy region. In this research, good quality HRSC images of the Mars South Polar region are processed based on previous identification as the optimal coverage of clear surfaces (Campbell et al., 2015). HRSC images of the Martian South Pole are categorized in terms of quality, time, and location to find overlapping areas, processed into high quality Digital Terrain

  20. Taxon interactions control the distributions of cryoconite bacteria colonizing a High Arctic ice cap.

    PubMed

    Gokul, Jarishma K; Hodson, Andrew J; Saetnan, Eli R; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L; Westall, Philippa J; Detheridge, Andrew P; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Bussell, Jennifer; Mur, Luis A J; Edwards, Arwyn

    2016-08-01

    Microbial colonization of glacial ice surfaces incurs feedbacks which affect the melting rate of the ice surface. Ecosystems formed as microbe-mineral aggregates termed cryoconite locally reduce ice surface albedo and represent foci of biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling. Consequently, greater understanding the ecological processes in the formation of functional cryoconite ecosystems upon glacier surfaces is sought. Here, we present the first bacterial biogeography of an ice cap, evaluating the respective roles of dispersal, environmental and biotic filtration occurring at local scales in the assembly of cryoconite microbiota. 16S rRNA gene amplicon semiconductor sequencing of cryoconite colonizing a Svalbard ice cap coupled with digital elevation modelling of physical parameters reveals the bacterial community is dominated by a ubiquitous core of generalist taxa, with evidence for a moderate pairwise distance-decay relationship. While geographic position and melt season duration are prominent among environmental predictors of community structure, the core population of taxa appears highly influential in structuring the bacterial community. Taxon co-occurrence network analysis reveals a highly modular community structured by positive interactions with bottleneck taxa, predominantly Actinobacteria affiliated to isolates from soil humus. In contrast, the filamentous cyanobacterial taxon (assigned to Leptolyngbya/Phormidesmis pristleyi) which dominates the community and binds together granular cryoconite are poorly connected to other taxa. While our study targeted one ice cap, the prominent role of generalist core taxa with close environmental relatives across the global cryosphere indicate discrete roles for cosmopolitan Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria as respective keystone taxa and ecosystem engineers of cryoconite ecosystems colonizing ice caps. PMID:27261672

  1. Time scales of erosion and deposition recorded in the residual south polar cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, P. C.; Calvin, W. M.; Gierasch, P.; Haberle, R.; James, P. B.; Sholes, S.

    2013-08-01

    The residual south polar cap (RSPC) of Mars has been subject to competing processes during recent Mars years of high resolution image coverage: continuing erosion of scarps while the maximum extent grows as well as shrinks (Piqueux, S., Christensen, P.R. [2008]. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 113, 2006; James, P.B., Thomas, P.C., Malin, M.C. [2010]. Icarus 208, 82-85). Additionally, the cap has a variety of morphologies and erosion (scarp retreat) rates (Thomas, P.C., James, P.B., Calvin, W.M., Haberle, R., Malin, M.C. [2009]. Icarus 203, 352-375). Do these different forms and competing processes indicate an aging and possibly disappearing cap, a growing cap, or a fluctuating cap, and is it possible to infer the timescales of the processes acting on the RSPC? Here we use the latest imaging data from Mars' southern summer in Mars year 30 (Calendar year 2011) to evaluate erosion rates of forms in the RSPC over 6 Mars years, and to map more fully features whose sizes can be used to predict deposit ages. Data through Mars year 30 show that scarp retreat rates in the RSPC have remained approximately the same for at least 6 Mars years and that these rates of erosion also apply approximately over the past 21 Mars years. The thicker units appear to have undergone changes in the locations of new pit formation about 30-50 Mars years ago. The thinner units have some areas that are possibly 80 Mars years old, with some younger materials having accumulated more than a meter in thickness since Mars year 9. Formation of the thicker units probably required over 100 Mars years. The upper surfaces of most areas, especially the thicker units, show little change at the few-cm level over the last 2 Mars years. This observation suggests that current conditions are substantially different from those when the thicker units were deposited. A prime characteristic of the evolution of the RSPC is that some changes are progressive, such as those involving scarp retreat, while others, such as the

  2. Pulsar Pair Cascades in Magnetic Fields with Offset Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Muslimov, Alex G.

    2012-01-01

    Neutron star magnetic fields may have polar caps (PC) that are offset from the dipole axis, through field-line sweepback near the light cylinder or non-symmetric currents within the star. The effects of such offsets on electron-positron pair cascades are investigated, using simple models of dipole magnetic fields with small distortions that shift the PCs by different amounts or directions. Using a Monte Carlo pair cascade simulation, we explore the changes in the pair spectrum, multiplicity and energy flux across the PC, as well as the trends in pair flux and pair energy flux with spin-down luminosity, L(sub sd). We also give an estimate of the distribution of heating flux from returning positrons on the PC for different offsets. We find that even modest offsets can produce significant increases in pair multiplicity, especially for pulsars that are near or beyond the pair death lines for centered PCs, primarily because of higher accelerating fields. Pair spectra cover several decades in energy, with the spectral range of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) two orders of magnitude higher than for normal pulsars, and PC offsets allow significant extension of all spectra to lower pair energies. We find that the total PC pair luminosity L(sub pair) is proportional to L(sub sd), with L(sub pair) approximates 10(exp -3) L(sub sd) for normal pulsars and L(sub pair) approximates 10(exp -2) L(sub sd) for MSPs. Remarkably, the total PC heating luminosity for even large offsets increases by less than a factor of two, even though the PC area increases by much larger factors, because most of the heating occurs near the magnetic axis.

  3. Sea ice and polar climate in the NCAR CSM

    SciTech Connect

    Weatherly, J.W.; Briegleb, B.P.; Large, W.G.; Maslanik, J.A.

    1998-06-01

    The Climate System Model (CSM) consists of atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea-ice components linked by a flux coupler, which computes fluxes of energy and momentum between components. The sea-ice component consists of a thermodynamic formulation for ice, snow, and leads within the ice pack, and ice dynamics using the cavitating-fluid ice rheology, which allows for the compressive strength of ice but ignores shear viscosity. The results of a 300-yr climate simulation are presented, with the focus on sea ice and the atmospheric forcing over sea ice in the polar regions. The atmospheric model results are compared to analyses from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and other observational sources. The sea-ice concentrations and velocities are compared to satellite observational data. The atmospheric sea level pressure (SLP) in CSM exhibits a high in the central Arctic displaced poleward from the observed Beaufort high. The Southern Hemisphere SLP over sea ice is generally 5 mb lower than observed. Air temperatures over sea ice in both hemispheres exhibit cold biases of 2--4 K. The precipitation-minus-evaporation fields in both hemispheres are greatly improved over those from earlier versions of the atmospheric GCM.

  4. Assessing post-depositional alteration and the integrity of ice core nitrate-N and -O isotopic records at the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buffen, A. M.; Hastings, M. G.; Thompson, L. G.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrate (NO3-) is a common chemical species found in snow and ice. Both nitrate and its atmospheric precursor NOx (NO and NO2) are of importance to climate, biogeochemistry and the composition of the atmosphere. For instance, nitrate is a critical biological nutrient, while NOx regulates concentrations of ozone (O3) and hydroxyl (OH) and thus influences the chemical and radiative properties of Earth's atmosphere. NOx sources include fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, soil microbial processes and lightning. Past changes in NOx emissions, tropospheric distributions and consequent effects on the atmosphere, however, are unknown. Interpreting stable nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen (δ18O and Δ17O) isotope ratios in nitrate preserved in ice cores can address these issues as they contain diagnostic signatures of NOx sources and oxidation processes, respectively. The potential caveat to this is that nitrate can be lost from snow and firn via photolysis (as NOx) and/or volatilization (as nitric acid). Because these processes are isotopically fractionating, it is necessary to determine if, or to what degree, such post-depositional alteration takes place at a given site before an isotopic record from ice core nitrate can be utilized as a paleoenvironmental proxy. This work addresses post-depositional alteration at the Quelccaya Ice Cap (5670 masl) in southeastern Peru in order to assess the integrity of the nitrate record in an 1800-year ice core from the site. This work represents the first of its kind outside the polar regions and is significant in that natural NOx sources and OH production are dominantly located in the Tropics. Additionally, because nitrate and NOx are not uniformly distributed in the troposphere, low-latitude records are needed to bridge ongoing polar work in order to establish a global perspective.

  5. Simultaneous observations of sun-aligned polar cap arcs in both hemispheres by EXOS-C and viking

    SciTech Connect

    Obara, T.; Kitayama, M.; Mukai, T.; Kaya, N.; Murphree, J.S.; Cogger, L.L.

    1988-07-01

    On September 25, 1986, the EXOS-C satellite traversed an intense electron precipitation in the southern polar cap, while the Viking satellite simultaneously obtained image data of the polar cap arc in the northern hemisphere. The energy spectrum of the precipitation, measured by instrumentation aboard EXOS-C, was very similar to that of adjacent (typical) auroral arcs, and the precipitation in the southern polar cap was observed in the same local time sector in which the arc was found in the northern polar cap. Observations seem to support the view that the polar cap arc occurs on closed field lines and is conjugate in both hemispheres. copyright American Geophysical Union 1988

  6. Diatoms as Proxies for a Fluctuating Holocene Ice Cap Margin in Hvitarvatn, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, J. L.; Miller, G. H.; Geirsdottir, A.

    2006-12-01

    Hvitarvatn is a glacier-dominated lake located on the eastern margin of Langjokull, Iceland's second largest ice cap. Hvitarvatn is ideally positioned to provide a continuous record of Holocene climate change as 1) glacial erosion and soft bedrock result in high lacustrine sedimentation rates, 2) diagnostic tephras of known age aid the geochronology, and 3) a relatively flat ice-cap profile responds sensitively to small climate-driven changes in the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The erosive power of Langjokull and the efficient delivery system of these glacial sediments into Hvitarvatn are the dominant factors affecting both the nutrient and light availability in the lake. Any perturbations to the lake system, such as large fluctuations of the ice cap margin, result in a swift response in the diatom community due to the rapid growth and immigration rates of diatoms. The Holocene diatom assemblages preserved in Hvitarvatn sediments are a key proxy for recording Iceland's sensitivity to changes in North Atlantic circulation and addressing whether Iceland's large ice caps disappeared in the early Holocene, and if they did, when they re-grew. The presence of the Saksunarvatn tephra in the Hvitarvatn sediments indicates the lake was deglaciated by 10,300 yr BP. The Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) is represented in the lake sediments by an abundant, diverse benthic diatom population that dominated Hvitarvatn between 6000-9000 yr BP. A resurgence of ice cap activity around 6000 yr BP is reflected by a shift to a planktonic diatom assemblage composed mostly of Aulacoseira subarctica. Langjokull grew to its largest Holocene extent during the LIA and reached its maximum between 150-300 yr BP. Diatom assemblages during the LIA are largely composed of Aulacoseira islandica and Aulacoseira subarctica, reflecting extremely low light and turbid water conditions.The diatom assemblages in Hvitarvatn indicate very large environmental changes occurred during the Holocene in Iceland.

  7. Pair Cascades and Deathlines in Magnetic Fields with Offset Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Muslimov, Alex G.

    2012-01-01

    We present results of electron-positron pair cascade simulations in a dipole magnetic field whose polar cap is offset from the dipole axis. In such a field geometry, the polar cap is displaced a small fraction of the neutron star radius from the star symmetry axis and the field line radius of curvature is modified. Using the modified parallel electric field near the offset polar cap, we simulate pair cascades to determine the pair deathlines and pair multiplicities as a function of the offset. We find that the pair multiplicity can change dr;unatically with a modest offset, with a significant increase on one side of the polar cap. Lower pair deathlines allow a larger fraction of the pulsar population, that include old and millisecond pulsars, to produce cascades with high multiplicity. The results have some important implications for pulsar particle production, high-energy emission and cosmic-ray contribution.

  8. CO_2 Frost Halos on the South Polar Residual Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, P.; Byrne, S.; HiRISE Team

    2012-03-01

    We present observational analysis, and a numerical model to explain the formation of bright CO_2 frost halos seen by HiRISE on the edges of scarps and "swiss cheese" features in the south polar residual cap of Mars.

  9. Polar cap electric field distributions related to the interplanetary magnetic field direction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heppner, J. P.

    1972-01-01

    The correlations between the azimuthal direction of the interplanetary magnetic field and the most simple polar cap signatures are discussed. Only the spatial distribution of the dawn-dusk polar cap field is considered. For each OGO 6 traverse across the northern or southern polar cap, the simultaneous values of the interplanetary magnetic field in solar-equatorial coordinates were recorded by the Explorer 33 magnetometer. Histograms of these values are presented and are discussed. The high degree of correlation with the longitudinal angle indicates that the relative geometry of the interplanetary magnetic field and magnetospheric magnetic fields must be fundamental to explaining the distribution of polar cap electric fields. The sign of the solar-equatorial component perpendicular to the sun-earth line appears to be a more critical parameter than the sign of the component toward the sun. The Svalgaard-Mansurov correlation and the correspondence between fast convection and parallel magnetospheric and interplanetary magnetic fields are described.

  10. Swarm in situ observations of F region polar cap patches created by cusp precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodwin, L. V.; Iserhienrhien, B.; Miles, D. M.; Patra, S.; Meeren, C.; Buchert, S. C.; Burchill, J. K.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Knudsen, D. J.; McWilliams, K. A.; Moen, J.

    2015-02-01

    High-resolution in situ measurements from the three Swarm spacecraft, in a string-of-pearls configuration, provide new insights about the combined role of flow channel events and particle impact ionization in creating F region electron density structures in the northern Scandinavian dayside cusp. We present a case of polar cap patch formation where a reconnection-driven low-density relative westward flow channel is eroding the dayside solar-ionized plasma but where particle impact ionization in the cusp dominates the initial plasma structuring. In the cusp, density features are observed which are twice as dense as the solar-ionized background. These features then follow the polar cap convection and become less structured and lower in amplitude. These are the first in situ observations tracking polar cap patch evolution from creation by plasma transport and enhancement by cusp precipitation, through entrainment in the polar cap flow and relaxation into smooth patches as they approach the nightside auroral oval.

  11. Comparison of polar cap potential drops estimated from solar wind and ground magnetometer data - CDAW 6

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reiff, P. H.; Spiro, R. W.; Wolf, R. A.; Kamide, Y.; King, J. H.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the maximum electrostatic potential difference across the polar cap, Phi, is a fundamental measure of the coupling between the solar wind and the earth's magnetosphere/ionosphere sytem. During the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 6 intervals, no suitably instrumented spacecraft was in an appropriate orbit to determine the polar-cap potential drop directly. However, two recently developed independent techniques make it possible to estimate the polar-cap potential drop for times when direct spacecraft data are not available. The present investigation is concerned with a comparison of cross-polar-cap potential drop estimates calculated for the two CDAW 6 intervals on the basis of these two techniques. In the case of one interval, the agreement between the potential drops and Joule heating rates is relatively good. In the second interval, however, the agreement is not very good. Explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.

  12. Water on Mars: Inventory, distribution, and possible sources of polar ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, S. M.

    1992-01-01

    Theoretical considerations and various lines of morphologic evidence suggest that, in addition to the normal seasonal and climatic exchange of H2O that occurs between the Martian polar caps, atmosphere, and mid to high latitude regolith, large volumes of water have been introduced into the planet's long term hydrologic cycle by the sublimation of equatorial ground ice, impacts, catastrophic flooding, and volcanism. Under the climatic conditions that are thought to have prevailed on Mars throughout the past 3 to 4 b.y., much of this water is expected to have been cold trapped at the poles. The amount of polar ice contributed by each of the planet's potential crustal sources is discussed and estimated. The final analysis suggests that only 5 to 15 pct. of this potential inventory is now in residence at the poles.

  13. Sedimentation waves formed by katabatic winds on the North Polar Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herny, Clémence; Carpy, Sabrina; Bourgeois, Olivier; Massé, Marion; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Perret, Laurent; Spiga, Aymeric; Smith, Isaac; Appéré, Thomas; Rodriguez, Sébastien; Piquet, Thibault; Gaudin, Dominique; Le Menn, Erwan

    2015-04-01

    Complex feedbacks between katabatic winds and the cryosphere may lead to the development of sedimentation waves at the surface of ice sheets. These have been first described, and named snow megadunes, in Antarctica. Complementary investigations of topographic data, optical images, spectroscopic data and stratigraphic radar soundings reveal that these sedimentation waves generally migrate upwind in response to enhanced accumulation on their upwind sides and reduced (or net ablation) on their downwind sides. On Mars, the North Polar Cap exhibits two wavelengths of such sedimentations waves. (1) The larger ones are several tens of kilometers in wavelength and several hundreds of meters in amplitude. These large bedforms confer a stunning spiral-shaped topography to the NPC. They have been interpreted as cyclic steps systems associated with katabatic jumps. (2) The smaller ones are tens of kilometers in wavelength and several tens of meters in amplitude. They are superimposed on the larger ones and are probable Martian equivalents of terrestrial snow megadunes. These specific bedforms have morphologic, stratigraphic and dynamic similarities with underwater sedimentary antidunes. Sedimentation waves on Earth and Mars result from the interaction between katabatic winds and the redistribution of ice at the surface of the NPC. Ice sublimation and condensation play an important role in the development of sedimentation waves on the NPC, due to the low atmospheric pressure, low temperature and low water vapor content at the surface of Mars. We are currently developing a numerical model based on the coupled implementation of fluid dynamics and H2O mass transfer by sublimation and condensation. The model is designed to explore the implication of the interaction between katabatic winds and water vapor diffusion/transport on the development of sedimentation waves on Mars and could be extrapolated to Antarctic conditions.

  14. Space/Time Statistics of Polar Ice Motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emery, William J.; Fowler, Charles; Maslanik, James A.

    2003-01-01

    Ice motions have been computed from passive microwave imagery (SMMR and SSM/I) on a daily basis for both Polar Regions. In the Arctic these daily motions have been merged with daily motions from AVHRR imagery and the Arctic buoy program. In the Antarctic motion only from the AVHRR were available for merging with the passive microwave vectors. Long-term means, monthly means and weekly means have all been computed from the resulting 22-year time series of polar ice motion. Papers are in preparation that present the long term (22 year) means, their variability and show animations of the monthly means over this time period for both Polar Regions. These papers will have links to "enhanced objects" that allow the reader to view the animations as part of the paper. The first paper presents the ice motion results from each of the Polar Regions. The second paper looks only at ice motion in the Arctic in order to develop a time series of ice age in the Arctic. Starting with the first full SMMR year in 1979 we keep track of each individual "ice element" (resolution of the sensor) and track it in the subsequent monthly time series. After a year we "age" each "particle" and we thus can keep track of the age of the ice starting in 1979. We keep track of ice age classes between one and five years and thus we can see the evolution of the ice as it ages after the initial 5-year period. This calculation shows how we are losing the older ice through Fram Strait at a rather alarming rate particularly in the past 15 years. This loss of older ice has resulted in an overall decrease in the thickest, oldest ice, which is now limited to a region just north of the Canadian Archipelago with tongues extending out across the pole towards the Siberian Shelf. This loss of old ice is consistent with the effects of global warming which provides the heat needed to melt, move and disperse this oldest ice through Fram Strait. This is the first step in a progression that may eventually open the Arctic

  15. Microwave maps of the polar ice of the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gloersen, P.; Wilheit, T. T.; Chang, T. C.; Nordberg, W.; Campbell, W. J.

    1974-01-01

    Synoptic views of the entire polar regions of earth have been obtained free of the usual persistent cloud cover using a scanning microwave radiometer operating at a wavelength of 1.55 cm on board the Nimbus-5 satellite. Three different views at each pole are presented utilizing data obtained at approximately one-month intervals from December 1972 to February 1973. Large discrepancies exist between the long-term ice cover depicted in various atlases and the actual extent of the canopies. The distribution of multiyear ice in the north polar region is markedly different from that predicted by existing ice dynamics models. Irregularities in the edge of the Antarctic sea ice pack occur that have neither been observed previously nor anticipated. The brightness temperatures of the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers show interesting contours probably related to the ice and snow morphologic structure.

  16. On the interpretation of low-energy particle access to the polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michel, F. C.; Dessler, A. J.

    1975-01-01

    Neither particle access to the polar caps by motion along magnetospheric field lines connected to the interplanetary field (in the 'open' model) nor particle access to the polar caps by combined diffusive and convective motion across magnetospheric field lines (in the 'closed' model) adequately explains the available data. The fact that data exist that are difficult to interpret with one model does not automatically confirm the other model.

  17. Recession of Martian north polar cap - 1979-1980 Viking observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, P. B.

    1982-01-01

    The polar regression curve for the Martian northern polar cap, derived from Viking observations for the 1979-1980 regression, is discussed, and comparisons with previous regression curves are made. Differences in the curves may be due to dust storms affecting the deposition of the cap. It is not possible to unambiguously ascribe differences between the curves to dynamical effects, since detailed information on the longitudinal dependence, which was an uncontrolled variable, is not available.

  18. Islands uncovered by melting polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    Thawing glaciers north of Norway's Svalbard archipelago have revealed at least two unmapped and unclaimed islands, one roughly the size of a basketball court, according to a 20 August Reuters report. In addition, information released in August by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center indicated that with one month left in the melting season, Arctic sea ice is already below the record minimum. "Reductions of snow and ice are happening at an alarming rate," said Norwegian Environment Minister Helen Bjoernoy. She suggested that these observations may indicate that the loss of sea ice is perhaps accelerating faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned in February that summer sea ice could almost vanish by the end of this century.

  19. Monstrous Ice Cloud System in Titan's Present South Polar Stratosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Carrie; Samuelson, Robert; McLain, Jason; Achterberg, Richard; Flasar, F. Michael; Milam, Stefanie

    2015-11-01

    During southern autumn when sunlight was still available, Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem discovered a cloud around 300 km near Titan's south pole (West, R. A. et al., AAS/DPS Abstracts, 45, #305.03, 2013); the cloud was later determined by Cassini's Visible and InfraRed Mapping Spectrometer to contain HCN ice (de Kok et al., Nature, 514, pp 65-67, 2014). This cloud has proven to be only the tip of an extensive ice cloud system contained in Titan's south polar stratosphere, as seen through the night-vision goggles of Cassini's Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS). As the sun sets and the gloom of southern winter approaches, evidence is beginning to accumulate from CIRS far-IR spectra that a massive system of nitrile ice clouds is developing in Titan's south polar stratosphere. Even during the depths of northern winter, nothing like the strength of this southern system was evident in corresponding north polar regions.From the long slant paths that are available from limb-viewing CIRS far-IR spectra, we have the first definitive detection of the ν6 band of cyanoacetylene (HC3N) ice in Titan’s south polar stratosphere. In addition, we also see a strong blend of nitrile ice lattice vibration features around 160 cm-1. From these data we are able to derive ice abundances. The most prominent (and still chemically unidentified) ice emission feature, the Haystack, (at 220 cm-1) is also observed. We establish the vertical distributions of the ice cloud systems associated with both the 160 cm-1 feature and the Haystack. The ultimate aim is to refine the physical and possibly the chemical relationships between the two. Transmittance thin film spectra of nitrile ice mixtures obtained in our Spectroscopy for Planetary ICes Environments (SPICE) laboratory are used to support these analyses.

  20. Intense field-aligned currents in the polar cap as evidenced from the Swarm satellite constellation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhr, H.; Kervalishvili, G.; Huang, T.

    2015-12-01

    Traditionally the polar cap has been considered as a region of low activity and reduced energy input. More recent observations, however, evidence more and more exceptions from that. For example, CHAMP and GRACE recorded significant mass density anomalies over the polar cap practically during every magnetic storm. The question is, which process provides enough Joule heating and/or particle precipitation along the open field lines. A promising mechanism is field-aligned currents (FACs). In the past it has been difficult to make reliable estimates of FACs in the polar cap from single satellite magnetic field measurements. An important assumption that the currents are organized in sheets is often not fulfilled in the polar cap. As a consequence current densities are largely underestimated. Only recently ESA's Swarm constellation mission offers reliable FAC estimates from dual-satellite measurements. Significant differences between single and dual-satellite estimates are found in the polar cap. We will show the relation between polar cap FAC patches and IMF orientation and solar wind conditions. Based on these results suggestions for possible current drivers are made.

  1. Polar lake circulation during ice break-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirillin, Georgiy; Forrest, Alexander; Graves, Kelly; Laval, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    An extensive dataset on lake physical properties has been collected during the final stage of the ice-covered period in May-June 2013 in polar Lake Kilpisjärvi, Finland. The data reveal several important features of lake dynamics, which shed new light on the mechanism of ice cover break-up and ice melting in lakes and marginal seas. CTD transects with high spatial resolution showed up a 300m-wide upwelling zone in the center of the lake, driven by downslope converging flow of warm waters from open-water 'moat' along the lake shoreline. The resulting radial density gradient, balanced by the Coriolis force, created a lake-wide anti-cyclonically rotating gyre with a measured peak azimuthal velocity of 0.05 m/s. Appreciable marginal heating is driven in polar enclosed basins by high amount of solar radiation and by surface inflow of meltwater. Hence, quasi-geostrophic anticyclonic circulation is suggested to be a general feature of polar lakes, redistributing heat within a water body and potentially accelerating ice melting. In addition, high-resolution records of pressure, current velocities and water temperature revealed under-ice seiches with periods of 10 to 25 min. The ice breakup was associated with 10 times increase of seiche amplitudes under ice. The seiches decayed within 10-15 hours; during this short period, the previously ice-covered lake became ice-free. We suggest that seiche-driven vertical motions of the soft ice sheet contribute significantly to breaking and melting of seasonal ice in enclosed reservoirs.

  2. Evolution of Martian polar landscapes - Interplay of long-term variations in perennial ice cover and dust storm intensity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Blasius, K. R.; Roberts, W. J.

    1979-01-01

    The discovery of a new type of Martian polar terrain, called undulating plain, is reported and the evolution of the plains and other areas of the Martian polar region is discussed in terms of the trapping of dust by the perennial ice cover. High-resolution Viking Orbiter 2 observations of the north polar terrain reveal perennially ice-covered surfaces with low relief, wavelike, regularly spaced, parallel ridges and troughs (undulating plains) occupying areas of the polar terrain previously thought to be flat, and associated with troughs of considerable local relief which exhibit at least partial annual melting. It is proposed that the wavelike topography of the undulating plains originates from long-term periodic variations in cyclical dust precipitation at the margin of a growing or receding perennial polar cap in response to changes in insolation. The troughs are proposed to originate from areas of steep slope in the undulating terrain which have lost their perennial ice cover and have become incapable of trapping dust. The polar landscape thus appears to record the migrations, expansions and contractions of the Martian polar cap.

  3. Geochronology and paleoclimatic implications of the last deglaciation of the Mauna Kea Ice Cap, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anslow, Faron S.; Clark, P.U.; Kurz, M.D.; Hostetler, S.W.

    2010-01-01

    We present new 3He surface exposure ages on moraines and bedrock near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, which refine the age of the Mauna Kea Ice Cap during the Local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM) and identify a subsequent fluctuation of the ice margin. The 3He ages, when combined with those reported previously, indicate that the local ice-cap margin began to retreat from its LLGM extent at 20.5??2.5ka, in agreement with the age of deglaciation determined from LLGM moraines elsewhere in the tropics. The ice-cap margin receded to a position at least 3km upslope for ~4.5-5.0kyr before readvancing nearly to its LLGM extent. The timing of this readvance at ~15.4ka corresponds to a large reduction of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) following Heinrich Event 1. Subsequent ice-margin retreat began at 14.6??1.9ka, corresponding to a rapid resumption of the AMOC and onset of the B??lling warm interval, with the ice cap melting rapidly to complete deglaciation. Additional 3He ages obtained from a flood deposit date the catastrophic outburst of a moraine-dammed lake roughly coeval with the Younger Dryas cold interval, suggesting a more active hydrological cycle on Mauna Kea at this time. A coupled mass balance and ice dynamics model is used to constrain the climate required to generate ice caps of LLGM and readvance sizes. The depression of the LLGM equilibrium line altitude requires atmospheric cooling of 4.5??1??C, whereas the mass balance modeling indicates an accompanying increase in precipitation of as much as three times that of present. We hypothesize (1) that the LLGM temperature depression was associated with global cooling, (2) that the temperature depression that contributed to the readvance occurred in response to an atmospheric teleconnection to the North Atlantic, and (3) that the precipitation enhancement associated with both events occurred in response to a southward shift in the position of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Such a

  4. Modelling Sea Ice and Surface Wave Interactions in Polar Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosekova, L.; Aksenov, Y.; Coward, A.; Williams, T.; Bertino, L.; Nurser, A. J. G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Polar Oceans, the surface ocean waves break up sea ice cover and create the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), an area between the sea-ice free ocean and pack ice characterized by highly fragmented ice. This band of sea ice cover is undergoing dramatic changes due to sea ice retreat, with a widening of up to 39% in the Arctic Ocean reported over the last three decades and projections predicting a continuing increase. The surface waves, sea ice and ocean interact in the MIZ through multiple complex feedbacks and processes which are not accounted for in any of the present-day climate models. To address this issue, we present a model development which implements surface ocean wave effects in the global Ocean General Circulation Model (OGCM) NEMO, coupled to the CICE sea ice model. Our implementation takes into account a number of physical processes specific to the MIZ dynamics. Incoming surface waves are attenuated due to scattering and energy dissipation induced by the presence of ice cover, which is in turn fragmented in response to flexural stresses. This fragmentation modifies the floe size distribution and impacts the sea ice thermodynamics by increasing lateral melting and thus affecting momentum and heat transfer between sea ice and the upper ocean. In addition, the dynamics of the sea ice is modified by a combined rheology that takes into account floe collisions and allows for a more realistic representation of the MIZ. We present results from the NEMO OGCM at 1 and 0.25 degree resolution with a wave-ice interaction module. The module introduces two new diagnostics previously unavailable in OGCM's: surface wave spectra in sea ice covered areas, and floe size distribution (FSD) due to wave-induced fragmentation. We evaluate the sea ice and wave simulations with available observational estimates, and analyze the impact of these MIZ processes on the ocean and sea ice state. We focus on ocean mixing, stratification, circulation and the role of the MIZ in ocean

  5. Crustal movements due to Iceland's shrinking ice caps mimic magma inflow signal at Katla volcano.

    PubMed

    Spaans, Karsten; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Hooper, Andrew; Ófeigsson, Benedikt Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Many volcanic systems around the world are located beneath, or in close proximity to, ice caps. Mass change of these ice caps causes surface movements, which are typically neglected when interpreting surface deformation measurements around these volcanoes. These movements can however be significant, and may closely resemble movements due to magma accumulation. Here we show such an example, from Katla volcano, Iceland. Horizontal movements observed by GPS on the flank of Katla have led to the inference of significant inflow of magma into a chamber beneath the caldera, starting in 2000, and continuing over several years. We use satellite radar interferometry and GPS data to show that between 2001 and 2010, the horizontal movements seen on the flank can be explained by the response to the long term shrinking of ice caps, and that erratic movements seen at stations within the caldera are also not likely to signify magma inflow. It is important that interpretations of geodetic measurements at volcanoes in glaciated areas consider the effect of ice mass change, and previous studies should be carefully reevaluated. PMID:25992847

  6. The Mars water cycle at other epochs: History of the polar caps and layered terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Henderson, Bradley G.; Mellon, Michael T.

    1992-01-01

    The atmospheric water cycle at the present epoch involves summertime sublimation of water from the north polar cap, transport of water through the atmosphere, and condensation on one or both winter CO2 caps. Exchange with the regolith is important seasonally, but the water content of the atmosphere appears to be controlled by the polar caps. The net annual transport through the atmosphere, integrated over long timescales, must be the driving force behind the long-term evolution of the polar caps; clearly, this feeds back into the evolution of the layered terrain. We have investigated the behavior of the seasonal water cycle and the net integrated behavior at the pole for the last 10 exp 7 years. Our model of the water cycle includes the solar input, CO2 condensation and sublimation, and summertime water sublimation through the seasonal cycles, and incorporates the long-term variations in the orbital elements describing the Martian orbit.

  7. Automatic polar ice thickness estimation from SAR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahnemoonfar, Maryam; Yari, Masoud; Fox, Geoffrey C.

    2016-05-01

    Global warming has caused serious damage to our environment in recent years. Accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica has been observed in recent decades. The melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers has a considerable influence on sea level rise and altering ocean currents, potentially leading to the flooding of the coastal regions and putting millions of people around the world at risk. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems are able to provide relevant information about subsurface structure of polar ice sheets. Manual layer identification is prohibitively tedious and expensive and is not practical for regular, longterm ice-sheet monitoring. Automatic layer finding in noisy radar images is quite challenging due to huge amount of noise, limited resolution and variations in ice layers and bedrock. Here we propose an approach which automatically detects ice surface and bedrock boundaries using distance regularized level set evolution. In this approach the complex topology of ice and bedrock boundary layers can be detected simultaneously by evolving an initial curve in radar imagery. Using a distance regularized term, the regularity of the level set function is intrinsically maintained that solves the reinitialization issues arising from conventional level set approaches. The results are evaluated on a large dataset of airborne radar imagery collected during IceBridge mission over Antarctica and Greenland and show promising results in respect to hand-labeled ground truth.

  8. Mass balance of Icelandic ice caps from CryoSat swath mode altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foresta, L.; Gourmelen, N.; Pálsson, F.; Willis, I. C.; Nienow, P. W.; Shepherd, A.

    2015-12-01

    Satellite altimetry has been traditionally used in the past to infer elevation of land ice, quantify changes in ice topography and infer mass balance over large and remote areas such as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Radar Altimetry (RA) is particularly well suited to this task due to its all-weather year-round capability for observing the ice surface. However, monitoring of ice caps has proven more challenging. The large footprint of a conventional radar altimeter and relatively coarse ground track coverage are less suited to monitoring comparatively small regions with complex topography, so that mass balance estimates from RA rely on extrapolation methods to regionalize elevation change.Since 2010, the Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) on board the ESA radar altimetry CryoSat mission has collected ice elevation measurements over ice caps. Ground track interspacing (~4km at 60°) is one order of magnitude smaller than ERS/ENVISAT missions and half of ICESAT's, providing dense spatial coverage. Additionally the Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric (SARIn) mode of CryoSat provides a reduced footprint and the ability to locate accurately the position of the surface reflection. Conventional altimetry provides the elevation of the Point Of Closest Approach (POCA) within each waveform, every 250 m along the flight path. Time evolution of POCA elevation is then used to investigate ice elevation change.Here, we present an assessment of the geodetic mass balance of Icelandic ice caps using a novel processing approach, swath altimetry, applied to CryoSat SARIn mode data. In swath mode altimetry, elevation beyond the POCA is extracted from the waveform when coherent echoes are present providing between one and two orders of magnitude more elevations when compared to POCA. We generate maps of ice elevation change that are then used to compute geodetic mass balance for the period 2010 to 2015. We compare our results to estimates generated using

  9. The Subsurface Ice Probe (SIPR): A Low-Power Thermal Probe for the Martian Polar Layered Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cardell, G.; Hecht, M. H.; Carsey, F. D.; Engelhardt, H.; Fisher, D.; Terrell, C.; Thompson, J.

    2004-01-01

    The distinctive layering visible in images from Mars Global Surveyor of the Martian polar caps, and particularly in the north polar cap, indicates that the stratigraphy of these polar layered deposits may hold a record of Martian climate history covering millions of years. On Earth, ice sheets are cored to retrieve a pristine record of the physical and chemical properties of the ice at depth, and then studied in exacting detail in the laboratory. On the Martian north polar cap, coring is probably not a practical method for implementation in an autonomous lander. As an alternative, thermal probes that drill by melting into the ice are feasible for autonomous operation, and are capable of reasonable approximations to the scientific investigations performed on terrestrial cores, while removing meltwater to the surface for analysis. The Subsurface Ice Probe (SIPR) is such a probe under development at JPL. To explore the dominant climate cycles, it is postulated that tens of meters of depth should be profiled, as this corresponds to the vertical separation of the major layers visible in the MOC images [1]. Optical and spectroscopic analysis of the layers, presumably demarcated by embedded dust and possibly by changes in the ice properties, would contribute to the construction of a chronology. Meltwater analysis may be used to determine the soluble chemistry of the embedded dust, and to monitor gradients of atmospheric gases, particularly hydrogen and oxygen, and isotopic variations that reflect atmospheric conditions at the time the layer was deposited. Thermal measurements can be used to determine the geothermal gradient and the bulk mechanical properties of the ice.

  10. Yearly Comparisons of the Mars North Polar Cap: 1999, 2001, and 2003 MOC Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, J. L.; James, P. B.

    2003-01-01

    The seasonal cycle of the martian north polar cap has been studied since the time of William Herschel, who published the first quantitative observations of the seasonal recession of the polar caps in 1784. Ground-based observations made after Herschel were summarized by Slipher in 1962. More recent ground-based observations of the north polar cap have been done by Iwasaki et al. Mariner 9 and Viking also made north polar observations. Cantor et al. used Hubble Space Telescope observations between 1990 and 1997 to determine several north polar recessions and Lambert albedos of the cap. Mars Global Surveyor went into orbit around Mars in September 1997. The wide-angle cameras on the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) acquire images of the entire planet every day at a resolution of approx. 7.5 km/pixel in both red (575 nm - 625 nm) and blue (400 nm - 450 nm) bandpasses (WAR and WAB). Some polar cap observations were acquired during the aerobraking (AB) and science phasing (SPO) of MGS before systematic mapping began in March, 1999 at Ls = 110 .

  11. High spatial resolution radar observations of ultralow frequency waves in the southern polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bland, Emma C.; McDonald, Andrew J.

    2016-05-01

    We present an analysis of ultralow frequency (ULF) waves detected in the southern polar cap using the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). These waves manifest as quasi-sinusoidal oscillations in the Doppler velocity, which arise due to the oscillating ULF wave electric field in the F region ionosphere. The event reported in this study occurred during the southern polar winter under quiet geomagnetic conditions. The 1.1-1.3 mHz oscillations were observed throughout the polar cap by the McMurdo, Dome C East, and South Pole Station SuperDARN radars and also by the Dome Concordia and Scott Base magnetometers at corrected geomagnetic latitudes of ˜89°S and ˜80°S, respectively. In contrast to large-scale toroidal field line resonances observed at auroral latitudes, we find that the magnetic perturbation vector of the polar cap oscillations did not undergo a 90° rotation upon transmission from the ionosphere to the ground and was instead rotated by about 30°. The polar cap oscillations were also accompanied by simultaneous field line resonance (FLR) activity in the dayside auroral zone, in the field of view of the Zhongshan SuperDARN radar. This FLR occurred at the same frequency and exhibited a similar azimuthal phase velocity to the polar cap oscillations, indicating that they may have been driven by the same source mechanism.

  12. Quantitative Mapping of Surface Texture on the Northern Polar Residual Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milkovich, S. M.; Byrne, S.; Russell, P. S.

    2010-12-01

    The northern polar residual cap (NPRC) of Mars is a water ice deposit with a rough surface made up of pits, knobs, and linear depressions on scales of tens of meters [1]. This roughness manifests as a series of bright and dark patches in visible images. Spectral data indicate that the surface of the NPRC is composed of large-grained (and therefore old) water ice. Due to the presence of this old ice, it is thought that the NPRC is in a current state of net loss of material [2]. The NPRC provides a link between the current martian climate and the historical climate recorded within the layers of the underlying north polar layered deposits. By characterizing and mapping the variations in surface texture of the NPRC, we seek to understand what factors (distance from the pole, GCM and mesoscale wind direction predictions, etc) are currently at work in resurfacing the deposit, and may have been at work in shaping the layers below. Maps of NPRC texture wavelength and orientation are being produced from HiRISE images. Two-dimensional Fourier analysis is performed upon a 256 meter x 256 meter region (corresponding to 512 x 512 pixels in 0.5 cm/pxl images, or 1024 x 1024 pixels in 0.25 cm/pxl images) within each image analyzed. The dominant wavelength of the resulting peak power spectrum corresponds to the average size of a pit-knob pair in the image, and so is a proxy for the scale of the surface roughness. The orientation of the surface roughness (i.e., the orientation of a chain of pits and mounds) is measured from a narrow range of wavelengths encompassing the dominant wavelength. We will report on how the dominant wavelengths and orientations of this surface texture vary with location and what that implies for the processes currently shaping this landscape. [1] P. C. Thomas et al, Nature 404, 161-164, 2000 [2]Y. Langevin et al, Science 307, 5715, 1581-1584, 2005.

  13. Ephemeral Liquid Water at the Surface of Martian North Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Czechowski, Leszek; Velbel, Michael A.

    2015-04-01

    Formation of large, young gypsum deposits within the Olympia Planum region has been an unsolved riddle since its discovery [1]. It was proposed that gypsum was formed by precipitation of water emanating from polar layered deposits [2]. However, it is improbable that a large amount of bulk water could exist under current Martian low atmospheric pressure sufficiently long to form the observed deposits [3]. One of the proposed solutions to this problem is that gypsum is formed due to weathering in the ice [3, 4, 5, 6]. However none of the previous papers have described this process in detail, tested whether it is possible under current Martian conditions, and defined the environmental properties required for this process to occur. The aim of this paper is to determine if solar irradiation available currently at the North Polar Cap (NPC) is sufficient to heat a basaltic dust grain enough to melt a thin layer of glacial ice located directly beneath it. The numerical model used here is based on a one dimensional, time-dependent equation of heat transfer [8]. The model is applicable for grains exposed on the south-facing side of the NPC spiral troughs, during the warmest days of the year (with average or low amount of dust in the atmosphere), when surface temperature reaches 215 K and solar radiation delivers >260 W m^-2 (on the inclined surface). Our calculations show that during the warmest days of summer, pure water-ice located below a dark dust particle lying on the equatorial-facing slopes of the Martian NPC can be melted. Melting occurs over a wide range of used parameters which shows that this phenomenon is relatively common (albeit localized). Our research shows that on the Martian NPC there can be a sufficient amount of transient, metastable liquid water for evaporites such as gypsum to form, as was hypothesized by [3, 4, 5, 6]. Additionally, bulk water surrounding dust grains near the surface and precipitating evaporitic minerals makes the NPC one of the most

  14. The reconstruction and climatic implication of an independent palaeo ice cap within the Andean rain shadow east of the former Patagonian ice sheet, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Ingo W.; Glasser, Neil F.; Hubbard, Alun

    2013-03-01

    This paper describes the reconstruction of the previously undocumented Meseta Cuadrada palaeo ice cap on south-west Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia. Based on theoretical surface profiles the reconstruction of the Meseta Cuadrada Palaeo Ice Cap indicates an ice mass covering at least 78 km2 with a total ice volume around 9.2 km3. The inferred equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of the palaeo ice cap (2031 m asl) represents a drop of 286 m compared to the ELA of the current Meseta Cuadrada glacier (~ 2317 m asl). We explain this small change in ELA with reference to the flat hypsometry of the palaeo ice cap and an enhanced aridity to the west of the Patagonian Andes caused by the existence of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Patagonian ice sheet. Calculated annual accumulation values of ca. 402 to 957 mm/a at the ELA of the Meseta Cuadrada palaeo ice cap derived by a degree day model (DDM) during the last local glacial maximum extent are low compared with estimations of the current accumulation at the ELA of the remaining glacierized area of around 3789 mm/a. This strongly supports the existence of increased aridity and seasonality east of the Patagonian Andes during the Last Glacial Maximum, provided both maximum extents were synchronous.

  15. Studies of Austfonna Ice Cap (Svalbard) Using Radar Altimetry in Andother Satellite Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouraev, A. V.; Legresy, B.; Remy, F.

    2006-07-01

    We presen t resu lts of application of radar altimetry and other satellite techniqu es for studies of th e Austfonna ice cap (Svalbard). We assess spatial and temporal d ata availab ility over Austfonna. Th en we d iscuss temporal variab ility of ENVISA T altimetr ic and radio metric measures. We also discuss potential of combination of altimetry and Dig ital Elev ation Models (D EM) for DEM improvement and interpretation of altimeter measurements.

  16. Albedo of Surface CO2 Deposits in Mars' Residual South Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, P. B.; Wolff, M. J.; Bonev, B.

    2014-12-01

    The albedo of surface CO2 deposits in the Residual South Polar Cap (RSPC) of Mars controls their net condensation / sublimation over a martian year and is therefore a crucial parameter in determining RSPC stability. The albedo used in previous analyses is obtained by dividing I/F, determined from radiometrically calibrated imaging data, by the cosine of the incidence angle. Because of atmospheric aerosols, the albedo calculated from I/F above the atmosphere is not the surface albedo that enters into stability considerations. In order to determine the surface albedo, we interpolate optical depths determined from CRISM EPF measurements to provide estimates of the dust and ice opacities over the RSPC (Wolff et al., 2009) and use these to determine the actual surface albedos from MARCI images using the radiative transport program DISORT (Stamnes et al., 1988). Assuming that dust is the only contributor to atmospheric opacity, the retrieved surface albedos for the longer wavelength MARCI filters in MY 28 and 29 are found to be consistent despite very different dust opacities in the two years (James et al., 2014). However, this model fails to reproduce the short wavelength behavior in early summer. We consider possible modifications of the dust only model that could explain the discrepancy.

  17. Tropical Glaciers in the Common Era: Papua, Indonesia, Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, L. G.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.; Davis, M. E.

    2011-12-01

    High-resolution ice core stratigraphic records of δ18O (temperature proxy) demonstrate that the current warming at high elevations in mid- to lower latitudes is unprecedented for at least the last two millennia, although at many sites the Early Holocene was much warmer than at present. Here we discuss the interaction of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability and warming trends as recorded in ice core records from high-altitude tropical glaciers and the implications of the warming trends for the future of these glaciers. ENSO has strong impacts on meteorological phenomena that either directly or indirectly affect most regions on the planet and their populations, particularly throughout the Tropics. Here we examine similarities and differences among ice core records from Papua (Indonesia), Quelccaya Ice Cap (Peru) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). Quelccaya, Earth's largest tropical ice cap, has provided continuous, annually-resolved proxy records of climatic and environmental variability preserved in many measurable parameters, especially oxygen and hydrogen isotopic ratios (δ18O, δD) and the net mass balance (accumulation) spanning the last 1800 years. The remarkable similarity between changes in the highland and coastal cultures of Peru and climate variability in the Andes, especially with regard to precipitation, implies a strong connection between prehistoric human activities and climate in this region. The well-documented ice loss on Quelccaya, Kilimanjaro in eastern Africa and the ice fields near Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia presents a possible analog for glacier response in the tropics during the Holocene. The ongoing melting of these ice fields is consistent with model predictions of a vertical amplification of temperature in the Tropics. A sequence of over 50 recently exposed, rooted, soft-bodied plant deposits collected between 2002 and 2011 from the retreating margins of the Quelccaya ice cap provide a longer term perspective for the recent

  18. Sharply increased mass loss from glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Wouters, Bert; Wolken, Gabriel J; Burgess, David O; Sharp, Martin J; Cogley, J Graham; Braun, Carsten; Labine, Claude

    2011-05-19

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps are contributing significantly to present rates of sea level rise and will continue to do so over the next century and beyond. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, located off the northwestern shore of Greenland, contains one-third of the global volume of land ice outside the ice sheets, but its contribution to sea-level change remains largely unknown. Here we show that the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has recently lost 61 ± 7 gigatonnes per year (Gt yr(-1)) of ice, contributing 0.17 ± 0.02 mm yr(-1) to sea-level rise. Our estimates are of regional mass changes for the ice caps and glaciers of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago referring to the years 2004 to 2009 and are based on three independent approaches: surface mass-budget modelling plus an estimate of ice discharge (SMB+D), repeat satellite laser altimetry (ICESat) and repeat satellite gravimetry (GRACE). All three approaches show consistent and large mass-loss estimates. Between the periods 2004-2006 and 2007-2009, the rate of mass loss sharply increased from 31 ± 8 Gt yr(-1) to 92 ± 12 Gt yr(-1) in direct response to warmer summer temperatures, to which rates of ice loss are highly sensitive (64 ± 14 Gt yr(-1) per 1 K increase). The duration of the study is too short to establish a long-term trend, but for 2007-2009, the increase in the rate of mass loss makes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago the single largest contributor to eustatic sea-level rise outside Greenland and Antarctica. PMID:21508960

  19. A complicated evolution of a newly created Polar Cap Ionization Patch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q. H.; Moen, J. I.; Lockwood, M. M.; Zhang, B.; Zong, Q.; Zhang, S.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Thomas, E. G.; Dunlop, M. W.; Liu, R.; Yang, H. G.; Hu, H.; Lester, M.

    2014-12-01

    Polar cap patches is a common phenomenon in the Earth polar ionosphere. They are associated with turbulent instabilities giving rise to severe disturbances to High Frequency (HF) radio communications, over-the-horizon radar location errors, and disruption and errors to satellite navigation and communication systems. Their formation and evolution are still poorly understood, particularly under disturbed space weather conditions, and there is not yet established any forecasting tool to predict their occurrence. Here we report the first direct and continuous monitoring of a complicated evolution of a newly created patch during a geomagnetic storm. The observations reveal that the patch was segmented from the high density "tongue" of ionization (TOI) by a subauroral polarization stream (SAPS) near the polar cap boundary associated with a substorm . The patch did not follow the expected route across the polar cap from dayside to nightside, but instead was halted by a local disturbance in the polar cap due to a rapidly changing in interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) condition and evolved in a particular way with quickly fading associated with the high-latitude lobe reconnection. These results give essential new insight into the formation of the patches and their evolution as controlled by the IMF, and offer a key opportunity for improving polar ionospheric modeling and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) scintillation and space weather forecasts.

  20. Reduction of the field-aligned potential drop in the polar cap during large geomagnetic storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitamura, N.; Seki, K.; Nishimura, Y.; Hori, T.; Terada, N.; Ono, T.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    We have studied photoelectron flows and the inferred field-aligned potential drop in the polar cap during 5 large geomagnetic storms that occurred in the periods when the photoelectron observations in the polar cap were available near the apogee of the FAST satellite (~4000 km) at solar maximum, and the footprint of the satellite paths in the polar cap was under sunlit conditions most of the time. In contrast to the ~20 V potential drop during geomagnetically quiet periods at solar maximum identified by Kitamura et al. [JGR, 2012], the field-aligned potential drop frequently became smaller than ~5 V during the main and early recovery phases of the large geomagnetic storms. Because the potential acts to inhibit photoelectron escape, this result indicates that the corresponding acceleration of ions by the field-aligned potential drop in the polar cap and the lobe region is smaller during the main and early recovery phases of large geomagnetic storms compared to during geomagnetically quiet periods. Under small field-aligned current conditions, the number flux of outflowing ions should be nearly equal to the net escaping electron number flux. Since ions with large flux originating from the cusp/cleft ionosphere convect into the polar cap during geomagnetic storms [e.g., Kitamura et al., JGR, 2010], the net escaping electron number flux should increase to balance the enhanced ion outflows. The magnitude of the field-aligned potential drop would be reduced to let a larger fraction of photoelectrons escape.

  1. Recession of Martian north polar cap - 1977-1978 Viking observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    The regression curve for the 1977-1978 sublimation of the north polar cap of Mars is extracted from Viking orbiter imaging data. The recession observed during the spring season is quite consistent with previous observations and is in excellent agreement with telescopic data obtained concurrently. A receding late winter boundary is identified, but owing to hood obscuration this boundary cannot be definitely attributed to a surface cap.

  2. An onboard data analysis method to track the seasonal polar caps on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagstaff, K.L.; Castano, R.; Chien, S.; Ivanov, A.B.; Pounders, E.; Titus, T.N.

    2005-01-01

    The Martian seasonal CO2 ice caps advance and retreat each year. They are currently studied using instruments such as the THermal EMission Imaging System (THEMIS), a visible and infra-red camera on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft [1]. However, each image must be downlinked to Earth prior to analysis. In contrast, we have developed the Bimodal Image Temperature (BIT) histogram analysis method for onboard detection of the cap edge, before transmission. In downlink-limited scenarios when the entire image cannot be transmitted, the location of the cap edge can still be identified and sent to Earth. In this paper, we evaluate our method on uncalibrated THEMIS data and find 1) agreement with manual cap edge identifications to within 28.2 km, and 2) high accuracy even with a smaller analysis window, yielding large reductions in memory requirements. This algorithm is currently being considered as a capability enhancement for the Odyssey second extended mission, beginning in fall 2006.

  3. The isotopic composition of methane in polar ice cores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craig, H.; Chou, C. C.; Welhan, J. A.; Stevens, C. M.; Engelkemeir, A.

    1988-01-01

    Air bubbles in polar ice cores indicate that about 300 years ago the atmospheric mixing ratio of methane began to increase rapidly. Today the mixing ratio is about 1.7 parts per million by volume, and, having doubled once in the past several hundred years, it will double again in the next 60 years if current rates continue. Carbon isotope ratios in methane up to 350 years in age have been measured with as little as 25 kilograms of polar ice recovered in 4-meter-long ice-core segments. The data show that: (1) in situ microbiology or chemistry has not altered the ice-core methane concentrations, and (2) that the carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratio of atmospheric CH4 in ice from 100 years and 300 years ago was about 2 per mil lower than at present. Atmospheric methane has a rich spectrum of isotopic sources: the ice-core data indicate that anthropogenic burning of the earth's biomass is the principal cause of the recent C-13H4 enrichment, although other factors may also contribute.

  4. Plasma density enhancements in the high-altitude polar cap region observed on Akebono

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichikawa, Yoh-ichi; Abe, Takumi; Yau, Andrew W.

    2002-05-01

    The plasma density in the polar cap ionosphere is generally low (<103 cm-3 above 3000 km), mainly because of plasma escape from the ionosphere along open magnetic-field lines. The Akebono satellite occasionally encounters regions of unusually high plasma density (>=103 cm-3) above 4000 km altitude, in which the thermal plasma exhibits a distinctively low electron temperature (<3000 K) and low parallel ion drift velocity (<=1 km/s). Such events are almost always observed on the dusk side. The occurrence of low electron temperature and ion drift velocity appears to suggest the antisunward convection of high-density plasma into the polar cap, and the decrease in electron temperature due to the disruption of field-aligned heat flux in the high-altitude polar cap.

  5. RGS Proteins and Septins Cooperate to Promote Chemotropism by Regulating Polar Cap Mobility

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Joshua B; Dixit, Gauri; Sheetz, Joshua B; Venkatapurapu, Sai Phanindra; Elston, Timothy C; Dohlman, Henrik G

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Septins are well known to form a boundary between mother and daughter cells in mitosis, but their role in other morphogenic states is poorly understood. Results Using microfluidics and live cell microscopy, coupled with new computational methods for image analysis, we investigated septin function during pheromone-dependent chemotropic growth in yeast. We show that septins colocalize with the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) Sst2, a GTPase-activating protein that dampens pheromone receptor signaling. We show further that the septin structure surrounds the polar cap, ensuring that cell growth is directed toward the source of pheromone. When RGS activity is abrogated, septins are partially disorganized. Under these circumstances the polar cap travels toward septin structures and away from sites of exocytosis, resulting in a loss of gradient tracking. Conclusion Septin organization is dependent on RGS protein activity. When assembled correctly, septins promote turning of the polar cap and proper tracking of a pheromone gradient. PMID:25601550

  6. Workshop Advances Interdisciplinary Polar Science and Fast Ice Sheet Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tulaczyk, Slawek; Clow, Gary D.; Elliott, David H.; Powell, Ross D.; Priscu, John C.

    Over the last 50 years, the polar ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland have become natural scientific laboratories. Thanks to their unique environments, they yield discoveries that advance different geophysical disciplines and capture the imagination of the general public. The scientific community interested in sampling polar ice sheets and their substrata has been growing recently, and now incorporates biologists, geologists, geophysicists, glaciologists,and paleo-climatologists. This multidisciplinary interest is opening new research frontiers. Significantly advancing our scientific understanding along many of these frontiers will require targeted sampling strategies and the acquisition of data from arrays of deep access holes on spatial scales ranging from local to continent-wide. With this challenge in mind, more than 50 polar researchers and drilling engineers convened at a workshop to discuss scientific opportunities and technological challenges of fast-access ice sheet drilling. The overarching goal of the workshop was to begin the process of matching specific drilling and sampling technologies to broad objectives of interdisciplinary polar sciences. For convenience, the planned technological platform has been dubbed FASTDRILL. All scientific disciplines represented at the workshop identified several top-level questions that can be addressed with aid of the FASTDRILL platform. Biologists are interested in investigating life in icy environments as a potential analog for extraterrestrial life, and to better understand the origin and evolution of life on our planet. Interactions between tectonic processes and ice-sheet evolution are of primary importance to geologists and geophysicists.

  7. The geologic setting of the Mars north polar cap's Basal Unit from the three dimensional analysis of MARSIS planetary radar sounder data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigeri, A.; Orosei, R.; Cartacci, M.; Cicchetti, A.; Giuppi, S.; Noschese, R.; Plaut, J.

    2012-12-01

    Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) is the orbital subsurface sounder aboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. It transmits a low-frequency radar pulse capable of penetrating below the surface, where subsurface dielectric discontinuities originate secondary echoes. MARSIS has been used to probe both the south and the north polar caps of Mars, revealing their thickness and structure. We report on the results of a campaign of observations of the north polar ice cap of Mars that took place between May and December 2011 in uniquely favorable conditions, and produced data of unprecedented quality. The focus of our work is the detection of signals from the Basal Unit, the dark, ice-rich, complexely layered geologic unit lying stratigraphically between the polar layered deposits and the Vastitas Borealis Formation, and extending beneath most of Planum Boreum and Olympia Planitia. The objective of this work is the study of the full three dimensional structure of the Northern Polar Deposit and in particular of the Basal Unit (BU). The analysis of signals in bi-dimensional radargrams sounding the BU reveal a layering of the unit, probably correlated with the Rupes Tenuis - Planum Boreum Cavi units' boundary. Using the density of data available from the 2011 polar campaign, we assembled radar observations into a three dimensional volume of data. The use of visualization techniques allow to explore these data interactively, identifying patterns that can be problematic to detect with unsupervised automatic methods. This way, specific areas, or sub-volumes, are being selected to be studied in detail. We will present MARSIS data from the Mars North Polar campaign, as well as the preliminary interpretation of these data in three dimensions, and the possible implications for the geologic history of the northern Martian ice-cap.

  8. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Light Curves in Offset Polar Cap Geometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; DeCesar, Megan; Miller, M. Coleman

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that gamma-ray pulsar light curves are very sensitive to the geometry of the pulsar magnetic field. Pulsar magnetic field geometries, such as the retarded vacuum dipole and force-free magnetospheres, used to model high-energy light curves have distorted polar caps that are offset from the magnetic axis in the direction opposite to rotation. Since this effect is due to the sweepback of field lines near the light cylinder, offset polar caps are a generic property of pulsar magnetospheres and their effects should be included in gamma-ray pulsar light curve modeling. In slot gap models (having two-pole caustic geometry), the offset polar caps cause a strong azimuthal asymmetry of the particle acceleration around the magnetic axis. We have studied the effect of the offset polar caps in both retarded vacuum dipole and force-free geometry on the model high-energy pulse profile. We find that. corn pared to the profile:-; derived from :-;ymmetric caps, the flux in the pulse peaks, which are caustics formed along the trailing magnetic field lines. increases significantly relative to the off-peak emission. formed along leading field lines. The enhanced contrast produces greatly improved slot gap model fits to Fermi pulsar light curves like Vela, which show very little off-peak emIssIon.

  9. Sources and sinks of methane beneath polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priscu, J. C.; Adams, H. E.; Hand, K. P.; Dore, J. E.; Matheus-Carnevali, P.; Michaud, A. B.; Murray, A. E.; Skidmore, M. L.; Vick-Majors, T.

    2014-12-01

    Several icy moons of the outer solar system carry subsurface oceans containing many times the volume of liquid water on Earth and may provide the greatest volume of habitable space in our solar system. Functional sub-ice polar ecosystems on Earth provide compelling models for the habitability of extraterrestrial sub-ice oceans. A key feature of sub-ice environments is that most of them receive little to no solar energy. Consequently, organisms inhabiting these environments must rely on chemical energy to assimilate either carbon dioxide or organic molecules to support their metabolism. Methane can be utilized by certain bacteria as both a carbon and energy source. Isotopic data show that methane in Earth's polar lakes is derived from both biogenic and thermogenic sources. Thermogenic sources of methane in the thermokarst lakes of the north slope of Alaska yield supersaturated water columns during winter ice cover that support active populations of methanotrophs during the polar night. Methane in the permanently ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica varies widely in concentration and is produced either by contemporary methanogenesis or is a relic from subglacial flow. Rate measurements revealed that microbial methane oxidation occurs beneath the ice in both the arctic and Antarctic lakes. The first samples collected from an Antarctic subglacial environment beneath 800 m of ice (Subglacial Lake Whillans) revealed an active microbial ecosystem that has been isolated from the atmosphere for many thousands of years. The sediments of Lake Whillans contained high levels of methane with an isotopic signature that indicates it was produced via methanogenesis. The source of this methane appears to be from the decomposition of organic carbon deposited when this region of Antarctica was covered by the sea. Collectively, data from these sub-ice environments show that methane transformations play a key role in microbial community metabolism. The discovery of

  10. Perihelion precession, polar ice and global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steel, Duncan

    2013-03-01

    The increase in mean global temperature over the past 150 years is generally ascribed to human activities, in particular the rises in the atmospheric mixing ratios of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution began. Whilst it is thought that ice ages and interglacial periods are mainly initiated by multi-millennial variations in Earth's heliocentric orbit and obliquity, shorter-term orbital variations and consequent observable climatic effects over decadal/centurial timescales have not been considered significant causes of contemporary climate change compared to anthropogenic influences. Here it is shown that the precession of perihelion occurring over a century substantially affects the intra-annual variation of solar radiation influx at different locations, especially higher latitudes, with northern and southern hemispheres being subject to contrasting insolation changes. This north/south asymmetry has grown since perihelion was aligned with the winter solstice seven to eight centuries ago, and must cause enhanced year-on-year springtime melting of Arctic (but not Antarctic) ice and therefore feedback warming because increasing amounts of land and open sea are denuded of high-albedo ice and snow across boreal summer and into autumn. The accelerating sequence of insolation change now occurring as perihelion moves further into boreal winter has not occurred previously during the Holocene and so would not have been observed before by past or present civilisations. Reasons are given for the significance of this process having been overlooked until now. This mechanism represents a supplementary - natural - contribution to climate change in the present epoch and may even be the dominant fundamental cause of global warming, although anthropogenic effects surely play a role too.

  11. An ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Isaac B.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Holt, John W.; Phillips, Roger J.

    2016-05-01

    Layered ice deposits at the poles of Mars record a detailed history of accumulation and erosion related to climate processes. Radar investigations measure these layers and provide evidence for climate changes such as ice advance and retreat. We present a detailed analysis of observational data showing that ~87,000 cubic kilometers of ice have accumulated at the poles since the end of the last ice age ~370,000 years ago; this volume is equivalent to a global layer of ~60 centimeters. The majority of the material accumulated at the north pole. These results provide both a means to understand the accumulation history of the polar deposits as related to orbital Milankovitch cycles and constraints for better determination of Mars’ past and future climates.

  12. An ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars.

    PubMed

    Smith, Isaac B; Putzig, Nathaniel E; Holt, John W; Phillips, Roger J

    2016-05-27

    Layered ice deposits at the poles of Mars record a detailed history of accumulation and erosion related to climate processes. Radar investigations measure these layers and provide evidence for climate changes such as ice advance and retreat. We present a detailed analysis of observational data showing that ~87,000 cubic kilometers of ice have accumulated at the poles since the end of the last ice age ~370,000 years ago; this volume is equivalent to a global layer of ~60 centimeters. The majority of the material accumulated at the north pole. These results provide both a means to understand the accumulation history of the polar deposits as related to orbital Milankovitch cycles and constraints for better determination of Mars' past and future climates. PMID:27230372

  13. A moderate resolution inventory of small glaciers and ice caps surrounding Greenland and the Antarctic peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, C.; Box, J. E.; Hock, R. M.; Cogley, J. G.

    2011-12-01

    Current estimates of global Mountain Glacier and Ice Caps (MG&IC) mass changes are subject to large uncertainties due to incomplete inventories and uncertainties in land surface classification. This presentation features mitigative efforts through the creation of a MODIS dependent land ice classification system and its application for glacier inventory. Estimates of total area of mountain glaciers [IPCC, 2007] and ice caps (including those in Greenland and Antarctica) vary 15%, that is, 680 - 785 10e3 sq. km. To date only an estimated 40% of glaciers (by area) is inventoried in the World Glacier Inventory (WGI) and made available through the World Glacier Monitoring System (WGMS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center [NSIDC, 1999]. Cogley [2009] recently compiled a more complete version of WGI, called WGI-XF, containing records for just over 131,000 glaciers, covering approximately half of the estimated global MG&IC area. The glaciers isolated from the conterminous Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets remain incompletely inventoried in WGI-XF but have been estimated to contribute 35% to the MG&IC sea-level equivalent during 1961-2004 [Hock et al., 2009]. Together with Arctic Canada and Alaska these regions alone make up almost 90% of the area that is missing in the global WGI-XF inventory. Global mass balance projections tend to exclude ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica due to the paucity of data with respect to basic inventory base data such as area, number of glaciers or size distributions. We address the need for an accurate Greenland and Antarctic peninsula land surface classification with a novel glacier surface classification and inventory based on NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data gridded at 250 m pixel resolution. The presentation includes a sensitivity analysis for surface mass balance as it depends on the land surface classification. Works Cited +Cogley, J. G. (2009), A more complete version of the World Glacier

  14. Unsolved problems: Mesoscale polar cap flow channels' structure, propagation, and effects on space weather disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Nishimura, Y.; Zou, Y.

    2016-04-01

    Recent evidence indicates that the magnetosphere-ionosphere system is frequently driven by dynamic mesoscale flow structures that are first seen near the dayside cusps, move across the open field line regions of the polar caps, and then enter the plasma sheet where they lead to a large variety of space weather disturbances. It will be important to uncover the features of these flow enhancements, including their structure, how they propagate across the polar cap, and what controls their dynamic effects after reaching the nightside plasma sheet.

  15. A simple model for polar cap convection patterns and generation of theta auroras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, L. R.

    1985-01-01

    An addition of the uniform interplanetary magnetic field and the earth's dipole magnetic field is used to evaluate electric field convection patterns over the polar caps that result from solar wind flow across open geomagnetic field lines. The model also accounts for field-aligned patterns within, and auroral arcs across, the polar cap. The qualitative predictions derived from the model express the electric field magnitudes, aurora intensity, sunward and antisunward flow, and the dusk-side reversal of the convection field in terms of the x and y components of the interplanetary magnetic field.

  16. Polar cap models of gamma-ray pulsars: Emision from single poles of nearly aligned rotators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daugherty, Joseph K.; Harding, Alice K.

    1994-01-01

    We compare a new Monte Carlo simulation of polar cap models for gamma-ray pulsars with observations of sources detected above 10 MeV by the Compton Observatory (CGRO). We find that for models in which the inclination of the magnetic axis is comparable to the angular radius of the polar cap, the radiation from a single cap may exhibit a pusle with either a single broad peak as in PSR 1706-44 and PSR 1055-52, or a doubly peaked profile comparable to those observed from the Crab, Vela and Geminga pulsars. In general, double pulses are seen by observers whose line of sight penetrates into the cap interior and are due to enhanced emission near the rim. For cascades induced by culvature radiation, increased rim emission occurs even when electrons are accelerated over the entire cap, since electrons from the interior escape along magnetic field lines with less curvature and hence emit less radiation. However, we obtain better fits to the duty cycles of observed profiles if we make the empirical assumption that acceleration occurs only near the rim. In either case, the model energy spectra are consistent with most of the observed sources. The beaming factors expected from nearly aligned rotators, based on standard estimates for the cap radius, imply that their luminosities need not be as large as in the case of orthogonal rotators. However, small beam angles are also a difficutly with this model because they imply low detection probablities. In either case the polar cap radius is a critical factor, and in this context we point out that plasma loading of the field lines should make the caps larger than the usual estimates based on pure dipole fields.

  17. Thermosphere variation at different altitudes over the northern polar cap during magnetic storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yanshi; Wu, Qian; Huang, Cheryl Y.; Su, Yi-Jiun

    2016-08-01

    In this study, we report observations and simulation results of heated neutrals at various altitudes inside the polar cap during two magnetic storms in January 2005. The Poynting flux measurements from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites show enhanced energy input in the polar cap during the storm main phase, which is underestimated in the TIE-GCM simulation. Neutral temperature measurements at 250 km from the ground-based Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI) at Resolute Bay are presented, along with the neutral density observations at 360 km and 470 km from Challenging Minisatellite Payload (CHAMP) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, respectively. These data have been analyzed to demonstrate the altitudinal dependence of neutral response to the storm energy input. By comparing the TIE-GCM simulation results and the observations, we demonstrate that Poynting fluxes as well as the thermosphere response were underestimated in the model. The simulated neutral temperature at Resolute Bay increases by approximately 260° and 280° K for the two events, respectively, much lower than the observed temperature enhancements of 750° and 900° K. Neutral density enhancements with more than 30% increase over the background density were also observed at polar latitudes, with no clear distinction between the auroral zone and polar cap. All measurements indicate enhancements at high latitudes poleward of 80° magnetic latitude (MLAT) implying that substantial heating can occur within the polar cap during storms.

  18. Interplanetary magnetic field dependency of stable Sun-aligned polar cap arcs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valladares, C. E.; Carlson, H. C., Jr.; Fukui, K.

    1994-01-01

    This is the first analysis, using a statistically significant data set, of the morphological dependence of the presence, orientation, and motion of stable sun-aligned polar cap arcs upon the vector interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). For the one winter season analyzed we had 1392 all-sky 630.0-nm images of 2-min resolution containing a total of 150 polar cap arcs, all with corresponding values of the IMF as measured by International Monitoring Platform (IMP) 8 or International Sun Earth Explorer (ISEE) 2. After demonstrating an unbiased data set with smooth normal distributions of events versus the dimensions of time, space, and IMF component, we examine IMF dependencies of the properties of the optical arcs. A well-defined dependence for B(sub z) is found for the presence/absence of stable Sun-aligned polar cap arcs. Consistent with previous statistical studies, the probability of observing polar cap aurora steadily increases for larger positive values of B(sub z), and linearly decreases when B(sub z) becomes more negative. The probability of observing Sun-aligned arcs within the polar cap is determined to vary sharply as a function of the arc location; arcs were observed 40% of the time on the dawnside and only 10% on the duskside. This implies an overall probability of at least 40% for the whole polar cap. 20% of the arcs were observed during 'southward IMF conditions,' but in fact under closer inspection were found to have been formed under northward IMF conditions; these 'residual' positive B(sub z) arcs ha d a delayed residence time in the polar cap of about what would be expected after a north to south transition of B(sub z). A firm dependence on B(sub y) is also found for both the orientation and the dawn-dusk direction of motion of the arcs. All the arcs are Sun-aligned to a first approximation, but present deviations from this orientation, depending primarily upon the location of the arc in corrected geomagnetic (CG) coordinates. The arcs populating the

  19. Mass changes in Arctic ice caps and glaciers: implications of regionalizing elevation changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, J.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Barletta, V. R.; Forsberg, R.

    2015-01-01

    The mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is sensitive to changing climate conditions. The mass changes derived in this study are determined from elevation changes derived measured by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) for the time period 2003-2009. Four methods, based on interpolation and extrapolation, are used to regionalize these elevation changes to areas without satellite coverage. A constant density assumption is then applied to estimate the mass change by integrating over the entire glaciated region. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the sensitivity of the regional mass balance of Arctic ice caps and glaciers to different regionalization schemes. The sensitivity analysis is based on studying the spread of mass changes and their associated errors, and the suitability of the different regionalization techniques is assessed through cross-validation. The cross-validation results shows comparable accuracies for all regionalization methods, but the inferred mass change in individual regions, such as Svalbard and Iceland, can vary up to 4 Gt a-1, which exceeds the estimated errors by roughly 50% for these regions. This study further finds that this spread in mass balance is connected to the magnitude of the elevation change variability. This indicates that care should be taken when choosing a regionalization method, especially for areas which exhibit large variability in elevation change.

  20. Analysis of Daily, Seasonal, and Interannual Changes in Hofsjokull Ice Cap, Iceland, using Satellite Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, D. K.; Garvin, J. B.; Williams, R. S., Jr.; Barton, J. S.; Sigurosson, O.; Smith, L. C.

    1998-01-01

    Analysis of a time series of European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS)-1 and -2, RADARSAT ScanSAR synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Landsat images from 1973 to 1998, shows daily to interannual changes in Hofsjokull, a 923 sq km ice cap in central Iceland. A digital elevation model of Hofsjokull was constructed using interferometry, and then SAR backscatter coefficient (d) was plotted with elevation, and air temperature along a transect across the ice cap. Most of the a' changes measured along the transect are caused by a change in the state (frozen or thawed) of the surficial snow or ice when air temperature rises above or below about -5 to O C. Seasonal (sigma)deg patterns are identified in a 4-year time series of 57 ERS-1 and -2 images. In addition, June 1997 ScanSAR images display rapid changes in brightness that are tied closely to daily meteorological events. SAR and Landsat data were also used to measure changes in the areal extent of Hofsjokull, from 1973 to 1997, and to locate (sigma)deg and reflectance boundaries that relate to the glacier facies. Late-summer 1997 (sigma)deg and reflectance boundaries agree and are coincident with the approximate location of the fim line, and the January 1998 position of the equilibrium line as determined from ERS-2 data.

  1. Extreme melt on Canada's Arctic ice caps in the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Martin; Burgess, David O.; Cogley, J. Graham; Ecclestone, Miles; Labine, Claude; Wolken, Gabriel J.

    2011-06-01

    Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands contain ˜14% of Earth's glacier and ice cap area. Snow accumulation on these glaciers is low and varies little from year to year. Changes in their surface mass balance are driven largely by changes in summer air temperatures, surface melting and runoff. Relative to 2000-2004, strong summer warming since 2005 (1.1 to 1.6°C at 700 hPa) has increased summer mean ice surface temperatures and melt season length on the major ice caps in this region by 0.8 to 2.2°C and 4.7 to 11.9 d respectively. 30-48% of the total mass lost from 4 monitored glaciers since 1963 has occurred since 2005. The mean rate of mass loss from these 4 glaciers between 2005 and 2009 (-493 kg m-2 a-1) was nearly 5 times greater than the 1963-2004 average. In 2007 and 2008, it was 7 times greater (-698 kg m-2 a-1). These changes are associated with a summer atmospheric circulation configuration that favors strong heat advection into the Queen Elizabeth Islands from the northwest Atlantic, where sea surface temperatures have been anomalously high.

  2. Dual-sensor mapping of mass balance on Russia's northernmost ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolskiy, D.; Malinnikov, V.; Sharov, A.; Ukolova, M.

    2012-04-01

    Mass balance of Russia's northernmost ice caps is poorly known and scarcely mapped. Thorough information about glacier fluctuations in the outer periphery of Russian shelf seas is both lacking and highly desired since it may constitute the relevant benchmark for judging and projecting climate change impacts in the entire Arctic. The present study is focussed on geodetic measurements and medium-scale mapping of the mass balance on a dozen insular ice caps, some large and some smaller, homogeneously situated along the Eurasian boundary of Central Arctic Basin. The study region extends for approx. 2.200 km from Victoria and Arthur islands in the west across Rudolph, Eva-Liv, Ushakova, Schmidt and Komsomolets islands in the north to Bennett and Henrietta islands in the east thereby comprising the most distant and least studied ice caps in the Russian Arctic. The situation of insular ice masses close to the edge of summer minimum sea ice proved helpful in analysing spatial asymmetry of glacier accumulation signal. The overall mapping of glacier elevation changes and quantification of mass balance characteristics in the study region was performed by comparing reference elevation models of study glaciers derived from Russian topographic maps 1:200,000 (CI = 20 or 40 m) representing the glacier state as in the 1950s-1960s with modern elevation data obtained from satellite radar interferometry and lidar altimetry. In total, 14 ERS and 4 TanDEM-X high-quality SAR interferograms of 1995/96 and 2011 were acquired, processed in the standard 2-pass DINSAR manner, geocoded, calibrated, mosaicked and interpreted using reference elevation models and co-located ICESat altimetry data of 2003-2010. The DINSAR analysis revealed the existence of fast-flowing outlet glaciers at Arthur, Rudolph, Eva-Liv and Bennett islands. The calculation of separate mass-balance components is complicated in this case because of generally unknown glacier velocities and ice discharge values for the mid-20

  3. Mercury Polar Volatiles: Complex Hydrocarbons vs Water Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Paige, D. A.; Solomon, S. C.; Ernst, C. M.; Barnouin, O. S.; Mao, D.

    2012-12-01

    Radiometric measurements by MLA elucidate the emplacement and sequestration of volatiles on Mercury, repeatedly imaged by Earth-based radar. We have reported [Neumann et al., 2012, LPSC, #2651] the presence of MLA-dark deposits coinciding with many of the radar-bright regions thought to indicate the presence of subsurface ice. Thermal models [Paige et al., 2012, LPSC, #2875] suggest that at certain latitudes, maximum temperatures exceed the regime of stability of surface water ice, but average subsurface temperatures allow its persistence there against sublimation. At the highest latitudes, where radar signatures fill large portions of polar craters, measurements by MLA are at the noise limit for measuring reflectance; however, several profiles have been obtained with useful energy data. We explore the working hypothesis that dark, complex organics (common in asteroids & comets) overly water ice, providing an important constraint on thermal models of polar regions. Repeated profiles are being acquired in the extended mission in order to more clearly delineate the boundaries of volatile deposits. A good sampling of craters over the appropriate latitude range will further constrain the composition of volatiles. We will report on further mapping in the MESSENGER Extended Mission to the coldest north polar regions, where the majority of ices lie.

  4. Polar cap magnetic field reversals during solar grand minima: could pores play a role?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Švanda, Michal; Brun, Allan Sacha; Roudier, Thierry; Jouve, Laurène

    2016-02-01

    We study the magnetic flux carried by pores located outside active regions with sunspots and investigate their possible contribution to the reversal of the global magnetic field of the Sun. We find that they contain a total flux of comparable amplitude to the total magnetic flux contained in polar caps. The pores located at distances of 40-100 Mm from the closest active region systematically have the correct polarity of the magnetic field to contribute to the polar cap reversal. These pores can be found predominantly in bipolar magnetic regions. We propose that during grand minima of solar activity, such a systematic polarity trend, which is akin to a weak magnetic (Babcock-Leighton-like) source term, could still be operating but was missed by the contemporary observers because of the limited resolving power of their telescopes.

  5. Low-energy electron intensities at large distances over the earth's polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeager, D. Y.; Frank, L. A.

    1976-01-01

    The eccentric-orbiting satellite Imp 5 penetrated the distant polar magnetosphere at positions corresponding to those for magnetic field lines which intersect the earth's northern polar cap. Measurements of electron intensities with E not less than 250 eV in these regions of extremely low plasma densities were gained with an electrostatic analyzer. The observational period was January-October 1970. Electron intensities within the energy range 250 eV-50 keV were less by orders of magnitude than those typically encountered within the plasma sheet and over the auroral oval. However, dramatic temporal variations of average electron intensities in the polar cap region were found for orbit-to-orbit comparisons. The observed intensity variations showed a remarkable correlation with the polarity of the magnetic sector structure in the interplanetary medium: high intensities for 'away from the sun' sectors and low intensities for 'toward' sectors.

  6. Quality assessment of MODIS land surface temperatures over an Arctic ice cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Østby, Torbjørn I.; Schuler, Thomas V.; Westermann, Sebastian

    2013-04-01

    Surface temperature is governed by the surface energy balance and therefore a key variable in climate monitoring, ecology and also in glacier melt observation and modelling. With thermal satellite remote sensing land surface temperature (LST) can be obtained with high spatial and temporal coverage. Clear sky LST derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) has a reported uncertainty of below 1K under most circumstances. However, there are only few studies validating the product over snow and ice surface, indicating a much higher uncertainty of up to 4K. The MODIS LST level 3 product is compared with 8 years of meteorological data of an automatic weather station (AWS) located on the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard. The smoothness of the ice cap in terms of topography, temperature and emissivity makes it an ideal site for comparing point measurements with the 1 km MODIS resolution. We find an overall RMS between MODIS LST and measured air temperature of 6.2K; however, melting conditions are nicely reproduced by the MODIS LST. Clouds are opaque in the range of the spectrum used for LST and therefore, cloudy scenes have to be removed. The MODIS LST product considers cloudiness by an automatic cloud-detection procedure. We derive a cloud index from the meteorological data of the AWS to assess the possibility of LST being affected by deficient cloud-detection. We find that over snow and ice the MODIS procedure detects too few clouds. Of the scenes classified as cloudy according to AWS data, MODIS interpreted 42% as clear sky during winter and 20% during summer. In contrast, on bare ground outside the glacier not far from the AWS, 65% of the sunny days are interpreted as cloudy during summer. Due to prevailing cloud condition at Austfonna, 42% of the successfully produced LST are acquired during a cloudy sky, 36% during a mixed sky and only 22% during clear sky. The effect of cloud miss detection is demonstrated by the RMS of 7.4K under cloudy conditions

  7. Holocene fluctuations of Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru based on lacustrine and surficial geologic archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroup, J. S.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Beal, S. A.; Smith, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Peru's Quelccaya Ice Cap (QIC; 13.9°S, 70.8°W, ~5200-5670 m asl) is an important site for understanding tropical paleoclimate, mainly because of annually layered ice cores that provide an ~1800 year long record of tropical paleoclimatic conditions (e.g., Thompson et al., 2013). Here, we present a detailed record of QIC fluctuations using surficial deposits and lake sediments that extend back to late glacial time. We compare the late Holocene records of QIC 10Be-dated moraines and ice core data with lake sediments from a nearby glacially fed lake to establish the framework we use to interpret a Holocene long sediment record from a glacially fed lake. We also examine sediments from a nearby non-glacial lake to constrain non-glacial clastic input. We collected two ~5 m-long sediment cores, one from Laguna Challpacocha, which is currently fed by QIC meltwater, and one from the Laguna Yanacocha, which has not received QIC meltwater since ~12.3 ka. Changes in magnetic susceptibility, loss on ignition, bulk density and X-ray fluorescence chemistry combined with 14C and 210Pb chronologies provide information about sediment transported to the lakes. Retreat from the late Holocene extent defined by the 10Be-dated moraine record (~0.52 ka) is contemporaneous with a sharp transition from organic to clastic sedimentation in the Challpacocha core at ~ 0.52 ka. This implies that glacially-sourced clastic sedimentation, as tracked by loss on ignition, Ti counts and bulk density, increased during ice cap recession. Based on these same proxy data, we suggest the following Holocene history of QIC: QIC receded from the Challpacocha basin by ~10.6 ka. Increased clastic sedimentation at 8.2 - 4.1, 3.6 - 2.7 ka and from 0.55 ka - present are interpreted as times of ice cap recession. The increased clastic sedimentation at ~8.2 - 4.1 ka is consistent with surficial deposits near the present-day ice margin that indicate that at ~7.0 - 4.6 ka QIC was smaller than at present (Buffen et al

  8. The quiet time polar cap: DE 1 observations and conceptual model

    SciTech Connect

    Burch, J.L. ); Saflekos, N.A. ); Gurnett, D.A.; Frank, L.A. ); Craven, J.D. )

    1992-12-01

    Auroral activity increases over the polar caps during quiet times, which are associated with northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) components. Polar cap auroras (Sun-aligned arcs, theta auroras, and horse collar auroras) occur under these conditions. DE 1 data have provided partial characterization of these events. A conceptual northward IMF merging model containing lobe cells, merging cells, and viscous cells is shown to be consistent with the observations. As the IMF becomes more northward, the polar arc configuration changes from the horse collar pattern to the theta aurora pattern in the model, and this is shown to be generally true for the set of published data on these phenomena. The model involves dayside merging both at high latitudes on open field lines and at lower latitudes on closed field lines. The ratio between the merged flux produced by the high-latitude merging to that produced by the lower-latitude merging increases as the IMF becomes more northward. Two types of open field lines, equator-crossing and non-equator-crossing, are produced by the higher- and lower-latitude merging, respectively. The equator-crossing field lines have a strong azimuthal component of convection as they flow around the magnetopause, while the non-equator-crossing field lines can convect more or less directly across the polar cap, leading to an antisunward flow channel across the central polar cap. This antisunward flow region grows as the IMF becomes less northward, causing dual polar cap arcs to spread out into the horse collar configuration.

  9. Radiative Effects of CO_2 in the Martian Polar Caps from MGS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, G. B.

    1998-09-01

    We have examined data from two orbits in the assessment period of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), focusing on the known properties of pure CO_2 ice. For CO_2 snow surfaces with grains less than a few centimeters in size, there should be a depression in the thermal infrared brightness temperature with a minimum near 25 mu m. These grain-size properties of solid CO_2 may explain both the continuous and transient low-brightness-temperature regions discovered by the Viking orbiter infrared radiometers (IRTM). Using the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data from Orbit 21, we show how the spectra from an annulus near the edge of the retreating south polar cap are consistent with smaller CO_2 grain sizes. We suspect that this behavior results from the fracturing of nearly solid sheets of frozen CO_2 (formed in this way, or reaching this state by a process of grain-coarsening), as they are heated (mostly from below) by the rising sun. The unfractured layers near the pole behave more like a blackbody, and probably reflect visible light much like the surfaces underneath them, while the cracked surfaces should appear bright. We also investigated a low-altitude pass over the autumn north polar region in orbit 35, using data from both TES and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). We found an area with properties similar to the Viking transient low-brightness-temperature regions, located precisely on the rim of a 22-km crater (from the MOLA profile) at the outlet of the Chasma Boreale. The MOLA reflectivity and the 30-mu m emissivity are anticorrelated across this feature (bright at 1 mu m, low emissivity at 30 mu m), implying that it is caused primarily by the CO_2 particle size. We propose that this region is characterized by a local change in particle size, and that it is correlated with topography, a fact hinted at but not proven by Viking IRTM studies. A likely cause of such a feature is the flow over the obstacle by a possibly dusty atmosphere near saturation

  10. North Polar Water Ice by Weight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    December 8, 2003

    This map shows the percent of water by weight in near-surface materials of Mars' north polar region. It is derived from the gamma ray spectrometer component of the gamma ray spectrometer suite of instruments on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

    Significant concentrations of water (greater than 20 percent) are poleward of 55 degrees north latitude. The highest concentration, greater than 50 percent, is between 75 degrees north and the pole. Another area with a high concentration of water by weight is in the north polar plains between longitudes minus 105 degrees and minus 140 degrees, and between latitudes 60 degrees and 75 degrees.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for the NASA Office of Space Science in Washington. Investigators at Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, operate the science instruments. The gamma-ray spectrometer was provided by the University of Arizona in collaboration with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, which provided the high-energy neutron detector, and the Los Alamos National Laboratories, New Mexico, which provided the neutron spectrometer. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL.

  11. Mariner 9 observations of the south polar cap of Mars - Evidence for residual CO2 frost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paige, D. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Murray, B. C.

    1990-01-01

    The first spacecraft observations of the south residual polar cap of Mars were obtained by the Mariner 9 orbiter during the Martian southern summer season, 1971-1972. Analyses of Viking orbiter observations obtained 3 Mars years later have shown that residual carbon dioxide frost was present at the south polar cap in 1977. In this study, Mariner 9 infrared interferometer spectrometer spectra and television camera images are used in conjuction with multispectral thermal emission models to constrain the temperatures of dark bare ground and bright frost regions within the south residual cap. The results provide strong evidence that carbon dioxide frost was present throughout the summer season despite the fact that the residual frost deposits observed by Mariner 9 were less extensive than those observed by Viking.

  12. Automated polar ice thickness estimation from radar imagery.

    PubMed

    Gifford, Christopher M; Finyom, Gladys; Jefferson, Michael; Reid, MyAsia; Akers, Eric L; Agah, Arvin

    2010-09-01

    This paper focuses on automating the task of estimating Polar ice thickness from airborne radar data acquired over Greenland and Antarctica. This process involves the identification and accurate selection of the ice sheet's surface location and interface between the ice sheet and the underlying bedrock for each measurement. Identifying the surface and bedrock locations in the radar imagery enables the computation of ice sheet thickness, which is important for the study of ice sheets, their volume, and how they may contribute to global climate change. The time-consuming manual approach requires sparse hand-selection of surface and bedrock interfaces by several human experts, and interpolating between the selections to save time. Two primary methods have been studied in this paper, namely, edge-based and active contour. Results are evaluated and presented using the metrics of time requirements and accuracy. Automated ice thickness estimation results from 2006 and 2007 Greenland field campaigns illustrate that the edge-based approach offers faster processing (seconds compared to minutes), but suffers from a lack of continuity and smoothness aspects that active contours provide. The active contour approach is more accurate when compared to ground truth selections provided by human experts, and has proven to be more robust to image artifacts. It is shown that both techniques offer advantages which could be integrated to yield a more effective system. PMID:20409995

  13. Ice in the lunar polar regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The idea that ice and other trapped volatiles exist in permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles was proposed by Watson, Murray, and Brown (1961). It is reexamined in the present paper, in the light of the vast increase of lunar knowledge. The stability of the traps and the trapping mechanism are verified. Four potential sources of lunar H2O, namely (1) solar wind reduction of Fe in the regolith, (2) H2O-containing meteoroids, (3) cometary impact, and (4) (the least certain) degassing of the interior, can supply amounts of trapped H2O estimated in the range of 10 to the 16th to 10 to the 17th g. Two important destructive mechanisms have been identified: photodissociation of H2O molecules adsorbed on the sunlit surface and sputtering or decomposition of trapped H2O by solar wind particles. The effect of impact gardening is mainly protective. The question of the presence of H2O in the traps remains open; it can be settled by experiment.

  14. Mars Seasonal Polar Caps as a Test of the Equivalence Principle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, Daivd Parry

    2011-01-01

    The seasonal polar caps of Mars can be used to test the equivalence principle in general relativity. The north and south caps, which are composed of carbon dioxide, wax and wane with the seasons. If the ratio of the inertial to gravitational masses of the caps differs from the same ratio for the rest of Mars, then the equivalence principle fails, Newton's third law fails, and the caps will pull Mars one way and then the other with a force aligned with the planet's spin axis. This leads to a secular change in Mars's along-track position in its orbit about the Sun, and to a secular change in the orbit's semimajor axis. The caps are a poor E6tv6s test of the equivalence principle, being 4 orders-of-magnitude weaker than laboratory tests and 7 orders-of-magnitude weaker than that found by lunar laser ranging; the reason is the small mass of the caps compared to Mars as a whole. The principal virtue of using Mars is that the caps contain carbon, an element not normally considered in such experiments. The Earth with its seasonal snow cover can also be used for a similar test.

  15. Year-to-year instability of the Mars south polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1990-01-01

    Models of the Mars polar cap energy balance suggest that the south cap has two possible configurations at the current epoch. It can be covered all year by CO2 frost, as was observed by the Viking spacecraft, or the CO2 frost can disappear at midsummer to expose an underlying surface. The difference between the two states depends on the role of energy conducted into the subsurface. If the cap was exposed the previous year, conducted energy will cause less CO2 frost to condense in winter, and the frost will disappear completely in summer. If the cap was covered the previous year, there will be no conducted energy, and it will stay covered again. Subtle effects in the atmosphere can perturb the cap energy balance sufficiently to cause the cap to jump between states. This behavior might provide an explanation for the large southern summer water vapor abundances observed in 1969. It also explains the observed differences between the north and the south residual caps as resulting in part from a difference in the role in the annual energy balance of energy conducted into the subsurface.

  16. Mars seasonal polar caps as a test of the equivalence principle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubincam, David Parry

    2011-08-01

    The seasonal polar caps of Mars can be used to test the equivalence principle in general relativity. The north and south caps, which are composed of carbon dioxide, wax and wane with the seasons. If the ratio of the inertial (passive) to gravitational (active) masses of the caps differs from the same ratio for the rest of Mars, then the equivalence principle fails, Newton’s third law fails, and the caps will pull Mars one way and then the other with a force aligned with the planet’s spin axis. This leads to a secular change in Mars’s along-track position in its orbit about the Sun, and to a secular change in the orbit’s semimajor axis. The caps are a poor Eötvös test of the equivalence principle, being 4 orders-of-magnitude weaker than laboratory tests and 7 orders-of-magnitude weaker than that found by lunar laser ranging; the reason is the small mass of the caps compared to Mars as a whole. The principal virtue of using Mars is that the caps contain carbon, an element not normally considered in such experiments. The Earth with its seasonal snow cover can also be used for a similar test.

  17. Mixed-phased particles in polar stratospheric ice clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdan, Anatoli; Molina, Mario J.; Loerting, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    Keywords: polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), ozone depletion, differential scanning calorimeter. The rate of chlorine activation reactions, which lead to ozone depletion in the winter/spring polar stratosphere (Molina, 1994), depends on the phase state of the surface of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) ice crystals (McNeil et al., 2006). PSCs are thought to consist of solid ice and NAT (nitric acid trihydrate, HNO3× 3H2O) particles and supercooled HNO3/H2SO4/H2O droplets. The corresponding PSCs are called Type II, Ia, and Ib PSCs, respectively (Zondlo et al., 1998). Type II PSCs are formed in the Antarctic region below the ice frost point of 189 K by homogeneous freezing of HNO3/H2SO4/H2O droplets (Chang et al., 1999) with the excess of HNO3. The PSC ice crystals are thought to be solid. However, the fate of H+, NO3-, SO42- ions during freezing was not investigated. Our differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) studies of freezing emulsified HNO3/H2SO4/H2O droplets of sizes and compositions representative of the polar stratosphere demonstrate that during the freezing of the droplets, H+, NO3-, SO42- are expelled from the ice lattice. The expelled ions form a residual solution around the formed ice crystals. The residual solution does not freeze but transforms to glassy state at ~150 K (Bogdan et al., 2010). By contrast to glass-formation in these nitric-acid rich ternary mixtures the residual solution freezes in the case of sulphuric-acid rich ternary mixtures (Bogdan and Molina, 2009). For example, we can consider the phase separation into ice and a residual solution during the freezing of 23/3 wt% HNO3/H2SO4/H2O droplets. On cooling, ice is formed at ~189 K. This is inferred from the fact that the corresponding melting peak at ~248 K exactly matches the melting point of ice in the phase diagram of HNO3/H2SO4/H2O containing 3 wt % H2SO4. After the ice has formed, the glass transition occurs at Tg ≈ 150 K. The appearance of the glass transition indicates that the

  18. Macroscale modeling and mesoscale observations of plasma density structures in the polar cap

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, S.; Basu, S.; Sojka, J.J.; Schunk, R.W.; MacKenzie, E.

    1995-04-15

    The seasonal and UT variation of mesoscale structures (10 km - 100 m) in the central polar cap has been obtained from an analysis of 250-MHz intensity scintillation observations made at Thule, Greenland. It has been established earlier that mesoscale structures causing scintillations of satellite signals may develop at the edges of macroscale structures (several hundred km) such as discrete polar cap plasma density enhancements or patches through the gradient drift instability process. As such, the authrs examined the seasonal and UT variation of polar cap patches simulated by using the USU Time Dependent Ionospheric Model (TDIM) under conditions of southward B(sub z). A fairly remarkable similarity is found between the scintillation observations and the model predictions of patch occurrence. For instance, both the patch and scintillation occurrences are minimized during the winter solstice (northern hemisphere) between 0800-1200 UT while also having their largest seasonal intensity between 2000-2400 UT. Little UT dependence of patches and scintillations is seen at equinox with high intensity being observed throughout the day, while during local summer the intensity of macroscale patches and mesoscale irregularities are found to be a minimum at all UT. These results indicate that macroscale features in the polar cap are routinely associated with plasma instabilities giving rise to smaller scale structures and that the specific patch formation mechanism assumed in the simulation is consistent with the observations.

  19. ICESat's Laser Measurements of Polar Ice, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Land

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. J.; Schutz, B.; Abdalati, W.; Abshire, J.; Bentley, C.; Brenner, A.; Bufton, J.; Dezio, J.; Hancock, D.; Harding, D.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission will measure changes in elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) of satellites. Time-series of elevation changes will enable determination of the present-day mass balance of the ice sheets, study of associations between observed ice changes and polar climate, and estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. Other scientific objectives of ICESat include: global measurements of cloud heights and the vertical structure of clouds and aerosols; precise measurements of land topography and vegetation canopy heights; and measurements of sea ice roughness, sea ice thickness, ocean surface elevations, and surface reflectivity. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on ICESat has a 1064 nm laser channel for surface altimetry and dense cloud heights and a 532 nm lidar channel for the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols. The accuracy of surface ranging is 10 cm, averaged over 60 m diameter laser footprints spaced at 172 m along-track. The orbital altitude will be around 600 km at an inclination of 94 deg with a 183-day repeat pattern. The onboard GPS receiver will enable radial orbit determinations to better than 5 cm, and star-trackers will enable footprints to be located to 6 m horizontally. The spacecraft attitude will be controlled to point the laser beam to within +/- 35 m of reference surface tracks at high latitudes. ICESat is designed to operate for 3 to 5 years and should be followed by successive missions to measure ice changes for at least 15 years.

  20. Field-Line Tracing from Locations of Polar Cap Neutral Density Anomalies to the Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutton, E. K.; Lin, C. S.; Huang, C. Y.; Cooke, D. L.

    2015-12-01

    Localized neutral density enhancement in the polar cap above 70o magnetic latitude have been frequently observed during major geomagnetic storms. It has been suggested that energy input responsible for producing localized neutral density spikes is the dominant energy deposition in the polar cap. To better understand the origin of polar cap neutral density anomalies (PCNDAs) we trace magnetic field lines from the polar cap region at about 400 km to the magnetosphere using the data-based Tsyganenko magnetic field model TS05 [Tsyganenko and Sitnov, 2005] for the periods when CHAMP detected PCNDAs during major magnetic storms with the minimum Dst < -100 nT. The magnetopause boundary is specified according to the three-dimensional asymmetric magnetopause model recently developed by Lin et al. [2010]. The closest distance to the magnetopause along the traced field line path is determined as a function of time. The tracing results indicate that depending on Dst and locations PCNDAs could be connected through magnetic field lines either to the nightside magnetopause or to the magnetotail lobe. For some events field lines originating from a portion of the PCNDA region are found to cross the equatorial plane in the near earth tail region. We discuss the results to help elucidate the coupling between the magnetosphere and the thermosphere and its roles in producing polar cap density anomalies. ReferencesLin, R. L., X. X. Zhang, S. Q. Liu, Y. L. Wang, and J. C. Gong (2010), A three-dimensional asymmetric magnetopause model, J. Geophys. Res., 115, A04207, doi:10.1029/2009JA014235.Tsyganenko, N. A., and M. I. Sitnov (2005), Modeling the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere during strong geomagnetic storms, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A03208, doi:10.1029/2004JA010798.

  1. Origin of density enhancements in the winter polar-cap ionosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, D.N.; Buchau, J.; Heelis, R.A.

    1987-05-07

    Coherent and incoherent ground-based radar measurements of the winter polar cap ionosphere at Thule and Sondrestrom, Greenland, have established the existence of patches of enhanced ionization that drift across the polar cap in an antisunward, noon-midnight direction. Associated with these patches is strong radio scintillation activity which severely disrupts ground-to-satellite communication systems and interferes with the operation of space surveillance radar at high latitudes. Several recent studies have shown that the source of enhanced ionization is the sunlit sub-cusp ionosphere rather than production by precipitating energetic particles. This problem is studied by solving the time-dependent plasma continuity equation including production by solar ultraviolet radiation, loss through charge exchange and transport by diffusion and convection E X B drifts. Time and spatially varying, horizontal E X B drift patterns are imposed and subsequent ionospheric responses are calculated to determine enhanced plasma densities. In the dark polar cap could result from extended transit of relevant flux tubes through regions of significant solar production. A density enhancement in NMAX from 70,000 to 500,000 el/cu cm occurs at Thule when a time-varying convection pattern is included in the simulation. The patch of ionization is generated when an initial convection pattern characterized by an 80-kV crosstail potential and a 12/degree/ polar cap radius is abruptly changed to a 100-kV crosstail potential and a 15/degree/ polar-cap radius. The horizontal extent of the patch is related to the length of time the new convection pattern remains turned-on.

  2. Dust aerosols above the south polar cap of Mars as seen by OMEGA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincendon, M.; Langevin, Y.; Poulet, F.; Bibring, J.-P.; Gondet, B.; Jouglet, D.; Omega Team

    2008-08-01

    The time evolution of atmospheric dust at high southern latitudes on Mars has been determined using observations of the south seasonal cap acquired in the near infrared (1-2.65 μm) by OMEGA/Mars Express in 2005. Observations at different solar zenith angles and one EPF sequence demonstrate that the reflectance in the 2.64 μm saturated absorption band of the surface CO 2 ice is mainly due to the light scattered by aerosols above most places of the seasonal cap. We have mapped the total optical depth of dust aerosols in the near-IR above the south seasonal cap of Mars from mid-spring to early summer with a time resolution ranging from one day to one week and a spatial resolution of a few kilometers. The optical depth above the south perennial cap is determined on a longer time range covering southern spring and summer. A constant set of optical properties of dust aerosols is consistent with OMEGA observations during the analyzed period. Strong variations of the optical depth are observed over small horizontal and temporal scales, corresponding in part to moving dust clouds. The late summer peak in dust opacity observed by Opportunity in 2005 propagated to the south pole contrarily to that observed in mid spring. This may be linked to evidence for dust scavenging by water ice-rich clouds circulating at high southern latitudes at this season.

  3. CryoSat-2 observations of Arctic ice-cap mass trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wouters, Bert; Bamber, Jonathan; Gardner, Alex; Moholdt, Geir; Schoen, Nana; Wahr, John

    2014-05-01

    The primary objective of Cryosat-2 is to measure changes in sea ice freeboard and ice sheet topography, but the satellite also provides valuable information on height changes of smaller ice caps and icefields. Compared to earlier radar altimetry missions, which where unable to retrieve elevation changes over complex terrain, Cryosat-2 has an improved capacity to locate across-track echoes and a finer spatial resolution that allows for the retrieval of elevation changes at scales of a few kilometers. We explore the utility of using Cryosat-2 interferometric SARin data to reconstruct volume changes of major ice masses in the Canadian Arctic. These measurements are compared to elevations determined from airborne (OIB ATM) and satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry. We discuss potential biases, such as slope-dependent offsets and biases depending on the orientation of the satellite track. We extrapolate the bias corrected Cryosat-2 derived elevation changes over the entire region to arrive at an estimate of the total change in glacier mass over period 2010 to 2013 and compare this to monthly glacier mass anomalies as derived from gravity measurements made by the GRACE mission.

  4. Numerical modeling of Drangajökull Ice Cap, NW Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Jarosch, Alexander H.; Flowers, Gwenn E.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Pálsson, Finnur; Muñoz-Cobo Belart, Joaquín; Þorsteinsson, Þorsteinn; Jóhannesson, Tómas; Sigurðsson, Oddur; Harning, David; Miller, Gifford H.; Geirsdóttir, Áslaug

    2016-04-01

    Over the past century the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the global average. This discrepancy is likely due to feedbacks inherent to the Arctic climate system. These Arctic climate feedbacks are currently poorly quantified, but are essential to future climate predictions based on global circulation modeling. Constraining the magnitude and timing of past Arctic climate changes allows us to test climate feedback parameterizations at different times with different boundary conditions. Because Holocene Arctic summer temperature changes have been largest in the North Atlantic (Kaufman et al., 2004) we focus on constraining the paleoclimate of Iceland. Glaciers are highly sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation amount. This sensitivity allows for the estimation of paleoclimate using glacier models, modern glacier mass balance data, and past glacier extents. We apply our model to the Drangajökull ice cap (~150 sq. km) in NW Iceland. Our numerical model is resolved in two-dimensions, conserves mass, and applies the shallow-ice-approximation. The bed DEM used in the model runs was constructed from radio echo data surveyed in spring 2014. We constrain the modern surface mass balance of Drangajökull using: 1) ablation and accumulation stakes; 2) ice surface digital elevation models (DEMs) from satellite, airborne LiDAR, and aerial photographs; and 3) full-stokes model-derived vertical ice velocities. The modeled vertical ice velocities and ice surface DEMs are combined to estimate past surface mass balance. We constrain Holocene glacier geometries using moraines and trimlines (e.g., Brynjolfsson, etal, 2014), proglacial-lake cores, and radiocarbon-dated dead vegetation emerging from under the modern glacier. We present a sensitivity analysis of the model to changes in parameters and show the effect of step changes of temperature and precipitation on glacier extent. Our results are placed in context with local lacustrine and marine climate proxies as well

  5. The Polar Cap Tongue of Ionization: A survey of GPS TEC mappings from 2000 to 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, M.; Sojka, J. J.; Schunk, R. W.; Coster, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    The tongue of ionization (TOI) is a sporadic large-scale feature of the F-region polar ionosphere; a volume of high density plasma transported anti-sunward across the polar cap by the magnetospheric convection electric field. Sometimes the TOI may exist in the form of polar cap patches, owing to the solar wind and M-I coupling causing variations in convection, breaking up the TOI into discrete patchy structures. Figure 1 shows an example of a TOI under quiet geomagnetic conditions, from the GPS TEC map for 1637 UT on 05 Nov 2012, a day on which the Kp index was never higher than 1.7. The data is taken from Millstone Hill's on-line Madrigal data base. The TOI is often thought of as a storm-time phenomenon; this work challenges that assumption by examining observations from all levels of geomagnetic activity throughout the period of availability of the GPS TEC maps (2000-2014).Sojka et al [1994] carried out a modeling study to determine the seasonal and universal time dependence of the tongue of ionization (and polar cap patches); Figure 2 is reproduced from that paper. In essence, this figure is intended to indicate the times when a TOI may and may not exist. A notable feature is the "hole" that is seen during winter days between 0600 and 1200 UT. At the time of that publication it was not possible to test the prediction, but there now exists a wealth of data in the form of maps of total electron content (TEC), available from the on-line Madrigal data base. These TEC maps, especially in the northern hemisphere, cover the mid-latitude and polar cap regions with sufficient resolution to determine whether or not a TOI exists, for nearly every day from the year 2000 to the present time, at 5 minute intervals. In this study we make a comprehensive survey of this immense data base and outline the conditions under which TOIs have been seen in the northern hemisphere, based on seasonal and UT dependencies, as well as levels of geomagnetic disturbance. The winter "hole" in

  6. Validating Cryosat-2 elevation estimates with airborne laser scanner data for the Greenland ice sheet, Austfonna and Devon ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Nilsson, Johan; Helm, Veit; Langley, Kirsty A.; Forsberg, Rene; Hvidegaard, Sine M.; Skourup, Henriette

    2015-04-01

    The ESA CryoSat-2 satellite, launched in late 2010, carries a new type of radar altimeter especially designed for monitoring changes of sea and land ice. The radar signal might penetrate into the snow pack and the depth of the radar reflecting surface depends on the ratio between the surface and the volume backscatter, which is a function of several different properties such as snow density, crystal structure and surface roughness. In case of large volume scatter, the radar waveforms become broad and the determination of the range (surface elevation) becomes more difficult. Different algorithms (retrackers) are used for the range determination, and estimated surface penetration is highly dependent on the applied retracker. As part of the ESA-CryoVEx/CryoVal-Land Ice projects, DTU Space has gathered accurate airborne laser scanner elevation measurements. Sites on the Greenland ice sheet, Austfonna and Devon ice caps, has been surveyed repeatedly, aligned with Cryosat-2 ground tracks and surface experiments. Here, we utilize elevation estimates from available Cryosat-2 retrackers (ESA level-2 retracker, DTU retracker, etc.) and validate the elevation measurements against ESA-CryoVEx campaigns. A difference between laser and radar elevations is expected due to radar penetration issues, however an inter-comparison between retrackers will shed light on individual performances and biases. Additionally, the geo-location of the radar return will also be a determining factor for the precision. Ultimately, the use of multiple retrackers can provide information about subsurface conditions and utilize more of the waveform information than presently used in radar altimetry.

  7. Martian north pole summer temperatures - Dirty water ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kieffer, H. H.; Martin, T. Z.; Chase, S. C., Jr.; Miner, E. D.; Palluconi, F. D.

    1976-01-01

    Broadband thermal and reflectance observations of the Martian north polar region in late summer yield temperatures for the residual polar cap near 205 K with albedos near 43 percent. The residual cap and several outlying smaller deposits are water ice with included dirt; there is no evidence for any permanent carbon dioxide polar cap.

  8. Rocket measurements within a polar cap arc - Plasma, particle, and electric circuit parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, E. J.; Ballenthin, J. O.; Basu, S.; Carlson, H. C.; Hardy, D. A.; Maynard, N. C.; Kelley, M. C.; Fleischman, J. R.; Pfaff, R. F.

    1989-01-01

    Results are presented from the Polar Ionospheric Irregularities Experiment (PIIE), conducted from Sondrestrom, Greenland, on March 15, 1985, designed for an investigation of processes which lead to the generation of small-scale (less than 1 km) ionospheric irregularities within polar-cap F-layer auroras. An instrumented rocket was launched into a polar cap F layer aurora to measure energetic electron flux, plasma, and electric circuit parameters of a sun-aligned arc, coordinated with simultaneous measurements from the Sondrestrom incoherent scatter radar and the AFGL Airborne Ionospheric Observatory. Results indicated the existence of two different generation mechanisms on the dawnside and duskside of the arc. On the duskside, parameters are suggestive of an interchange process, while on the dawnside, fluctuation parameters are consistent with a velocity shear instability.

  9. Seasonal recession of Mars' south polar cap as seen by Viking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, P. B.; Briggs, G.; Barnes, J.; Spruck, A.

    1979-01-01

    The spring-summer retreat of the south polar cap of Mars is portrayed in photomosaics obtained by Viking Orbiter 2 during 1977. Comparisons of these data to Mariner 9 photos and to the record of telescopic observations attest that the polar retreat viewed by Viking was significantly slower than those previously reported. A global dust storm which occurred at an unusually early season may have effected this retarded recession by introducing dust into the atmosphere of Mars which modified the polar energy balance through scattering of incident radiation. The composition of the south residual cap cannot be unambiguously determined at this time; however, some data suggest that CO2 or clathrate survived the entire summer viewed by Viking.

  10. Bringing Society to a Changing Polar Ocean: Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (ICE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schofield, O.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental changes in the Arctic and Antarctic appear to be accelerating and scientists are trying to understand both the patterns and the impacts of change. These changes will have profound impact on humanity and create a need for public education about these critical habitats. We have focused on a two-pronged strategy to increase public awareness as well as enable educators to discuss comfortably the implications of climate change. Our first focus is on entraining public support through the development of science documentaries about the science and people who conduct it. Antarctic Edge is a feature length award-winning documentary about climate change that has been released in May 2015 and has garnered interest in movie theatres and on social media stores (NetFlix, ITunes). This broad outreach is coupled with our group's interest assisting educators formally. The majority of current polar education is focused on direct educator engagement through personal research experiences that have impact on the participating educators' classrooms. Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (ICE) proposes to improve educator and student engagement in polar sciences through exposure to scientists and polar data. Through professional development and the creation of data tools, Polar ICE will reduce the logistical costs of bringing polar science to students in grades 6-16. We will provide opportunities to: 1) build capacity of polar scientists in communicating and engaging with diverse audiences; 2) create scalable, in-person and virtual opportunities for educators and students to engage with polar scientists and their research through data visualizations, data activities, educator workshops, webinars, and student research symposia; and 3) evaluate the outcomes of Polar ICE and contribute to our understanding of science education practices. We will use a blended learning approach to promote partnerships and cross-disciplinary sharing. This combined multi-pronged approach

  11. Some photometric properties of the Martian south polar cap region during the 1971 apparition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lumme, K.; James, P. B.

    1984-01-01

    High-quality earth-based photographs from the Lowell Observatory Planetary Research Center collection have been analyzed to derive some photometric parameters for the Martian south polar cap region during the 1971 apparition. The optical thickness of the atmosphere above the cap varied with wavelength from 0.35 + or - 0.05 in red light to 0.58 + or 0.06 in UV light. The effective geometric albedo is calculated from the 30 deg phase data assuming isotropic scattering: it varies from 0.85 + or - 0.04 (in red light) to 0.63 + or 0.05 (in UV light).

  12. Pleistocene ice caps on the coastal mountains of the Adriatic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, P. D.; Woodward, J. C.; van Calsteren, P. C.; Thomas, L. E.; Adamson, K. R.

    2010-12-01

    Ice caps once covered large areas of Mount Orjen (1894 m), on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro/Bosnia Herzegovina/Croatia. The largest ice cap covered an area of c. 165 km 2 and reached a maximum ice thickness of c. 450 m, in some areas reaching down to 500 m above modern sea level. U-series dating of secondary carbonates within moraines indicates that the most extensive glaciation occurred during the Middle Pleistocene, correlating with a major phase of glaciation in Greece to the south during MIS 12 (c. 480-430 ka). Later, less extensive, glaciations are also recorded in the cirques and valleys and correlate with glaciations during MIS 6 (190-130 ka) and MIS 5d-2 (110-11.7 ka). Each phase of glaciation would have required large amounts of snow accumulation. Under modern precipitation values, which at c. 5000 mm are some of the highest in Europe, mean annual temperatures would need to be only c. 5-6 °C lower in order to form similar sized glaciers today. A mean annual temperature depression of 12-13 °C would still require >1000 mm of snow accumulation (water equivalent) to balance ablation, suggesting sustained moisture supply during Pleistocene cold stages. Such sustained precipitation supply during Pleistocene cold stages is likely to have been facilitated by major temperature contrasts between the European landmass and the Mediterranean Sea, which are likely to have sustained lee-side vortices to the south of the Alps, in the Gulf of Genoa and Adriatic Sea, forming weak moisture-bearing depressions which tracked across the eastern Adriatic coastal mountains. Large ice caps on the Dinaric Alps would have blocked the inland penetration of these depressions, resulting in much drier conditions in the Balkan interior, creating favourable conditions for the deposition of thick accumulations of loess. The last glaciers on Orjen formed during the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka) and confirm the influence of North Atlantic Ocean circulation on Pleistocene climate change

  13. Microstructural Considerations of Transporting Sea Ice Samples from Polar Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieb-Lappen, R.; Obbard, R. W.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude regions are at the forefront of climate change research as these regions have and will experience the greatest impact due to changing environmental conditions (e.g. Antarctic and recent Arctic stratospheric ozone holes, large temperature increases on the Antarctic Peninsula, changes in the extent and age of Arctic sea ice). One of the major challenges of polar scientific research is the preservation of frozen sea ice samples during their transport back to the laboratory and subsequent storage. Small fluctuations in temperature have been shown to have a significant effect on the microstructure of snow and ice samples. This is especially true for sea ice specimens where transport and storage temperatures are often only slightly below the eutectic point for its different constituents (i.e. salts). Furthermore, sea ice can have a 30 deg C in situ vertical temperature gradient that is lost during transport and storage. Sea ice plays a critical role in mediating the exchange of heat, gases, and chemical species across the ocean-atmosphere interface. The kinetics of these exchanges is highly dependent upon the brine channel microstructure, which is strongly coupled to temperature. To determine the degree of microstructural variation between samples shipped at different temperatures, ten samples of a single sea ice core collected in March 2012 were transported from Barrow, Alaska to Hanover, NH using two common techniques: with blue ice packs enclosed in a Styrofoam box (~ -25 deg C) and in a dry liquid nitrogen cryoshipper (~ -182 deg C). In addition, snow lying on the sea ice and blowing snow samples were collected and shipped via both techniques. All samples were then stored for analysis in a cold room maintained at ~ -33 deg C. The microstructure of both sets of samples was analyzed using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μ-CT), with samples on a Peltier cold stage to maintain a scanning temperature of -20 deg C. We compare sea ice porosity and brine

  14. Mars Climate Orbiter's Investigation of the Atmosphere and Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCleese, D. J.; Moroz, V.; Schofield, T.; Taylor, F.; Zurek, R.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) is now on its way to Mars. It carries an atmospheric sounder whose observations will provide a continuous, global data set on weather and climate for a full Martian year. This paper describes the observation strategy and anticipated results from the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer (PMIRR). PMIRR will measure vertical profiles of atmospheric infrared radiance in the 7 to 50 micron wavelength region extending from the surface of Mars to 80-km altitude. The observations have a vertical resolution of 5 km, or one-half the atmospheric scale height. From these radiance profiles we will retrieve profiles of atmospheric temperature, pressure, and the amounts of dust, condensates and water vapor. In addition, PMIRR will measure the radiative balance of the polar regions of Mars in an effort to better understand the short-term climate variability of the planet. The information obtained with PMIRR on MCO will be complementary to data obtained by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Radio Science (RS) experiments on the Mars Global Surveyor. A major emphasis of our research will be the assimilation of PMIRR data into numerical models of the Martian atmosphere. Assimilation schemes, of which several are currently in development, will permit the extension of measurements to spatial and temporal scales and to phenomena (e.g. winds) not observed directly by PMIRR.

  15. Mass Loss of Glaciers and Ice Caps From GRACE During 2002-2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciraci, E.; Velicogna, I.; Wahr, J. M.; Swenson, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    We use time series of time-variable gravity from the NASA/DLR GRACE mission using a mascon approach to estimate the ice mass balance of the Earth's Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps (GICs), excluding the Antarctic and the Greenland peripheral glaciers, between January 2003 and October 2014. We estimate a total ice mass loss equal to -217 ± 33 Gt/yr, equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.6±0.09 mm/yr. The global signal is driven by a few regions, contributing to almost of 75% of the total ice mass loss. Among these areas, the main contributor is the Canadian Arctic Archipelago with a total mass loss of -75 ± 9 Gt/yr, followed by Alaska (-51 ± 10 Gt/yr), Patagonia (-26 ± 10 Gt/yr) and the High Mountains of Asia (-25 ± 13 Gt/yr). The mass loss for most of the arctic regions is not constant, but accelerates with time. The Canadian Archipelago, in particular, undergoes a strong acceleration in mass waste (-7±1 Gt/yr2). The signal acceleration is mainly driven by the northern located Queen Elisabeth Islands (-4.5 ± 0.6 Gt/yr2). A similar behavior is observed for Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. In this second case, however, we observe an enhanced mass loss starting from the second decade of the 21st century after a period of nearly stable mass balance. The observed acceleration helps reconcile regional ice mass estimates obtained for different time periods.

  16. The use of airborne radar reflectometry to establish snow/firn density distribution on Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic: A path to understanding complex heterogeneous internal layering patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutishauser, A.; Grima, C.; Sharp, M. J.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    The internal layer stratigraphy of polar ice sheets revealed by airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) contains valuable information about past ice sheet mass balance and dynamics. Internal layers in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are considered to be isochrones and are continuous over several hundreds of kilometres. In contrast, internal layers in Canadian Arctic ice caps appear to be very heterogeneous and fragmentary, consisting of highly discontinuous layers that can be traced over only a few to several tens of kilometres. Internal layers most likely relate to former ice surfaces (the upper few meters of snow/firn), the properties which are directly influenced by atmospheric conditions including the air temperature, precipitation rate, and prevailing wind pattern. We hypothesize that the heterogeneous and complex nature of layers in the Canadian Arctic results from highly variable snow and firn conditions at the surface. Characterizing surface properties such as variations in the snow/firn density from dry to wet snow/firn, as well as high-density shallow ice layers and lenses of refrozen water can help to elucidate the complex internal layer pattern in the Canadian Arctic ice caps. Estimates of the snow/firn surface density and roughness can be derived from reflectance and scattering information using the surface radar returns from RES measurements. Here we present estimates of the surface snow/firn density distribution over Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian Arctic derived by the Radar Statistical Reconnaissance (RSR) methodology (Grima et al., 2014, Planetary & Space Sciences) using data collected by recent airborne radar sounding programs. The RSR generates estimates of the statistical distribution of surface echo amplitudes over defined areas along a survey transect. The derived distributions are best-fitted with a theoretical stochastic envelope, parameterized with the signal reflectance and scattering, in order to separate those two components. Finally

  17. Effect of high-latitude ionospheric convection on Sun-aligned polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sojka, J. J.; Zhu, L.; Crain, D. J.; Schunk, R. W.

    1994-01-01

    A coupled magnetospheric-ionospheric (M-I) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model has been used to simulate the formation of Sun-aligned polar cap arcs for a variety of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) dependent polar cap convection fields. The formation process involves launching an Alfven shear wave from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere where the ionospheric conductance can react self-consistently to changes in the upward currents. We assume that the initial Alfven shear wave is the result of solar wind-magnetosphere interactions. The simulations show how the E region density is affected by the changes in the electron precipitation that are associated with the upward currents. These changes in conductance lead to both a modified Alfven wave reflection at the ionosphere and the generation of secondary Alfven waves in the ionosphere. The ensuing bouncing of the Alfven waves between the ionosphere and magnetosphere is followed until an asymptotic solution is obtained. At the magnetosphere the Alfven waves reflect at a fixed boundary. The coupled M-I Sun-aligned polar cap arc model of Zhu et al.(1993a) is used to carry out the simulations. This study focuses on the dependence of the polar cap arc formation on the background (global) convection pattern. Since the polar cap arcs occur for northward and strong B(sub y) IMF conditions, a variety of background convection patterns can exist when the arcs are present. The study shows that polar cap arcs can be formed for all these convection patterns; however, the arc features are dramatically different for the different patterns. For weak sunward convection a relatively confined single pair of current sheets is associated with the imposed Alfven shear wave structure. However, when the electric field exceeds a threshold, the arc structure intensifies, and the conductance increases as does the local Joule heating rate. These increases are faster than a linear dependence on the background electric field strength. Furthermore

  18. Coeval fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet and a local ice cap during the Younger Dryas: implications for late-glacial climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Laura; Kelly, Meredith; Lowell, Tom; Hall, Brenda; Howley, Jennifer; Smith, Colby

    2016-04-01

    Although the Younger Dryas (YD) has been recorded in ice cores atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, past glacier extents on Greenland dating to the YD are rare. In part, this is due to much of the Greenland Ice Sheet being located offshore until early Holocene time. The Scoresby Sund region (~71°N, 26°W) of central East Greenland, however, is one of only a few locations where the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers independent of the ice sheet were located at least partially on land by late-glacial time. In this region, two distinct sets of moraines, known as the inner and outer Milne Land Stade moraines, have been defined and mark a significant readvance or stillstand during deglaciation from the last glacial maximum. Previous work has dated these moraines to late-glacial and early Holocene time. We present a new 10Be chronology on fluctuations of both the Greenland Ice Sheet and the adjacent Milne Land ice cap from the type locality of the Milne Land Stade moraines in Milne Land. 10Be ages of boulders on bedrock distal to the inner Milne Land Stade moraines range from 12.3 to 11.5 ka and indicate that both ice masses retreated during the YD, likely in response to rising summer temperatures. Since Greenland ice-cores register cold mean annual temperatures throughout the YD, these ice-marginal data support climate conditions characterized by strong seasonality. The mean ages (± 1σ uncertainty) of the inner Milne Land Stade moraines date to 11.4 ± 0.8 ka (Greenland Ice Sheet) and 11.4 ± 0.6 ka (ice cap) indicating that they were formed during Preboreal time or at the end of the YD. Based on these coeval moraine ages, we suggest that both ice masses responded to climate conditions acting on the ice margins, specifically ablation. Moreover, our data show that the ice sheet responded sensitively (i.e., on the same time scale as a small ice cap) to late-glacial and early Holocene climate conditions.

  19. Macroscale modeling and mesoscale observations of plasma density structures in the polar cap

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, S.; Basu, S.; Sojka, J.J.

    1995-04-15

    The seasonal and UT variation of mesoscale structures (10 km - 100 m) in the central polar cap has been obtained from an analysis of 250-MHz intensity scintillation observations made at Thule, Greenland. It has been established earlier that mesoscale structures causing scintillations of satellite signals may develop at the edges of macroscale structures (several hundred km) such as discrete polar cap plasma density enhancements or patches through the gradient drift instability process. As such, the authors examined the seasonal and UT variation of polar cap patches simulated by using the USU Time Dependent Ionospheric Model (TDIM) under conditions of southward B{sub z}. A fairly remarkable similarity is found between the scintillation observations and the model predictions of patch occurrence. For instance, both the patch and scintillation occurrences are minimized during the winter solstice (northern hemisphere) between 0800-1200 UT while also having their largest seasonal intensity between 2000-2400 UT. Little UT dependence of patches and scintillations is seen at equinox with high intensity being observed throughout the day, while during local summer the intensity of macroscale patches and mesoscale irregularities are found to be a minimum at all UT. These results indicate that macroscale features in the polar cap are routinely associated with plasma instabilities giving rise to smaller scale structures and that the specific patch formation mechanism assumed in the simulation is consistent with the observations. This ability to bridge between macroscale modeling and mesoscale observations provides a natural framework for the modeling of mesoscale structures themselves. This mesoscale modeling, in turn, can be utilized in a variety of radar and communication systems applications in the polar region. 25 refs., 3 figs.

  20. Stratigraphic features of firn as proxy climate signals at the summit ice cap of Ushkovsky volcano, Kamchatka, Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Shiraiwa, Takayuki; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Muravyev, Y.D.

    1997-11-01

    Field observations were conducted at the summit ice cap of the Ushkovsky volcano, central Kamchatka, in the summer of 1996, in order to evaluate the potential of the ice cap for reconstruction of the past climate over Kamchatka. A 27-m-long firn-core contains an approximate 27-yr record of net balance with an average accumulation rate of 0.57 m a{sup -1} water equivalent. The temperature of the firn is -16.5{degrees}C at 10-m depth. Average annual accumulation rates are calculated by reference to dated ash layers and amount to between 0.38 and 0.88 m a{sup -1} during six fixed periods. Depth and age of pore close-off are calculated as 58 m and 66 yr at this site by empirical formulas. Comparisons of the accumulation rates with winter precipitation at lowland stations indicate that there is a positive relationship with winter precipitation on the eastern and western coasts of the peninsula. We cannot find a clear relation between the rates and annual average sea-ice extent in the Sea of Okhotsk, which implies the vapor source to the ice cap could have been the North Pacific. Melt feature percentage in the firn core displays a clear positive relationship with summer air temperature at 700 hPa over Kamchatka. The result obtained suggests that the ice cap has potential for the reconstruction of paleoclimate over the Kamchatka Peninsula. 15 refs., 9 figs.

  1. Recent changes at the northwest margin of the Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island, N. W. T. , Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, J.D. ); Heron, R. ); Luther, J.E. )

    1993-11-01

    A climate change monitoring site has been established at the northwest margin of the Barnes Ice Cap, in the vicinity of the Lewis Glacier. Three years of climatic data (1989 to 1992) and field observations, supplemented by satellite imagery, provide the basis for updating previous studies of local change at the ice cap margin, including climatology and substrate colonization by lichens. Climatic data from the ice cap summit permit extrapolation of seasonal temperatures from the ice marginal station as a basis for equilibrium line altitude estimates. Results are discussed against the background of studies from the 1960s. Retreat of the Lewis Glacier continues at about 25 m yr[sup [minus]1], whereas other areas of the northwest margin are retreating by 10 to 30 m yr[sup [minus]1]. Lower regional summer temperatures over the past three decades have not significantly slowed the recession that has been underway in this sector of the ice cap for the past three centuries. 41 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. The 1997 Spring Regression of the Martian South Polar Cap: Mars Orbiter Camera Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, P. B.; Cantor, B. A.; Edgett, K.; Malin, M. C.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars Orbiter Cameras on Mars Global Surveyor observed the south polar cap of Mars during its spring recession in 1997. The images acquired by the Wide Angle Cameras reveal a pattern of recession that is qualitatively similar to that observed by Viking in 1977 but that does differ in at least two respects. The 1977 recession in the 0 deg to 120 deg longitude sector was accelerated relative to the 1997 observations after LS = 240 deg the Mountains of Mitchel also detached from the main cap earlier in 1997. Comparison of the MOC images with MOLA data shows that the Mountains of Mitchel feature is controlled by local topography. Relatively dark, low albedo regions well within the boundaries of the seasonal cap were observed to have red to violet ratios that characterize them as frost units rather than unfrosted or partially frosted ground; this suggests the possibility of regions covered by CO2 frost having different grain sizes.

  3. Massive CO2 Ice Deposits Sequestered in the South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, Roger J.; Davis, Brian J.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Byrne, Shane; Mellon, Michael T.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Haberle, Robert M.; Kahre, Melinda A.; Campbell, Bruce A.; Carter, Lynn M.; Smith, Isaac B.; Holt, John W.; Smrekar, Suzanne E.; Nunes, Daniel C.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Egan, Anthony F.; Titus, Timothy N.; Seu, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    Shallow Radar soundings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal a buried deposit of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice within the south polar layered deposits of Mars with a volume of 9500 to 12,500 cubic kilometers, about 30 times that previously estimated for the south pole residual cap. The deposit occurs within a stratigraphic unit that is uniquely marked by collapse features and other evidence of interior CO2 volatile release. If released into the atmosphere at times of high obliquity, the CO2 reservoir would increase the atmospheric mass by up to 80%, leading to more frequent and intense dust storms and to more regions where liquid water could persist without boiling.

  4. Massive CO₂ ice deposits sequestered in the south polar layered deposits of Mars.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Roger J; Davis, Brian J; Tanaka, Kenneth L; Byrne, Shane; Mellon, Michael T; Putzig, Nathaniel E; Haberle, Robert M; Kahre, Melinda A; Campbell, Bruce A; Carter, Lynn M; Smith, Isaac B; Holt, John W; Smrekar, Suzanne E; Nunes, Daniel C; Plaut, Jeffrey J; Egan, Anthony F; Titus, Timothy N; Seu, Roberto

    2011-05-13

    Shallow Radar soundings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal a buried deposit of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) ice within the south polar layered deposits of Mars with a volume of 9500 to 12,500 cubic kilometers, about 30 times that previously estimated for the south pole residual cap. The deposit occurs within a stratigraphic unit that is uniquely marked by collapse features and other evidence of interior CO(2) volatile release. If released into the atmosphere at times of high obliquity, the CO(2) reservoir would increase the atmospheric mass by up to 80%, leading to more frequent and intense dust storms and to more regions where liquid water could persist without boiling. PMID:21512003

  5. Mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps 2003-2008 from ICESat data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolch, Tobias; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Mölg, Nico; Machguth, Horst; Rastner, Philipp; Paul, Frank

    2013-04-01

    The melt water of the glaciers and ice caps (GIC) on Greenland could make a substantial contribution to global sea-level rise during this century. The recently finalized Greenland glacier inventory classified all GIC according to its connectivity to the ice sheet (CL0: no connection, CL1: weak connection, CL2: strong connection). This dataset allowed us for the first time to determine their mass changes separately from the ice sheet using space-borne laser altimetry data from the ICESat GLAS sensor. The accuracy of the altimetry measurements of about ±0.5 m even over rough surfaces along with their small footprint (about 70 m) is making them very suitable to assess elevation changes over GIC. A major challenge with ICESat data is the sparse density of the tracks (horizontal separation is about 30 km in southern and ~10 km in northern Greenland), and the fact that the repeat tracks can be several hundred metres apart. A further challenge is the volume to mass conversion. We extrapolated the elevation changes based on the glacier hypsometry and applied corrections for firn compaction and ice density based on climatic conditions. The Greenland GIC which are clearly separable from the ice-sheet (CL0, CL1) lost 30.1 ± 9.4 Gt a-1 or 0.08 ± 0.026 mm a-1 sea-level equivalent (SLE) between 2003 and 2008. When considering all hydrologically separable GIC (CL0-2, including the Geikie Plateau) the loss is 46.8 ± 13.4 Gt a-1 (0.12 ± 0.038 mm a-1 SLE). This is a significant fraction (about 20%) of the reported overall mass loss of Greenland (including the ice sheet) and up to 10% of the estimated contribution from the world's GIC to global sea-level rise. The mass loss of the GIC is per unit area about 2.5 times higher than for the ice sheet, and marine-terminating glaciers account for about half of the mass loss. The loss was highest in the south-eastern sector and lowest in the northern sector of Greenland.

  6. Seasonal Variation of Martian Polar Caps: 1999 and 2001 MOC Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, P. B.; Benson, J. L.; Cantor, B. A.

    2003-01-01

    The seasonal Martian polar caps wax and wane in response to condensation and sublimation of carbon dioxide resulting from seasonal insolation changes on Mars. Numerous data exist on observations of the recession or sublimation phases in the visible portion of the spectrum for the last two centuries. William Herschel published the first quantitative observations of the seasonal recession of the Martian polar caps in 1784. During the next 180 years, ground based observers used a variety of techniques to observe recessions; Slipher summarized these observations in 1962, on the eve of the first space exploration of Mars. Portions of the seasonal cycles of the surface caps that were observed by Mariners 7 and 9 and by Viking as well as ground based studies from 1971-1988 by the International Planetary Patrol were summarized in a review article following the Fourth International Conference on Mars in 1989. Hubble Space Telescope observed points in the seasonal recessions of the south and north caps during the 1990 s. Differences between different Martian regressions have been reported in the past; but, because many of the relevant data sets are localized in longitude, at least some of these results could be an artifact introduced by the considerable longitudinal asymmetry that observed during recessions.

  7. Effects of interplanetary magnetic field azimuth on auroral zone and polar cap magnetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burch, J. L.

    1972-01-01

    During relatively quiet times in the period 1964-1968, AE is found to be greater when the interplanetary magnetic field (b sub IMF) is directed toward the sun in Jan., Feb., and Apr., and when B sub IMF is directed away from the sun in Oct. to Dec. Using Murmansk hourly H values and the AE components, AU and AL, it is shown that this sector dependence is present only in the negative H deviations. This observation supports the idea that negative bay magnitudes are determined chiefly by particle-produced ionization, while positive bay magnitudes are rather insensitive to increases in particle precipitation. The ratio of DP2-type magnetic activity in the southern polar cap to that in the northern polar cap is found to be greater by a factor of about 1.75 for B sub IMF toward the sun.

  8. Earth's ion upflow associated with polar cap patches: Global and in situ observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qing-He; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Lockwood, Michael; Heelis, Roderick A.; Hairston, Marc; Liang, Jun; McCrea, Ian; Zhang, Bei-Chen; Moen, Jøran; Zhang, Shun-Rong; Zhang, Yong-Liang; Ruohoniemi, J. Michael; Lester, Mark; Thomas, Evan G.; Liu, Rui-Yuan; Dunlop, Malcolm W.; Liu, Yong C.-M.; Ma, Yu-Zhang

    2016-03-01

    We report simultaneous global monitoring of a patch of ionization and in situ observation of ion upflow at the center of the polar cap region during a geomagnetic storm. Our observations indicate strong fluxes of upwelling O+ ions originating from frictional heating produced by rapid antisunward flow of the plasma patch. The statistical results from the crossings of the central polar cap region by Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F16-F18 from 2010 to 2013 confirm that the field-aligned flow can turn upward when rapid antisunward flows appear, with consequent significant frictional heating of the ions, which overcomes the gravity effect. We suggest that such rapidly moving patches can provide an important source of upwelling ions in a region where downward flows are usually expected. These observations give new insight into the processes of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling.

  9. The CAMEO barium release - E/parallel/ fields over the polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heppner, J. P.; Miller, M. L.; Pongratz, M. B.; Smith, G. M.; Smith, L. L.; Mende, S. B.; Nath, N. R.

    1981-01-01

    Four successive thermite barium releases at an altitude of 965 km over polar cap invariant latitudes 84 to 76 deg near magnetic midnight were conducted from the orbiting second stage of the vehicle that launched Nimbus 7; the releases were made as part of the CAMEO (Chemically Active Material Ejected in Orbit) program. This was the first opportunity to observe the behavior of conventional barium release when conducted at orbital velocity in the near-earth magnetic field. The principal unexpected characteristic in the release dynamics was the high, 1.4 to 2.6 km/s, initial Ba(+) expansion velocity relative to an expected velocity of 0.9 km/s. Attention is also given to neutral cloud expansion, initial ion cloud expansion, convective motion, and the characteristics of field-aligned motion. The possibility of measuring parallel electric fields over the polar cap by observing perturbations in the motion of the visible ions is assessed.

  10. Auroral-polar cap environment and its impact on spacecraft plasma interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrett, H. B.

    1985-01-01

    The high density of the plasma at shuttle altitude is likely to increase greatly the possibility of arcing and shorting of exposed high voltage surfaces. For military missions over the polar caps and through the auoroal zones, the added hazards of high energy auroral particle fluxes or solar flares will further increase the hazard to shuttle, its crew, and its mission. A review of the role that the auroral and polar cap environment play in causing these interactions was conducted. A simple, though comprehensive attempt at modelling the shuttle environment at 400 km will be described that can be used to evaluate the importance of the interactions. The results of this evaluation are then used to define areas where adequate environmental measurements will be necessary if a true spacecraft interactions technology is to be developed for the shuttle.

  11. A new type of Doppler velocity fluctuations in HF ground scatter from the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scoular, G.; Ponomarenko, P. V.; St.-Maurice, J. P.

    2013-10-01

    We report a new type of variations in Doppler velocity of HF ground scatter echoes from the polar cap at f˜10 mHz. Similar fluctuations from lower latitudes are usually associated with large-scale dayside Pc3-4 ULF waves. However, the polar cap oscillations exhibit a puzzling anisotropy in spatial coherence along and across the radar's line of sight. Furthermore, in contrast to Pc3-4 waves, these fluctuations show no ground magnetic signatures and display a pronounced gap in power/occurrence around local noon. We hypothesize that localized, ≤100 km, auroral particle precipitations near the radar site can modulate Doppler shift of the radio waves entering the ionosphere. In the ground scatter returns, due to the geometrical spread of the rays propagating through the ionosphere to the ground, these variations would appear to have a much larger line-of-sight scale.

  12. Rapid thinning of the Welsh Ice Cap at 20-19 ka based on 10Be ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip D.; Glasser, Neil F.; Fink, David

    2016-01-01

    New 10Be ages from the summits of three mountain areas of North Wales reveal a very similar exposure timing as the Welsh Ice Cap thinned after the global Last Glacial Maximum. Eight bedrock and one boulder sample gave a combined arithmetic mean exposure age of 19.08 ± 0.80 ka (4.2%, 1σ). Similar exposure ages over a 320 m vertical range (824 to 581 m altitude) show that ice cap thinning was very rapid and spatially uniform. Using the same production rate and scaling scheme, we recalculated six published 10Be exposure ages from the nearby Arans, which also covered a similar elevation range from 608 to 901 m and obtained an arithmetic mean of 19.41 ± 1.45 ka (7.5%, 1σ). The average exposure age of all 15 accepted deglaciation ages is 19.21 ± 1.07 (5.6%, 1σ). The complete dataset from North Wales provides very strong evidence indicating that these summits became exposed as nunataks at 20-19 ka. This result provides important insight to the magnitude of ice surface lowering and behavior of the Welsh Ice Cap during the last deglaciation that can be compared to other ice masses that made up the British-Irish Ice Sheet.

  13. Pipeline under the arctic ice: the Polar Gas Project

    SciTech Connect

    Kaustinen, O.M.

    1982-06-01

    The Polar Gas Project was established in 1972 to determine the best means of moving frontier natural gas from Canada's high arctic to southern markets. Pipeline was found to be most feasible. Several pipeline routings from two major supply areas--the MacKenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea region, and the Sverdrup Basin of the Arctic Islands--have been considered. Field programs to determine the type and ice content of soils along the route have been undertaken. The most challenging engineering aspect will be two marine crossings in arctic waters at either end of Victoria Island, at Dolphin and Union Strait, and at McClure's strait. The ''Ice Hole Bottom Pull'' technique has been recommended, and is illustrated in detail. The planned pipeline demonstration would significantly enhance the current state-of-the-art for deepwater pipelining worldwide.

  14. MRO CRISM Investigation of Hydrated Materials Associated with the North Polar Residual Cap on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seelos, F. P.; Seelos, K. D.; Murchie, S. L.; Titus, T. N.; Calvin, W. M.; CRISM Team

    2007-12-01

    The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is a visible and near infrared hyperspectral imager with 544 channels from 362 to 3920 nm (6.55 nm spectral sampling). The MRO Primary Science Phase (PSP) began at Ls ~ 130° allowing for significant data acquisition at the high northern latitudes in advance of deteriorating atmospheric and illumination conditions. As a result of early PSP science priorities and operational constraints, the majority of the CRISM data acquired at that time were multispectral survey (200 m/pxl; 73 channel) observations. This allowed for the generation of a nearly complete multispectral survey mosaic for the north polar residual cap and the surrounding terrain (>75° latitude). CRISM multispectral mapping mosaics and related analysis products for the high northern latitudes reveal hydrated material within a number of troughs and reentrants into the north polar residual cap, as inferred from the depth and spatial coherency of the 1.9 μm absorption band. Although the identification of the hydrated exposures occurred after the close of the observing season at the high northern latitudes, a limited number of CRISM hyperspectral targeted (20-40 m/pxl; 544 channel) and multispectral window (100 m/pxl; 73 channel) observations were acquired at these locations. The higher spatial resolution data show that the hydration signature is most commonly associated with low-albedo dunes -- both in the vicinity of the Olympia Undae gypsum-bearing sand sea, and in distant polar cap reentrants. The ongoing evaluation of high resolution hyperspectral CRISM observations of hydrated materials in the vicinity of the north polar residual cap and further refinement of the multispectral mapping spectral analysis products will contribute to the targeting and acquisition of additional CRISM observations in the upcoming full northern summer of MRO operations.

  15. Comparison of auroral latitude convection to central polar cap convection. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, W. A.; Amata, E.

    2013-12-01

    The SuperDARN radar at McMurdo station has been providing convection observations in the central polar cap since January 2010. The Antarctic magnetic pole lies in the center of the radar field of view at about 1000 km range, which is optimum for convection observations. A new pair of SuperDARN radars was constructed in the Antarctic summer of 2012/2013, which add highly complimentary fields of view. The radars, one located at the Italian station at Dome-C, and one located at the US South Pole Station, are directed into a region directly equatorward of the McMurdo field of view. The radars came on line in late January 2013 and are producing excellent convection observations. This paper presents initial results combining the three radar's convection observations. Intervals when the IMF clock angle was between 135 and 225 for periods of more than an hour were selected for study. Just under 50 hours of observations met this criteria since the radars began operation. Convection vectors were formed using the standard SuperDARN algorithm [Ruohoniemi and Baker, 1998] and the auroral-zone flows were compared to those in the central polar cap. Central polar cap flows are typically spatially uniform though highly variable in time, even though the lower latitude observations were spatially structured. The central polar cap average flow velocity is less than 500 m/s, though it often exceeds 1000 m/s. Conditions that lead to the high-speed flow are presented. In addition, correlation with the IMF and solar wind are presented. At times the correlation exceeds 80% while at others it is near zero.

  16. Influence of polar-cap albedo on past and current Martian climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kieffer, Hugh H.; Paige, David A.

    1987-01-01

    The finding that the observed albedo of the Martian polar caps increase with increasing isolation is reviewed. Models of the Martian climate system are greatly stabilized when an insolation-dependent frost albedo instead of a constant albedo is used in the energy budget. The authors views on microphysics of the process is then presented. Long term climate models must account for the variability of CO2 frost albedo.

  17. Polar cap patches observed during the magnetic storm of November 2003: observations and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valladares, C. E.; Pedersen, T.; Sheehan, R.

    2015-09-01

    We present multi-instrumented measurements and multi-technique analysis of polar cap patches observed early during the recovery phase of the major magnetic storm of 20 November 2003 to investigate the origin of the polar cap patches. During this event, the Qaanaaq imager observed elongated polar cap patches, some of which containing variable brightness; the Qaanaaq digisonde detected abrupt NmF2 fluctuations; the Sondrestrom incoherent scatter radar (ISR) measured patches placed close to but poleward of the auroral oval-polar cap boundary; and the DMSP-F13 satellite intersected topside density enhancements, corroborating the presence of the patches seen by the imager, the digisonde, and the Sondrestrom ISR. A 2-D cross-correlation analysis was applied to series of two consecutive red-line images, indicating that the magnitude and direction of the patch velocities were in good agreement with the SuperDARN convection patterns. We applied a back-tracing analysis to the patch locations and found that most of the patches seen between 20:41 and 21:29 UT were likely transiting the throat region near 19:41 UT. Inspection of the SuperDARN velocities at this time indicates spatial and temporal collocation of a gap region between patches and large (1.7 km s-1) line-of-sight velocities. The variable airglow brightness of the patches observed between 20:33 and 20:43 UT was investigated using the numerical Global Theoretical Ionospheric Model (GTIM) driven by the SuperDARN convection patterns and a variable upward/downward neutral wind. Our numerical results indicate that variations in the airglow intensity up to 265 R can be produced by a constant 70 m s-1 downward vertical wind.

  18. Multi-instrument, high-resolution imaging of polar cap patch transportation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, E. G.; Hosokawa, K.; Sakai, J.; Baker, J. B. H.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Taguchi, S.; Shiokawa, K.; Otsuka, Y.; Coster, A. J.; St.-Maurice, J.-P.; McWilliams, K. A.

    2015-09-01

    Transionospheric radio signals in the high-latitude polar cap are susceptible to degradation when encountering sharp electron density gradients associated with discrete plasma structures, or patches. Multi-instrument measurements of polar cap patches are examined during a geomagnetic storm interval on 22 January 2012. For the first time, we monitor the transportation of patches with high spatial and temporal resolution across the polar cap for 1-2 h using a combination of GPS total electron content (TEC), all-sky airglow imagers (ASIs), and Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radar backscatter. Simultaneous measurements from these data sets allow for continuous tracking of patch location, horizontal extent, and velocity despite adverse observational conditions for the primary technique (e.g., sunlit regions in the ASI data). Spatial collocation between patch-like features in relatively coarse but global GPS TEC measurements and those mapped by high-resolution ASI data was very good, indicating that GPS TEC can be applied to track patches continuously as they are transported across the polar cap. In contrast to previous observations of cigar-shaped patches formed under weakly disturbed conditions, the relatively narrow dawn-dusk extent of patches in the present interval (500-800 km) suggests association with a longitudinally confined plasma source region, such as storm-enhanced density (SED) plume. SuperDARN observations show that the backscatter power enhancements corresponded to the optical patches, and for the first time we demonstrate that the motion of the optical patches was consistent with background plasma convection velocities.

  19. Surface energy balance measurements and modeling on the ice cap of King George Island, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falk, U.; Braun, M.; Sala, H.; Menz, G.

    2012-04-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is amongst the fastest warming places on Earth and further temperature increase is to be expected. It has undergone rapid environmental changes in the past decades. Exceptional rates of surface air temperature increases (2.5K in 50 years) are concurrent with retreating glacier fronts, an increase in melt areas, surface lowering and rapid retreat, break-up and disintegration of ice shelves. The South Shetland Islands are located on the northern tip of the Peninsula and are especially vulnerable to climate change due to their maritime climate. For King George Island we have compiled a unique data set comprising direct measurements of evaporation and sensible heat flux by eddy covariance on the Warszawa Icefield for the austral summers November 2010 to March 2011 and January to February 2012 in combination with a fully equipped automated weather station measuring long- and short-wave radiation components, profiles of temperature, humidity and wind velocities as well as glacier ice temperatures in profile. The combination with the eddy covariance data allows for analysis of variability and seasonality of surface energy balance components on a glacier for an entire year. Repeat measurements of surface lowering at different locations on King George Island are used for analysis of multi-sensor satellite data to identify melt patterns and bare ice areas during summer. In combination with long-term time series of weather data, these data give indication of the sensitivity of the inland ice cap to the ongoing changes. This research is part of the ESF project IMCOAST funded by BMBF. Field work was carried out at the Dallmann laboratory (Jubany, King George Island) in cooperation of the Instituto Antartico Argentino (Argentina) and the Alfred-Wegener Institute (German).

  20. Periodic creation of polar cap patches from auroral transients in the cusp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, K.; Taguchi, S.; Ogawa, Y.

    2016-06-01

    On 24 November 2012, an interval of polar cap patches was identified by an all-sky airglow imager located near the dayside cusp. During the interval, the successive appearance of poleward moving auroral forms (PMAFs) was detected, which are known to represent ionospheric manifestations of pulsed magnetic reconnections at the dayside magnetopause. All of the patches observed during the interval appeared from these transient auroral features (i.e., there was a one-to-one correspondence between PMAFs and newly created baby patches). This fact strongly suggests that patches can be directly and seamlessly created from a series of PMAFs. The optical intensities of the baby patches were 100-150 R, which is slightly lower than typical patch luminosity on the nightside and may imply that PMAF-induced patches are generally low density. The generation of such patches could be explained by impact ionization due to soft particle precipitation into PMAFs traces. In spite of the faint signature of the baby patches, two coherent HF radars of the SuperDARN network observed backscatter echoes in the central polar cap, which represented signatures of plasma irregularities associated with the baby patches. These indicate that patches created from PMAFs have the potential to affect the satellite communications environment in the central polar cap region.

  1. Scintillation and irregularities from the nightside part of a Sun-aligned polar cap arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meeren, Christer; Oksavik, Kjellmar; Lorentzen, Dag A.; Paxton, Larry J.; Clausen, Lasse B. N.

    2016-06-01

    In this paper we study the presence of irregularities and scintillation in relation to the nightside part of a long-lived, Sun-aligned transpolar arc on 15 January 2015. The arc was observed in DMSP UV and particle data and lasted at least 3 h between 1700 and 2000 UT. The arc was more intense than the main oval during this time. From all-sky imagers on Svalbard we were able to study the evolution of the arc, which drifted slowly westward toward the dusk cell. The intensity of the arc as observed from ground was 10-17 kR in 557.7 nm and 2-3.5 kR in 630.0 nm, i.e., significant emissions in both green and red emission lines. We have used high-resolution raw data from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) receivers and backscatter from Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radars to study irregularities and scintillation in relation to the polar cap arc. Even though the literature has suggested that polar cap arcs are potential sources for irregularities, our results indicate only very weak irregularities. This may be due to the background density in the northward IMF polar cap being too low for significant irregularities to be created.

  2. Polar Cap Pair Production for an Axisymmetric Pulsar Requires General Relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belyaev, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    Using an analytical approach coupled to a condition for pair production derived from particle in cell simulations, we show that pair production by curvature photons on magnetic field lines at the polar cap is inactive if general relativity is ignored. In particular, general relativisitic frame-dragging lowers the value of the Goldreich-Julian density at the polar cap compared to its value for a flat spacetime. This leads to a region of space-like current near the surface of the neutron star where pair production is possible.However, even when general relativity is included, we show analytically that pair production on magnetic field lines is suppressed near the outer edge of the polar cap. This leads to the possibility of a ``vacuum" region of unscreened parallel electric field on open field lines near the last open field line. Such a vacuum region has indeed been observed in particle in cell simulations of the pulsar magnetosphere.Because of the generality of our analytical approach (which does not assume a dipolar surface field), our conclusions are true independent of the detailed structure of the magnetic field at the surface of the neutron star. We confirm our analytical results by comparing them to force-free simulations of a pulsar with a dipolar surface field.

  3. Evaluation of glacier mass balance by observing variations in transient snowline positions. [Jostedalsbreen ice cap, Norway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oestrem, G. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The transient snowline on five outlet glaciers from the Jostedalsbreen ice-cap in Southwestern Norway could be determined from ERTS-1 image 1336-10260, when bands MSS 5, 6, and 7 were combined in an additive color viewer. The snowline was situated at a very low altitude at the time of imagery (24 June 1973) indicating that glacier melt was behind normal schedule, a fact that has a hydrologic bearing: one could expect less melt water in the streams. The idea to use ERTS-1 imagery in snowline determinations proved realistic and relatively easy to apply in practice. The method will be useful to estimate the glaciers' mass balance for large areas, provided some ground truth observations are made. Images from the end of the melt season are of course vital in this work.

  4. Ice cap melting and low viscosity crustal root explain narrow geodetic uplift of the Western Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chery, Jean; Genti, Manon; Vernant, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    More than 10 years of geodetic measurements demonstrate an uplift rate of 1-3 mm/yr of the high topography region of the Western Alps. By contrast, no significant horizontal motion has been detected. Three uplift mechanisms have been proposed so far: (1) the isostatic response to denudation. However this process is responsible for only a fraction of the observed uplift and (2) the rebound induced by the Wurmian ice cap melting. This process leads to a broader uplifting region than the one evidenced by geodetic observations. (3) a deep source motion associated with slab motion or some deep isostatic unbalance. Using a numerical model accounting for crustal and mantle rheology of the Alps and its foreland, we model the response to Wurmian ice cap melting. We show that a crustal viscosity contrast between the foreland and the central part of the Alps, the later being weaker with a viscosity of 1021 Pa.s, is needed to produce a narrow uplift. The vertical rates are enhanced if the strong uppermost mantle beneath the Moho is interrupted across the Alps, therefore allowing a weak vertical rheological anomaly thanks to the continuity between the low viscosity parts of the crust and mantle. References: Champagnac, J.-D., F. Schlunegger, K. Norton, F. von Blanckenburg, L. M. Abbühl, and M. Schwab (2009), Erosion-driven uplift of the modern Central Alps, Tectonophysics, 474(1-2), 236-249. Vernant, P., F. Hivert, J. Chéry, P. Steer, R. Cattin, and A. Rigo (2013), Erosion-induced isostatic rebound triggers extension in low convergent mountain ranges, geology, 41(4), 467-470.

  5. Effects of Polar Cap Absorption of Energetic Particles on December 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitriev, A. V.; Yeh, H. C.; Tsai, L. C.

    2009-05-01

    Ionization effects produced at the northern polar ionosphere and upper atmosphere by energetic particles during December 2006 were studied. That period was accompanied by several solar flares and solar energetic particle (SEP) events as well as by several weak and one strong magnetic storms. Fluxes and spectra of energetic protons and electrons precipitating to the high-latitude and polar regions were measured by a constellation of four POES satellites at low-altitude orbit. The precipitating particles of solar, interplanetary and magnetospheric origin demonstrate different spectral properties and spatial distributions that permit us to study their dynamics separately. Magnetospheric particles are electrons having soft spectra and precipitating predominantly at auroral ionosphere. SEP together with particles accelerated at leading edge of interplanetary transients are characterized by higher energies and harder spectra. They penetrate to the magnetosphere in the polar cap region and causing abundant ionization of the lower ionosphere and upper atmosphere. Using POES data and standard models of the ionosphere and atmosphere we calculated height profiles of specific ionization produced by the SEP in the polar cap. The dynamics of SEP ionization reveals three intensifications at heights from 50 to 100 km in 7 to 8, 13 and 14 December. At the same time the ionization was measured as electron content (EC) by the COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 constellation of six satellites. That experiment provides a 3- D tomography of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere on the base of radio occultation technique, which makes use of radio signals transmitted by the GPS satellites. We found that the observed temporal and spatial patterns of EC are pretty close to the dynamics of specific ionization, produced by the SEP and in particular by the electrons. Namely, the spatial region of enhanced ionization is overlapped pretty well with the enhancements of the electrons penetrating to the bottom

  6. Ice calving and deformation from Antarctic Ice margins using RISAT-1 circular polarization SAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaprasad, P.; Rajak, D. R.; Singh, R. K.; Oza, S. R.; Sharma, R.; Kumar, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, quantification of spatial and temporal changes has been carried out between Indian Antarctic Research station Bharati and Amery ice shelf by monitoring the ice margins using RISAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Spatio-temporal change detection was carried out by comparing the feature's geographic locations from geometrically rectified SAR data from RISAT-1 (Dec. 2013), Radarsat-2 (Feb. 2013), and Antarctic Mapping Mission products of Radarsat-1 (1997 & 2000). We report large scale disintegrations at two prominent glacier tongues namely Polar Record Glacier (PRG) and Polar Times Glacier(PTG). The results are verified against in-situ ground observations made during Summer period of 33rd ISEA (Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014) and MODIS images from NSIDC archive. Polar Record Glacier Tongue (PRGT) was drastically deformed by 135.8 km2 and Polar Times Glacier Tongue (PTGT) was partly calved by ~195.6 km2 and moved away by ~23 km especially between February and December 2013.

  7. On the occurrence and motion of decametre-scale irregularities in the sub-auroral, auroral, and polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, M. L.; Devlin, J. C.; Ye, H.; Waters, C. L.; Dyson, P. L.; Breed, A. M.; Morris, R. J.

    2003-08-01

    The statistical occurrence of decametre-scale ionospheric irregularities, average line-of-sight (LOS) Doppler velocity, and Doppler spectral width in the sub-auroral, auroral, and polar cap ionosphere ( - 57°L

  8. The extent of middle Pleistocene ice cap in the coastal Dinaric Mountains of Croatia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marjanac, Tihomir; Marjanac, Ljerka

    2016-05-01

    Solitary limestone blocks and groups of blocks occur on Risnjak and Velebit Mountains and on the northern Adriatic islands of Krk and Rab. Previous researchers have interpreted some of these as a) erratic blocks, b) corrosional remnants, or c) rockfalls. We have studied their mode of occurrence and composition, and revised previous interpretations of their origin in the light of transport mechanism and depositional processes. After analyzing the context of the block positions and the physical processes responsible for their emplacement, and taking into account their sedimentological context (their association with glaciogenic sediments), we herein propose a glacial origin for most of these blocks. However, some blocks are indeed shaped by sub-soil corrosion, as evidenced by their structure. The interpreted erratic blocks on the inner northern Adriatic Sea islands document the presence of middle Pleistocene glaciation of Dinaric Mountains though not its maximal extent, which is still unclear as the ice terminus was in the area that is inundated by postglacial rise of Adriatic Sea. The reconstructed ice cap area, which extended along the coastal mountains from Risnjak Mt. to south Velebit Mt. and across the range from Lika Polje to Rab Island, is conservatively estimated to be 5400 km2.

  9. The extent of middle Pleistocene ice cap in the coastal Dinaric Mountains of Croatia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marjanac, Tihomir; Marjanac, Ljerka

    2016-05-01

    Solitary limestone blocks and groups of blocks occur on Risnjak and Velebit Mountains and on the northern Adriatic islands of Krk and Rab. Previous researchers have interpreted some of these as a) erratic blocks, b) corrosional remnants, or c) rockfalls. We have studied their mode of occurrence and composition, and revised previous interpretations of their origin in the light of transport mechanism and depositional processes. After analyzing the context of the block positions and the physical processes responsible for their emplacement, and taking into account their sedimentological context (their association with glaciogenic sediments), we herein propose a glacial origin for most of these blocks. However, some blocks are indeed shaped by sub-soil corrosion, as evidenced by their structure. The interpreted erratic blocks on the inner northern Adriatic Sea islands document the presence of middle Pleistocene glaciation of Dinaric Mountains though not its maximal extent, which is still unclear as the ice terminus was in the area that is inundated by postglacial rise of Adriatic Sea. The reconstructed ice cap area, which extended along the coastal mountains from Risnjak Mt. to south Velebit Mt. and across the range from Lika Polje to Rab Island, is conservatively estimated to be 5400 km2.

  10. Analysis of close conjunctions between dayside polar cap airglow patches and flow channels by all-sky imager and DMSP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Boyi; Nishimura, Yukitoshi; Lyons, Larry R.; Zou, Ying; Carlson, Herbert C.; Frey, Harald U.; Mende, Stephen B.

    2016-09-01

    Recent imager and radar observations in the nightside polar cap have shown evidence that polar cap patches are associated with localized flow channels. To understand how flow channels propagate from the dayside auroral oval into the polar cap, we use an all-sky imager in Antarctica and DMSP (F13, F15, F16, F17 and F18) to determine properties of density and flows associated with dayside polar cap patches. We identified 50 conjunction events during the southern winter seasons of 2007-2011. In a majority (45) of events, longitudinally narrow flow enhancements directed anti-sunward are found to be collocated with the patches, have velocities (up to a few km/s) substantially larger than the large-scale background flows (~500 m/s) and have widths comparable to patch widths (~400 km). While the patches start with poleward moving auroral forms (PMAFs) as expected, many PMAFs propagate azimuthally away from the noon over a few hours of MLT, resulting in formation of polar cap patches quite far away from the noon, as early as ~6 MLT. The MLT separation from the noon is found to be proportional to the IMF |By|. Fast polar cap flows of >~1500 m/s are predominantly seen during large IMF |By| and small |Bz|. The presence of fast, anti-sunward flow channels associated with the polar cap patches suggests that the flow channels form in the dayside auroral oval through transient reconnection and can be the source of flow channels propagating into the polar cap.

  11. Mars' water isotope (D/H) history in the strata of the North Polar Cap: Inferences about the water cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, David Andrew

    2007-04-01

    A time varying stable isotope model for the D/H history of Mars water cycle is developed with variable atmosphere, space loss rate, ground and ice cap flux rates. It considers coupled ground reservoirs and traces D/H in the air and reservoirs secularly and over obliquity cycles. The various flux rates are prescribed time variables that simulate surface flux, and solar driven space loss rates. Predicted bulk averages for the ice cap, ground ice reservoirs and atmosphere span the observed ranges reported by Mumma et al. [Mumma, M.J., Novak, R.E., DiSanti, M.A., Bonev, B., Dello Russo, N., Magee-Sauer, K., 2003. The Martian Atmosphere. Conference Reports of "Sixth International Conference on Mars Atmosphere," No. 3186]. When the dominant obliquity cycle variations are scaled so that the model delivers present seasonal variations, the present long term bulk D/H average for the ice cap is ˜+2.7 (equivalent to +1700‰ in δ(D) wrt SMOW). The obliquity driven D/H cycle in the ice cap's layers varies between 3 and 6. The smaller more accessible reservoirs have larger bulk averages with the smallest being able to reach D/H values over 9 within ˜10 years. Small hypothetical solar activity driven variations in the escape rate to space and in the fractionation constant [Krasnopolsky, V.A., Feldman, P.D., 2001. Science 294, 1914-1917] for the escape process can produce a "solar wiggle" whose D/H amplitude can reach 0.1 ( δ(D) amplitude of 100‰). Because of the temporal variability, a single modern measured atmospheric D/H ratio at a particular Ls cannot tell very much about the total water inventory of Mars. A bulk average for the Northern Ice Cap and better still a dated vertical profile of D/H from the ice cap would, however, go a long way towards illuminating the "modern" water history of Mars. The age and stability of the Northern Ice Cap and the D/H history locked in the layering is discussed. An ice cap that is very young and exchanges its mass through the

  12. Offshore Extent of the Iceland Ice Cap During the Last Glacial Maximum Inferred from Multibeam Bathymetric Data and Sediment Cores.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helgadottir, G.; Brandsdottir, B.; Geirsdottir, A.; Björnsson, H.

    2005-12-01

    The insular margin of Iceland is incised by several major troughs, which mark the pathways of outlet glaciers during the last glaciations. Multibeam bathymetric data have revealed features of glacial erosion and sedimentation pertinent to the extent of the Iceland ice cap during the Last Glacial Maximum. Marginal moraines have been identified at the southern, western and northwestern edge of the insular margin. Furthermore, glacial erosion and sedimentation along the Kolbeinsey Ridge, North Iceland, indicates that the Iceland ice cap extended beyond 67°30'N. The ridge axis is made up of various types of seamounts, crater rows and hummocky ridges whereas older seamounts have been sculptured into roche moutonnées by glacial erosion. The far extent of the ice cap to the north is also supported by sediment studies on cores that have been retrieved from the troughs on the northern and northwestern part of the insular margin. Numerous smaller moraines exist closer to land marking stepwise retreat of the ice cap during deglacial times. Such moraines have been identified at 400-500 m depth within a 3-6 km wide, U-shaped valley along the western margin of the Kolbeinsey ridge (at 66°55'N) and within many of the costal fjords. Many of the offshore features resemble those known from land, such as streamlined bedrock features elongated in the regional direction of ice flow, eskers and subglacial meltwater channels together with erosional channels possibly formed by jökulhlaups. Extensive number of ice plough marks are revealed on bank areas and landslides on the marginal slope. Fluted surfaces and subglacially formed meltwater channels suggest formation underneath fast flowing, warm-based ice streams. These newly identified glacial features reveal new information on the spatial extent, dynamics and retreat of the Iceland ice cap during the last glaciation and deglaciation. Eustatic and isostatic contributions can be predicted from models of ice sheets and mantle rheology

  13. Quantifying the mass loss of peripheral Greenland glaciers and ice caps (1958-2014).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noël, Brice; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Machguth, Horst; van den Broeke, Michiel

    2016-04-01

    Since the 2000s, mass loss from Greenland peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) has accelerated, becoming an important contributor to sea level rise. Under continued warming throughout the 21st century, GICs might yield up to 7.5 to 11 mm sea level rise, with increasing dominance of surface runoff at the expense of ice discharge. However, despite multiple observation campaigns, little remains known about the contribution of GICs to total Greenland mass loss. Furthermore, the relatively coarse resolutions in regional climate models, i.e. 5 km to 20 km, fail to represent the small scale patterns of surface mass balance (SMB) components over these topographically complex regions including also narrow valley glaciers. Here, we present a novel approach to quantify the contribution of GICs to surface melt and runoff, based on an elevation dependent downscaling method. GICs daily SMB components at 1 km resolution are obtained by statistically downscaling the outputs of RACMO2.3 at 11 km resolution to a down-sampled version of the GIMP DEM for the period 1958-2014. This method has recently been successfully validated over the Greenland ice sheet and is now applied to GICs. In this study, we first evaluate the 1 km daily downscaled GICs SMB against a newly available and comprehensive dataset of ablation stake measurements. Then, we investigate present-day trends of meltwater production and SMB for different regions and estimate GICs contribution to total Greenland mass loss. These data are considered valuable for model evaluation and prediction of future sea level rise.

  14. Microbial communities in the subglacial waters of the Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Thór Marteinsson, Viggó; Rúnarsson, Árni; Stefánsson, Andri; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Jóhannesson, Tómas; Magnússon, Sveinn H; Reynisson, Eyjólfur; Einarsson, Bergur; Wade, Nicole; Morrison, Hilary G; Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Subglacial lakes beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap in Iceland host endemic communities of microorganisms adapted to cold, dark and nutrient-poor waters, but the mechanisms by which these microbes disseminate under the ice and colonize these lakes are unknown. We present new data on this subglacial microbiome generated from samples of two subglacial lakes, a subglacial flood and a lake that was formerly subglacial but now partly exposed to the atmosphere. These data include parallel 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries constructed using novel primers that span the v3–v5 and v4–v6 hypervariable regions. Archaea were not detected in either subglacial lake, and the communities are dominated by only five bacterial taxa. Our paired libraries are highly concordant for the most abundant taxa, but estimates of diversity (abundance-based coverage estimator) in the v4–v6 libraries are 3–8 times higher than in corresponding v3–v5 libraries. The dominant taxa are closely related to cultivated anaerobes and microaerobes, and may occupy unique metabolic niches in a chemoautolithotrophic ecosystem. The populations of the major taxa in the subglacial lakes are indistinguishable (>99% sequence identity), despite separation by 6 km and an ice divide; one taxon is ubiquitous in our Vatnajökull samples. We propose that the glacial bed is connected through an aquifer in the underlying permeable basalt, and these subglacial lakes are colonized from a deeper, subterranean microbiome. PMID:22975882

  15. The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Machguth, H.; Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-12-01

    Glacier inventories provide essential baseline information for the determination of water resources, glacier-specific changes in area and volume, climate change impacts as well as past, potential and future contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Although Greenland is heavily glacierised and thus highly relevant for all of the above points, a complete inventory of its glaciers was not available so far. Here we present the results and details of a new and complete inventory that has been compiled from more than 70 Landsat scenes (mostly acquired between 1999 and 2002) using semi-automated glacier mapping techniques. A digital elevation model (DEM) was used to derive drainage divides from watershed analysis and topographic attributes for each glacier entity. To serve the needs of different user communities, we assigned to each glacier one of three connectivity levels with the ice sheet (CL0, CL1, CL2; i.e. no, weak, and strong connection) to clearly, but still flexibly, distinguish the local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) from the ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. In total, we mapped ~ 20 300 glaciers larger than 0.05 km2 (of which ~ 900 are marine terminating), covering an area of 130 076 ± 4032 km2, or 89 720 ± 2781 km2 without the CL2 GIC. The latter value is about 50% higher than the mean value of more recent previous estimates. Glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 contribute only 1.5% to the total area but more than 50% (11 000) to the total number. In contrast, the 25 largest GIC (> 500 km2) contribute 28% to the total area, but only 0.1% to the total number. The mean elevation of the GIC is 1700 m in the eastern sector and around 1000 m otherwise. The median elevation increases with distance from the coast, but has only a weak dependence on mean glacier aspect.

  16. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  17. Unloading Versus Driven Processes Derived from Auroral Energy Deposition and Polar Cap Size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M. J.; Parks, G. K.; Fillingim, M. O.; Elsen, R.; Chua, D.; Germany, G. A.; Spann, J. F., Jr.

    1998-01-01

    The intensity of far ultraviolet auroral emissions at all local times during the three substorm phases has been monitored by the Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) on the Polar spacecraft for many substorms. Changes in the energy flux and characteristic energy of the precipitating electrons can be derived from these observations by modeling of the spectral emission processes. The global and local energy deposition is a new parameter that can be used in substorm studies since it provides a measure of energy transfer from the tail to the ionosphere due to precipitating electrons at a time resolution of three minutes. The polar cap area and area of auroral emissions can also be determined at high time resolution during substorms from the UVI images. An example of a substorm that appears to be driven by solar wind dynamic pressure alone will be presented. The polar cap area and other parameters do not indicate a growth phase prior to substorm onset. In another example, the slow growth phase followed by a very rapid increase in energy deposition during the expansion phase will be shown. This substorm was preceded by a southward IMF orientation. In these two examples, the role the solar wind in determining polar cap area is discussed. The time development of the area of auroral emissions is also discussed in relation to substorm phase and energy deposition. If the auroral emissions occur on closed field lines then the area of auroral emissions may provide an indication of changes in the thickness of the plasma sheet during each substorm phase.

  18. Ionospheric Ion Outflow from the Cusp and the Polar Cap Ionosphere: Current Observations, Knowledge Gaps, and Planned Observations (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yau, A. W.; Abe, T.; Peterson, W. K.

    2009-12-01

    Satellite observations over the past few decades, notably those from ISIS, S3-3, Dynamics Explorer-1 and -2, Viking, Akebono, Freja, Polar, Fast, and Cluster, have demonstrated that ions of ionospheric origin represent a significant and at times dominant component of the magnetospheric plasma. In this overview, we will focus on our existing observations of ion outflows from the cusp and polar cap ionosphere, and their relationship with other low and high-energy ion outflow populations and with neutral upwelling and escapes in the high-latitude ionosphere-thermosphere. We will also discuss planned observations in the upcoming CASSIOPE/e-POP (Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe) mission on the acceleration, upflow, and outflow in the cusp and polar cap ionosphere in the context of gaps in our current knowledge in cusp and polar-cap ion outflow dynamics.

  19. Electron density enhancements in the polar cap during periods of dayside reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clausen, L. B. N.; Moen, J. I.

    2015-06-01

    Using field-aligned current data, we monitor the location of the region 1 current oval which is related to the location of the polar cap boundary (PCB). We identify intervals when the current oval and hence the PCB moved equatorward for extended periods lasting at least 75 min, and we term these intervals sustained dayside reconnection events (SDRE). We find 1059 SDREs between 2010 and 2012 and go on to study the dynamics of the total electron content (TEC) in the high-latitude region in a superposed epoch sense. Immediately after the beginning of a SDRE, a plasma density increase forms at the poleward edge of the PCB and its edge moves from the location of the dayside PCB antisunward at speeds of about 500 m/s, consistent with ionospheric convection measurements. Our results show that the TEC inside the polar cap locally increases by up to 20%. Averaged over the entire polar region poleward of 55° magnetic latitude, however, we find no significant increase in the TEC, indicating that local increases and decreases are formed by transport and rearrangement of existing plasma rather than by impact ionization due to particle precipitation. We also observe a latitudinally narrow region between the TEC increases equatorward and poleward of the dayside PCB in which the TEC stagnates. This stagnation trough may be due to local flow channels associated with bursty dayside reconnection.

  20. Dual radar investigation of E region plasma waves in the southern polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsythe, Victoriya V.; Makarevich, Roman A.

    2015-10-01

    Origins and characteristics of small-scale plasma irregularities in the polar ionosphere are investigated using a dual radar setup in which the E region is probed from opposite directions by two Super Dual Auroral Radar Network facilities at the McMurdo and Dome Concordia Antarctic stations. In certain time intervals, velocity agreement is observed when velocities are compared at the same physical location in the horizontal plane. Such an agreement is widely expected if velocity at a given location is largely controlled by the convection electric field. In other cases, however, velocity agreement is unexpectedly observed when measurements are considered at the same slant range (distance along the radar beam) for both radars. This implies that it is not the electric field at a given location that is a controlling factor. Raytracing results show that the same range agreement may be explained for certain E region density conditions when echo altitude increases with radar range. Backscatter observations under generally unfavorable conditions for irregularity generation and the critical role of propagation conditions in the polar cap are discussed. The observed E region velocity in the polar cap is demonstrated to depend indirectly on the plasma density distribution, which is important for establishing the fundamental dependence on the convection electric field.

  1. Electron Density Enhancements in the Polar Cap During Periods of Dayside Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clausen, L. B. N.; Moen, J.

    2015-12-01

    Using field-aligned current data we monitor the location of the region 1 current oval which is related to the location of the polar cap boundary (PCB). We identify intervals when the current oval and hence the PCB moved equatorward for extended periods lasting at least 75 minutes and we term these intervals sustained dayside reconnection events (SDRE). We find 1059 SDREs between 2010 and 2012 and go on to study the dynamics of the total electron content (TEC) in the high-latitude region in a superposed epoch sense. Immediately after the beginning of a SDRE a plasma density increase forms at the poleward edge of the PCB and its edge moves from the location of the dayside PCB anti-sunward at speeds of about 500 m/s, consistent with ionospheric convection measurements. Our results show that the TEC inside the polar cap locally increases by up to 20%. Averaged over the entire polar region poleward of 55 degrees magnetic latitude, however, we find no significant increase in the TEC, indicating that local increases and decreases are formed by transport and rearrangement of existing plasma rather than by impact ionization due to particle precipitation. We also observe a latitudinally narrow region between the TEC increases equatorward and poleward of the dayside PCB in which the TEC stagnates. This stagnation trough may be due to local flow channels associated with bursty dayside reconnection.

  2. 2-D Visualization of Global D-region and Polar Cap Absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, J.-H.; Choi, S.; Lee, J.; Bong, S.-C.

    2015-09-01

    We have visualized global D-region and polar cap absorption in two dimensions. We use the empirical relationship between solar x-ray flux (0.1-0.8 nm) and highest affected frequency at sub-solar point to calculate global D-region absorption. We also use the relation between the integral proton fluxes above certain energy thresholds and polar cap absorption. The calculation code was developed by C++ and refers to the result of Solar Position Algorithm (SPA) code of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in C. We also consider the relation between the angles of the geomagnetic system and the geographical one. We calculate the attenuation at 8.83 MHz because it is used in High Frequency (HF) communications by airplanes. The code needs input data such as x-ray flux, proton flux, and Kp index of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The attenuation is displayed in a world map, the Korean peninsula, and polar route.

  3. Crustal movements due to Iceland’s shrinking ice caps mimic magma inflow signal at Katla volcano

    PubMed Central

    Spaans, Karsten; Hreinsdóttir, Sigrún; Hooper, Andrew; Ófeigsson, Benedikt Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Many volcanic systems around the world are located beneath, or in close proximity to, ice caps. Mass change of these ice caps causes surface movements, which are typically neglected when interpreting surface deformation measurements around these volcanoes. These movements can however be significant, and may closely resemble movements due to magma accumulation. Here we show such an example, from Katla volcano, Iceland. Horizontal movements observed by GPS on the flank of Katla have led to the inference of significant inflow of magma into a chamber beneath the caldera, starting in 2000, and continuing over several years. We use satellite radar interferometry and GPS data to show that between 2001 and 2010, the horizontal movements seen on the flank can be explained by the response to the long term shrinking of ice caps, and that erratic movements seen at stations within the caldera are also not likely to signify magma inflow. It is important that interpretations of geodetic measurements at volcanoes in glaciated areas consider the effect of ice mass change, and previous studies should be carefully reevaluated. PMID:25992847

  4. Exploring the origin of ice-filled craters in the north polar region of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovius, Niels; Conway, Susan; Barnie, T.; Besserer, J.; Lemouelic, S.; Read, N.

    2010-05-01

    We investigate the origins of enigmatic ice-filled craters in the north polar region of Mars. We test several explanations for their origin, namely: (1) as polar cap remnants [1] (2) accumulation independently of the polar cap, and (3) upwelling of subsurface water, analogous to either aufice or pingo formation on Earth. Each of these hypotheses has a significant impact on our understanding of Mars' recent geological and climatic history and the behaviour of water and water ice at high latitudes. We used several lines of evidence to assess the most likely formation mechanism. We first performed a crater survey based on THEMIS visual data and MOLA elevation data to identify any craters that had domal central lumps which were different from normal central peaks. From this survey we identified 17 craters for further study. These include Louth, Korolev, Dokka and other unnamed craters. Using data from orbiting spectrometers; OMEGA on ESA's Mars Express and CRISM on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; we verified that the composition of the exposed central domes was predominantly water ice. We found the domes fell into three groups: (1) those completely covered by dunes, (2) those partially covered by dunes and (3) those with no dunes. We investigated the morphology and the relative position of the domes using MOLA elevation data. We found that the domes are always asymmetrically placed within the craters. However, this asymmetry could not easily be linked to wind directions as revealed by dune slip-faces [2]. The domes often have a moat-like structure and in some cases do not cover the entire crater floor, e.g. Louth Crater. From image data, we identified six craters which possessed internal stratigraphy, in the form of regularly spaced layers, and of these we have inspected three in detail. We found that the layers possess both strong sinuosity and high angle unconformities. We interpret the internal stratigraphy as representing a sequence of regular cyclic

  5. Mass balance of Mars' residual south polar cap from CTX images and other data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, P. C.; Calvin, W.; Cantor, B.; Haberle, R.; James, P. B.; Lee, S. W.

    2016-04-01

    Erosion of pits in the residual south polar cap (RSPC) of Mars concurrent with deposition and fluctuating cap boundaries raises questions about the mass balance and long term stability of the cap. Determining a mass balance by measurement of a net gain or loss of atmospheric CO2 by direct pressure measurements (Haberle, R.M. et al. [2014]. Secular climate change on Mars: An update using one Mars year of MSL pressure data. American Geophysical Union (Fall). Abstract 3947), although perhaps the most direct method, has so far given ambiguous results. Estimating volume changes from imaging data faces challenges, and has previously been attempted only in isolated areas of the cap. In this study we use 6 m/pixel Context Imager (CTX) data from Mars year 31 to map all the morphologic units of the RSPC, expand the measurement record of pit erosion rates, and use high resolution images to place limits on vertical changes in the surface of the residual cap. We find the mass balance in Mars years 9-31 to be -6 to +4 km3/♂y, or roughly -0.039% to +0.026% of the mean atmospheric CO2 mass/♂y. The indeterminate sign results chiefly from uncertainty in the amounts of deposition or erosion on the upper surfaces of deposits (as opposed to scarp retreat). Erosion and net deposition in this period appear to be controlled by summertime planetary scale dust events, the largest occurring in MY 9, another, smaller one in MY 28. The rates of erosion and the deposition observed since MY 9 appear to be consistent with the types of deposits and erosional behavior found in most of the residual cap. However, small areas (<10%) of the cap are distinguished by their greater thickness, polygonal troughs, and embayed contacts with thinner units. These deposits may require extended periods (>100 ♂y) of depositional and/or erosional conditions different from those occurring in the period since MY 9, although these environmental differences could be subtle.

  6. The quiet time polar cap - DE 1 observations and conceptual model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burch, J. L.; Saflekos, N. A.; Gurnett, D. A.; Craven, J. D.; Frank, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    A conceptual merging model of the magnetosphere is developed which explains DE-1 observations on polar cap plasmas and waves made during a quiet period with a northward IMF when multiple adjacent regions of sunward and antisunward convection were observed. The model involves dayside merging both at high latitudes on open field lines (the usual northward IMF merging) and at lower latitudes on closed field lines. The ratio between the merged flux produced by the high-latitude merging to that produced by the lower-latitude merging increases as the IMF becomes more northward.

  7. Low-energy electron intensities at large distances over the earth's polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeager, D. M.; Frank, L. A.

    1975-01-01

    The results of the character and temporal fluctuations study of electron intensities in the energy range of hundreds of electron volts, are reported which were measured at high latitudes and altitudes on geomagnetic field lines corresponding to those of the polar cap and magnetotail lobes. It is concluded that such electron intensities are diminutive relative to those found in other regions of the magnetosphere. Severe variations of intensities were found and the magnitudes of electron intensities appear to be strongly coupled to the directions of the interplanetary magnetic fields.

  8. Case study of polar cap scintillation modeling using DE 2 irregularity measurements at 800 km

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, S.; Basu, S.; Weber, E.J.; Coley, W.R.

    1988-08-01

    High-resolution in situ Dynamics Explorer 2 data on thermal plasma densities are used here to study the small-scale irregularity structure of the F layer patches. It is shown that spatially discrete density structures associated with polar cap patches can be detected fairly high in the topside by an in situ irregularity sensor and that they correspond to temporally discrete scintillation patches. It is also shown that it is possible to model phase and amplitude scintillation occurrence from a knowledge of irregularity amplitude at a satellite altitude of about 800 km provided that independent measurements of the peak density and scale height of the F region are available. 19 references.

  9. Irregularity anisotropy and drifts from polar-cap scintillations during the current solar maximum

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, S.; Basu, S.; Costa, E.

    1990-05-03

    Spaced receiver scintillation measurements made at Thule, Greenland during two sunspot maximum CEDAR High Latitude Plasma Structure (HLPS) campaigns in Dec 1988 and Nov 1989 have been analyzed to yield phase and amplitude scintillation magnitude, decorrelation time, irregularity drifts and anisotropy of the ground diffraction pattern during well defined polar cap patch and sun-aligned arc events. It is found that all these parameters tend to be different in these two classes of events which are controlled by the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field.

  10. Constraints on southern hemisphere tropical climate change during the Little Ice Age and Younger Dryas based on glacier modeling of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, Andrew G. O.; Pierrehumbert, Raymond T.; Lowell, Thomas V.; Kelly, Meredith A.; Stroup, Justin S.

    2015-10-01

    Improving the late Quaternary paleoclimate record through climate interpretations of low-latitude glacier length changes advances our understanding of past climate change events and the mechanisms for past, present, and future climate change. Paleotemperature reconstructions at low-latitude glaciers are uniquely fruitful because they can provide both site-specific information and enhanced understanding of regional-scale variations due to the structure of the tropical atmosphere. We produce Little Ice Age (LIA) and Younger Dryas (YD) paleoclimate reconstructions for the Huancané outlet glacier of the Quelccaya Ice Cap (QIC) and low-latitude southern hemisphere regional sea surface temperatures (SSTs) using a coupled ice-flow and energy balance model. We also model the effects of long-term changes in the summit temperature and precipitiation rate and the effects of interannual climate variability on the Huancané glacier length. We find temperature to be the dominant climate driver of glacier length change. Also, we find that interannual climate variability cannot adequately explain glacier advances inferred from the geomorphic record, necessitating that these features were formed during past colder climates. To constrain our LIA reconstruction, we incorporate the QIC ice core record, finding a LIA air temperature cooling at the ice cap of between ˜0.7 °C and ˜1.1 °C and ˜0.4 °C and regional SSTs cooling of ˜0.6 °C. For the YD paleoclimate reconstructions, we propose two limits on the precipitation rate, since the ice core record does not extend into the Pleistocene: 1) the precipitation rate scales with the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship (upper limit on cooling) and 2) the precipitation rate increases by 40% (lower limit on cooling), which is an increase about twice as great as the regional increases realized in GCM simulations for the period. The first limit requires ˜1.6 °C cooling in ice cap air temperatures and ˜0.9 °C cooling in SSTs, and the

  11. Ice-Cap: a method for growing Arabidopsis and tomato plants in 96-well plates for high-throughput genotyping.

    PubMed

    Su, Shih-Heng; Clark, Katie A; Gibbs, Nicole M; Bush, Susan M; Krysan, Patrick J

    2011-01-01

    It is becoming common for plant scientists to develop projects that require the genotyping of large numbers of plants. The first step in any genotyping project is to collect a tissue sample from each individual plant. The traditional approach to this task is to sample plants one-at-a-time. If one wishes to genotype hundreds or thousands of individuals, however, using this strategy results in a significant bottleneck in the genotyping pipeline. The Ice-Cap method that we describe here provides a high-throughput solution to this challenge by allowing one scientist to collect tissue from several thousand seedlings in a single day (1,2). This level of throughput is made possible by the fact that tissue is harvested from plants 96-at-a-time, rather than one-at-a-time. The Ice-Cap method provides an integrated platform for performing seedling growth, tissue harvest, and DNA extraction. The basis for Ice-Cap is the growth of seedlings in a stacked pair of 96-well plates. The wells of the upper plate contain plugs of agar growth media on which individual seedlings germinate. The roots grow down through the agar media, exit the upper plate through a hole, and pass into a lower plate containing water. To harvest tissue for DNA extraction, the water in the lower plate containing root tissue is rapidly frozen while the seedlings in the upper plate remain at room temperature. The upper plate is then peeled away from the lower plate, yielding one plate with 96 root tissue samples frozen in ice and one plate with 96 viable seedlings. The technique is named "Ice-Cap" because it uses ice to capture the root tissue. The 96-well plate containing the seedlings can then wrapped in foil and transferred to low temperature. This process suspends further growth of the seedlings, but does not affect their viability. Once genotype analysis has been completed, seedlings with the desired genotype can be transferred from the 96-well plate to soil for further propagation. We have demonstrated

  12. Relationship of O(+) Field-Aligned Flows and Densities to Convection Speed in the Polar Cap at 5000 km Altitude

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, B. A.; Horwitz, J. L.; Creel, B.; Elliott, H. A.; Comfort, R. H.; Su, Y. J.; Moore, T. E.; Craven, P. D.

    1999-01-01

    Measurements of thermal O(+) ion number fluxes, densities, field-aligned velocities, and convective velocities from the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) on POLAR obtained near 5000 km altitude over the Southern hemisphere are examined. We find that the O(+) parallel velocities and densities are strongly related to the convection speeds. The polar cap densities decrease rapidly with convection speed, with a linear least square fit formula to bin averaged data giving the relationship log(N(sub (sub _)O(+))) = -0.33* V(sub (sub _)conv)) + 0.07, with a linear regression coefficient of r = -0.96. The parallel bulk flow velocities are on average slightly downward (0 - 2 km/s) for V(sub (sub _)conv) < 2.5 km/s, but tend to be upward (0 - 4 km/s) for average V(sub (sub _)conv) > 2.5 km/s. We interpret these relationships in terms of the Cleft Ion Fountain paradigm [e.g., Horwitz and Lockwood, 1985]. The densities decline with convection speed owing to increased spreading and resulting dilution from the restricted cleft source over the polar cap area with convection speed. The parallel velocities tend to be downward for low convection speeds because they fall earthward after initial cleft injection at shorter distances into the polar cap for low convection speeds. At the higher convection speeds, the initially-upward flows are transported further into the polar cap and thus occupy a larger area of the polar cap.

  13. Properties of localized polar cap flow enhancements and their connection to nightside poleward boundary intensifications and substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Y.; Nishimura, Y.; Lyons, L. R.; Shiokawa, K.; Donovan, E.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; McWilliams, K. A.; Nishitani, N.

    2014-12-01

    Previous radar observations have shown that polar cap flows are highly structured and that localized flow enhancements are related to nightside auroral disturbances. However, such studies are limited to available echo regions. Utilizing wide spatial coverage by an all-sky imager at Resolute Bay and simultaneous SuperDARN radar measurements, we determined properties of such localized flow enhancements and their statistical association with nightside auroral activity. We found that narrow flow enhancements are well collocated with airglow patches with substantially larger velocities (>~200 m/s up to ~700 m/s) than the weak large-scale polar cap convection. The flow widths are similar to the patch widths. During the evolution across nightside the polar cap, the flow directions and speeds are consistent with the patch propagation directions and speeds. These correspondences indicate that patches can visualize localized flow enhancements reflecting the flow width, speed and direction. Such associations were prevalent (~67%) in our survey and tended to be observed under By-dominated IMF. The typical flow channel speed, propagation time, and width within our observation areas were 600 m/s, tens of minutes, and 200-300 km, respectively. Localized flow enhancements were usually observed as a channel elongated in the noon-midnight meridian and directed towards pre-midnight (post-midnight) for +By (-By), and accounted for ~10-40% of the plasma transport across the entire polar cap. Utilizing airglow patches as tracers of localized flow enhancements, we also found that as localized polar cap structures move across the polar cap and impinge on the poleward boundary of the nightside auroral oval, they are followed by poleward boundary intensifications (PBIs), which can extend equatorward as auroral streamers, some of which further propagate equatorward and are followed by a substorm auroral onset. This suggests that localized flow enhancements within the polar cap can contribute

  14. A two-dimensional energy balance climate model including radiation and ice caps-albedo feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yingyi, Chen; Jiping, Chao

    1984-11-01

    A simplified two-dimensional energy balance climate model including the solar and infrared radiation transports, the turbulent exchanges of heat in vertical and horizontal directions and the ice caps-albedo feedback is developed. The solutions show that if the atmosphere is considered as a grey body and the grey coefficient depends upon the distributions of absorption medium and cloudiness, both horizontal and vertical distribution of temperature are identical to the observation. On the other hand, comparing the models that the atmosphere is considered as a grey body with ones that the infrared radiation is parameterized as a linear function of temperature, as was considered by Budyko, Sellers(1969), then the results show that even though both of them can obtain the earth's surface temperature in agreement with the observation, the sensitivity of the climate to the changes of solar constant is very different. In the former case, the requirement for the ice edge to move southward from the normal 72°N to 50°N(i.e. where the glacial climate would take place) is that the solar constant should decrease by 13% to 16%. However, in the latter case, the climate is highly sensitive to the changes of solar radiation. In this case, the requirement of solar radiation occurring in the glacial climate should decrease by, 2% to 6%. According to the investigations mentioned above we must be careful when the parameterizations of the radiation and other processes are conducted in a climate model., otherwise the reliability of the results is suspicious.

  15. Peruvian Tropical Glacier May Survive Longer Than Previously Thought: Landsat Image Analysis of Nevado Coropuna Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochtitzky, W. H.; Edwards, B. R.; Marino, J.; Manrique, N.

    2015-12-01

    Nevado Coropuna is a large volcanic complex in southern Peru (15.56°S, 72.62°N; 6,425 m). The complex is approximately 12 km east-west and 8 km north-south with elevation from ~4,500 m at the base to over 6,000 m at the highest points. This ice cap is the largest hosted by a volcano in the tropics, and one of the ten biggest ice masses in the tropics. Previous workers have predicted that the Coropuna ice cap will completely melt by 2050. We present a new analysis of historic satellite imagery to test this hypothesis. In this study, ice and snow are classified based on unique spectral signatures including spectral band thresholds, Normalized Difference Snow Index, and Band 4/5 ratio. Landsat scenes (L2, 4, 5, 7, and 8) from 1975 to present in addition to one SPOT scene (2013) are used. Previous workers used images from June and July, which are peak snow periods in southern Peru, leading to overestimates of ice area. This study uses November and December images when snow is at an annual minimum. Annual equilibrium line altitudes are calculated for each end of year image (November/December). The glaciers of Nevado Coropuna were found to be shrinking at ~0.5 km2/yr, which is ~1/3 the rate previously published. In this study, SPOT (1.5 m resolution) and Landsat 7 ETM scenes from November 23 and 26, 2013 respectively were used to calibrate the spectral band threshold classification. While this study suggests that the ice cap of Coropuna will persist until 2100 given current rates, water quantity and security remains a concern for Peruvian agriculture. Coropuna is an active volcano, so it poses great risk to surrounding inhabitants from lahars, flooding, and debris avalanches. Our new data suggest that these will continue to be risks late into this century.

  16. Polar nephelometer for light-scattering measurements of ice crystals.

    PubMed

    Barkey, B; Liou, K N

    2001-02-15

    We report on a small, lightweight polar nephelometer for the measurement of the light-scattering properties of cloud particles, specifically designed for use on a balloonborne platform in cirrus cloud conditions. The instrument consists of 33 fiber-optic light guides positioned in a two-dimensional plane from 5 degrees to 175 degrees that direct the scattered light to photodiode detectors-amplifier units. The system uses an onboard computer and data acquisition card to collect and store the measured signals. The instrument's calibration is tested by measurement of light scattered into a two-dimensional plane from small water droplets generated by an ultrasonic humidifier. Excellent comparisons between the measured water-droplet scattering properties and expectations generated by Mie calculation are shown. The measured scattering properties of ice crystals generated in a cold chamber also compare reasonably well with the theoretical results based on calculations from a unified theory of light scattering by ice crystals that use the particle size distribution measured in the chamber. PMID:18033557

  17. /sup 10/Be in polar ice: Data reflect changes in cosmic ray flux or polar meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Lal, D.

    1987-08-01

    We have theoretically estimated the expected changes in the global cosmic ray production of /sup 10/Be in the atmosphere with changes in solar activity, and the consequent variations in its fallout in the polar regions. The global /sup 10/Be production rate is found to be about 20% higher during periods of very low solar activity, compared to the average solar modulation level observed during the past 3 solar cycles. The stratospheric /sup 10/Be fallout pattern has been derived using the fallout data for /sup 90/Sr as an analog. This fallout shows an amplitude attenuation by a factor of about three at 70/sup 0/; the higher the latitude, the higher the attenuation. The results have been compared with the long time series available for /sup 10/Be in polar ice in Greenland and in Antarctica, 70/sup 0/--78/sup 0/ latitude. It is concluded that the observed variations in /sup 10/Be concentrations in ice cores are primarily due to climatic changes, for both short and long period variations. Thus /sup 10/Be data can be used as a proxy for climate induced meteorological changes in the polar region. copyright American Geophysical Union 1987

  18. The 1997 Spring Regression of the Martian South Polar Cap: Mars Orbiter Camera Observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James, P.B.; Cantor, B.A.; Malin, M.C.; Edgett, K.; Carr, M.H.; Danielson, G.E.; Ingersoll, A.P.; Davies, M.E.; Hartmann, W.K.; McEwen, A.S.; Soderblom, L.A.; Thomas, P.C.; Veverka, J.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter cameras (MOC) on Mars Global Surveyor observed the south polar cap of Mars during its spring recession in 1997. The images acquired by the wide angle cameras reveal a pattern of recession that is qualitatively similar to that observed by Viking in 1977 but that does differ in at least two respects. The 1977 recession in the 0?? to 120?? longitude sector was accelerated relative to the 1997 observations after LS = 240??; the Mountains of Mitchel also detached from the main cap earlier in 1997. Comparison of the MOC images with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data shows that the Mountains of Mitchel feature is controlled by local topography. Relatively dark, low albedo regions well within the boundaries of the seasonal cap were observed to have red-to-violet ratios that characterize them as frost units rather than unfrosted or partially frosted ground; this suggests the possibility of regions covered by CO2 frost having different grain sizes. ?? 2000 Academic Press.

  19. Projected Polar Bear Sea Ice Habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Stephen G.; Castro de la Guardia, Laura; Derocher, Andrew E.; Sahanatien, Vicki; Tremblay, Bruno; Huard, David

    2014-01-01

    Background Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 – 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling. Principal Findings Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2–5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands. Conclusions/Significance Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100. PMID:25426720

  20. Ephemeral liquid water at the surface of the martian North Polar Residual Cap: Results of numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Czechowski, Leszek; Velbel, Michael A.

    2015-12-01

    Gypsum, a mineral that requires water to form, is common on the surface of Mars. Most of it originated before 3.5 Gyr when the Red Planet was more humid than now. However, occurrences of gypsum dune deposits around the North Polar Residual Cap (NPRC) seem to be surprisingly young: late Amazonian in age. This shows that liquid water was present on Mars even at times when surface conditions were as cold and dry as the present-day. A recently proposed mechanism for gypsum formation involves weathering of dust within ice (e.g., Niles, P.B., Michalski, J. [2009]. Nat. Geosci. 2, 215-220.). However, none of the previous studies have determined if this process is possible under current martian conditions. Here, we use numerical modelling of heat transfer to show that during the warmest days of the summer, solar irradiation may be sufficient to melt pure water ice located below a layer of dark dust particles (albedo ⩽ 0.13) lying on the steepest sections of the equator-facing slopes of the spiral troughs within martian NPRC. During the times of high irradiance at the north pole (every 51 ka; caused by variation of orbital and rotational parameters of Mars e.g., Laskar, J. et al. [2002]. Nature 419, 375-377.) this process could have taken place over larger parts of the spiral troughs. The existence of small amounts of liquid water close to the surface, even under current martian conditions, fulfils one of the main requirements necessary to explain the formation of the extensive gypsum deposits around the NPRC. It also changes our understanding of the degree of current geological activity on Mars and has important implications for estimating the astrobiological potential of Mars.

  1. Geomorphology and the Little Ice Age extent of the Drangajökull ice cap, NW Iceland, with focus on its three surge-type outlets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Schomacker, Anders; Ingólfsson, Ólafur

    2014-05-01

    Detailed geomorphological maps from the forefields of three surging outlets of the Drangajökull ice cap, northwest Iceland, are presented. The maps are based on field studies in 2011-2013, high resolution orthorectified aerial photographs recorded in 2005-2006, and airborne LiDAR data from 2011. The maps cover an area of about 40-60 km2 each. Furthermore, we present an overview map that covers the area surrounding the Drangajökull ice cap. Landforms and sediments were manually registered in a geographic information system (ESRI ArcGIS 10). We mapped glacial landforms such as flutes, ice-sculpted bedrock, hummocky moraine, kame terraces, and moraines. Fluvial landforms include outwash plains/sandur, pitted sandur, and eskers. In addition raised beaches were mapped. The Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum extent of Drangajökull and its outlet glaciers are fingerprinted by surficial till deposits and freshly glacially scoured bedrock. Sediments distal to the LIA deposits were recorded and consist mainly of late Weichselian and early Holocene sediments and locally weathered bedrock. Periglacial activity is demonstrated by patterned ground, mainly occurring on the 500-700 m high plateaux, and three rock glaciers. At least 3-4 surge events are described from each of the outlet glaciers, occurring over the last three centuries. In contrast to most other surge-type outlets from Icelandic ice caps, the Drangajökull outlets are confined within valleys, which affect the forefield geomorphology. Glaciofluvial landforms, moraines, and a thin sheet of till with numerous boulders are characteristic for the forefields of the Drangajökull outlets.

  2. Elimination of surface band bending on N-polar InN with thin GaN capping

    SciTech Connect

    Kuzmík, J. Haščík, Š.; Kučera, M.; Kúdela, R.; Dobročka, E.; Adikimenakis, A.; Mičušík, M.; Gregor, M.; Plecenik, A.; Georgakilas, A.

    2015-11-09

    0.5–1 μm thick InN (0001) films grown by molecular-beam epitaxy with N- or In-polarity are investigated for the presence of native oxide, surface energy band bending, and effects introduced by 2 to 4 monolayers of GaN capping. Ex situ angle-resolved x-ray photo-electron spectroscopy is used to construct near-surface (GaN)/InN energy profiles, which is combined with deconvolution of In3d signal to trace the presence of InN native oxide for different types of polarity and capping. Downwards surface energy band bending was observed on bare samples with native oxide, regardless of the polarity. It was found that the In-polar InN surface is most readily oxidized, however, with only slightly less band bending if compared with the N-polar sample. On the other hand, InN surface oxidation was effectively mitigated by GaN capping. Still, as confirmed by ultra-violet photo-electron spectroscopy and by energy band diagram calculations, thin GaN cap layer may provide negative piezoelectric polarization charge at the GaN/InN hetero-interface of the N-polar sample, in addition to the passivation effect. These effects raised the band diagram up by about 0.65 eV, reaching a flat-band profile.

  3. The response of ionospheric convection in the polar cap to substorm activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lester, M.; Lockwood, M.; Yeoman, T. K.; Cowley, S. W. H.; Luehr, H.; Bunting, R.; Farrugia, C. J.

    1995-01-01

    We report multi-instrument observations during an isolated substorm on 17 October 1989. The European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar operated in the SP-UK-POLI mode measuring ionospheric convection at latitudes 71 deg Lambda - 78 deg Lambda. Sub-Auroral Magnetometer Network (SAMNET) and the EISCAT Magnetometer Cross provide information on the timing of substorm expansion phase onset and subsequent intensifications, as well as the location of the field aligned and ionospheric currents associated with the substorm current wedge. Interplanetary Monitoring Platform-8 (IMP-8) magnetic field data are also included. Evidence of a substorm growth phase is provided by the equatorward motion of a flow reversal boundary across the EISCAT radar field of view at 2130 MLT, following a southward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). We infer that the polar cap expanded as a result of the addition of open magnetic flux in the tail lobes during this interval. The flow reversal boundary, which is a lower limit to the polar cap boundary, reached an invariant latitude equatorward of 71 deg Lambda by the time of the expansion phase onset. We conclude that the substorm onset region in the ionosphere, defined by the westward electrojet, mapped to a part of the tail radially earthward of the boundary between open and closed magnetic flux, the distant neutral line. Thus the substorm was not initiated at the distant neutral line, although there is evidence that it remained active during the expansion phase.

  4. Plasma turbulence and coherent structures in the polar cap observed by the ICI-2 sounding rocket

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spicher, A.; Miloch, W. J.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Moen, J. I.

    2015-12-01

    The electron density data from the ICI-2 sounding rocket experiment in the high-latitude F region ionosphere are analyzed using the higher-order spectra and higher-order statistics. Two regions of enhanced fluctuations are chosen for detailed analysis: the trailing edge of a polar cap patch and an electron density enhancement associated with particle precipitation. While these two regions exhibit similar power spectra, our analysis reveals that their internal structures are significantly different. The structures on the edge of the polar cap patch are likely due to nonlinear wave interactions since this region is characterized by intermittency and significant coherent mode coupling. The plasma enhancement subjected to precipitation, however, exhibits stronger random characteristics with uncorrelated phases of density fluctuations. These results suggest that particle precipitation plays a fundamental role in ionospheric plasma structuring creating turbulent-like structures. We discuss the physical mechanisms that cause plasma structuring as well as the possible processes for the low-frequency part of the spectrum in terms of plasma instabilities.

  5. Solar Cycle Variations in Polar Cap Area Measured by the SuperDARN Radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imber, S. M.; Milan, S. E.; Lester, M.

    2013-12-01

    We present a long term study, from January 1996 - August 2012, of the latitude of the Heppner-Maynard Boundary (HMB) measured at midnight using the northern hemisphere SuperDARN radars. The HMB represents the equatorward extent of ionospheric convection, and is used in this study as a measure of the global magnetospheric dynamics and activity. We find that the yearly distribution of HMB latitudes is single-peaked at 64° magnetic latitude for the majority of the 17-year interval. During 2003 the envelope of the distribution shifts to lower latitudes and a second peak in the distribution is observed at 61°. The solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function derived by Milan et al. (2012) suggests that the solar wind driving during this year was significantly higher than during the rest of the 17-year interval. In contrast, during the period 2008-2011 HMB distribution shifts to higher latitudes, and a second peak in the distribution is again observed, this time at 68° magnetic latitude. This time interval corresponds to a period of extremely low solar wind driving during the recent extreme solar minimum. This is the first statistical study of the polar cap area over an entire solar cycle, and the results demonstrate that there is a close relationship between the phase of the solar cycle and the area of the polar cap on a large scale statistical basis.

  6. Solar cycle variations in polar cap area measured by the superDARN radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imber, S. M.; Milan, S. E.; Lester, M.

    2013-10-01

    present a long-term study, from January 1996 to August 2012, of the latitude of the Heppner-Maynard Boundary (HMB) measured at midnight using the northern hemisphere Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN). The HMB represents the equatorward extent of ionospheric convection and is used in this study as a measure of the global magnetospheric dynamics. We find that the yearly distribution of HMB latitudes is single peaked at 64° magnetic latitude for the majority of the 17 year interval. During 2003, the envelope of the distribution shifts to lower latitudes and a second peak in the distribution is observed at 61°. The solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function derived by Milan et al. (2012) suggests that the solar wind driving during this year was significantly higher than during the rest of the 17 year interval. In contrast, during the period 2008-2011, HMB distribution shifts to higher latitudes, and a second peak in the distribution is again observed, this time at 68° magnetic latitude. This time interval corresponds to a period of extremely low solar wind driving during the recent extreme solar minimum. This is the first long-term study of the polar cap area and the results demonstrate that there is a close relationship between the solar activity cycle and the area of the polar cap on a large-scale, statistical basis.

  7. Testing Predictions of the Ionospheric Convection from the Expanding/Contracting Polar Cap Paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walach, M. T.; Milan, S. E.; Yeoman, T. K.; Hairston, M. R.; Hubert, B. A.

    2015-12-01

    The expanding/contracting polar cap (ECPC) paradigm, or the time-dependent Dungey cycle, provides a theoretical framework for understanding solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. The ECPC describes the relationship between magnetopause reconnection and substorm growth phase, magnetotail reconnection and substorm expansion phase, associated changes in auroral morphology, and ionospheric convective motions. Despite the many successes of the model, there has yet to be a rigorous test of the predictions made regarding ionospheric convection, which remains a final hurdle for the validation of the ECPC. In this study we undertake a comparison of ionospheric convection, as measured by ion driftmeters on board DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) satellites, with motions predicted by a theoretical model (Milan, 2013). The model is coupled to measurements of changes in the size of the polar cap made using global auroral imagery from the IMAGE FUV (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration Far Ultraviolet) instrument, as well as the dayside reconnection rate, calculated using the OMNI dataset. The results show that we can largely predict the magnitudes of ionospheric convection flows using the context of our understanding of magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause and in the magnetotail.

  8. Observation of polar cap patches and calculation of gradient drift instability growth times: A Swarm case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spicher, A.; Cameron, T.; Grono, E. M.; Yakymenko, K. N.; Buchert, S. C.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Knudsen, D. J.; McWilliams, K. A.; Moen, J. I.

    2015-01-01

    The Swarm mission represents a strong new tool to survey polar cap patches and plasma structuring inside the polar cap. In the early commissioning phase, the three Swarm satellites were operated in a pearls-on-a-string configuration making noon-midnight transpolar passes. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to examine the potential role of the gradient drift instability (GDI) process on polar cap patches by systematically calculating GDI growth times during their transit across the pole from day to night. Steep kilometer-scale gradients appeared in this study as initial structures that persisted during the approximate 90 min it took a patch to cross the polar cap. The GDI growth times were calculated for a selection of the steep density gradients on both the dayside and the nightside. The values ranged from 23 s to 147 s, which is consistent with recent rocket measurements in the cusp auroral region and provides a template for future studies. Growth times of the order of 1 min found both on the dayside and on the nightside support the existing view that the GDI may play a dominant role in the generation of radio wave scintillation irregularities as the patches transit the polar cap from day to night.

  9. Observational constraints of Polar Ice Deposits on Mars Atmospheric GCMs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, L. F. A.; Elphic, R. C.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Haberle, R. M.; Kahre, M. A.; Eke, V. R.; Roush, T. L.; Marzo, G. A.; Brown, A. J.; Feldman, W. C.; Maurice, S.

    2012-04-01

    presence of noise, this is an ill posed problem that requires the use of a statistical approach [4,5]. Here we present the most recent results of applying such an approach to the MONS epithermal neutron data coupled with independent information regarding the distribution of water and hydroxyls, including hydrous mineralogy. An exciting prospect is that this approach can provide estimates of the real extent or the original volume of surface water ice. Such estimates can then be used to constrain the Mars GCM. The Ames Mars GCM depends on several important parameters associated with the atmosphere and surface properties. In particular ice content is directly related to thermal conductivity and thermal inertia, and spatial variations of these govern the input and release of energy (and water vapor) seasonally [6] . Deviations from a uniform ice distribution poleward of 80 deg. N may thus influence local circulation and precipitation. Replicating the Viking and later missions atmospheric pressure histories requires taking into account near-surface water ice content and spatial distribution at high latitudes. To the extent that these can be constrained by MONS measurements, the results of the GCM can be tied to physical parameters that characterize the near-surface materials at high latitudes. Perhaps more important is what the derived distribution of polar ground ice reveals about recent climatic trends. [1] Forget et al, 1999, JGR, 104, 24155; [2] Feldman et al, 2004, JGR, 109, 9006; [3] Brown et al, 2010, In LPSC, report 1278; [4] Pina et al, 1992, PASP, 104, 1096, [5] Eke, 2001, MNRAS, 324, 108; [6] Haberle et al, 2008, PSS, 56, 251

  10. Comparison of PARASOL Observations with Polarized Reflectances Simulated Using Different Ice Habit Mixtures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, Benjamin H.; Yang, Ping; Baum, Bryan A.; Riedi, Jerome; Labonnote, Laurent C.; Thieuleux, Francois; Platnick, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Insufficient knowledge of the habit distribution and the degree of surface roughness of ice crystals within ice clouds is a source of uncertainty in the forward light scattering and radiative transfer simulations required in downstream applications involving these clouds. The widely used MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 5 ice microphysical model assumes a mixture of various ice crystal shapes with smooth-facets except aggregates of columns for which a moderately rough condition is assumed. When compared with PARASOL (Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar) polarized reflection data, simulations of polarized reflectance using smooth particles show a poor fit to the measurements, whereas very rough-faceted particles provide an improved fit to the polarized reflectance. In this study a new microphysical model based on a mixture of 9 different ice crystal habits with severely roughened facets is developed. Simulated polarized reflectance using the new ice habit distribution is calculated using a vector adding-doubling radiative transfer model, and the simulations closely agree with the polarized reflectance observed by PARASOL. The new general habit mixture is also tested using a spherical albedo differences analysis, and surface roughening is found to improve the consistency of multi-angular observations. It is suggested that an ice model incorporating an ensemble of different habits with severely roughened surfaces would potentially be an adequate choice for global ice cloud retrievals.

  11. The interannual variability of polar cap recessions as a measure of Martian climate and weather: Using Earth-based data to augment the time line for the Mars observer mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, L. J.; James, P. B.

    1992-01-01

    The recessions of the polar ice caps are the most visible and most studied indication of seasonal change on Mars. Circumstantial evidence links these recessions to the seasonal cycles of CO2, water, and dust. The possible advent of a planet encircling storm during the Mars Observer (MO) mission will provide a detailed correlation with a cap recession for that one Martian year. That cap recession will then be compared with other storm and nonstorm years. MO data will also provide a stronger link between cap recessions and the water and CO2 cycles. Cap recession variability might also be used to determine the variability of these cycles. After nearly a century of valiant attempts at measuring polar cap recessions, including Mariner 9 and Viking data, MO will provide the first comprehensive dataset. In contrast to MO, the older data are much less detailed and precise and could be forgotten, except that it will still be the only information on interannual variability. By obtaining simultaneous Earth-based observations (including those from Hubble) during the MO mission, direct comparisons can be made between the datasets.

  12. The interannual variability of polar CAP recessions as a measure of Martian climate and weather: Using Earth-based data to augment the time line for the Mars observer mapping mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, L. J.; James, P. B.

    The recessions of the polar ice caps are the most visible and most studied indication of seasonal change on Mars. Circumstantial evidence links these recessions to the seasonal cycles of CO2, water, and dust. The possible advent of a planet encircling storm during the Mars Observer (MO) mission will provide a detailed correlation with a cap recession for that one Martian year. That cap recession will then be compared with other storm and nonstorm years. MO data will also provide a stronger link between cap recessions and the water and CO2 cycles. Cap recession variability might also be used to determine the variability of these cycles. After nearly a century of valiant attempts at measuring polar cap recessions, including Mariner 9 and Viking data, MO will provide the first comprehensive dataset. In contrast to MO, the older data are much less detailed and precise and could be forgotten, except that it will still be the only information on interannual variability. By obtaining simultaneous Earth-based observations (including those from Hubble) during the MO mission, direct comparisons can be made between the datasets.

  13. Observations of aspect sensitive RF-enhanced incoherent backscatter in the polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhillon, Ranvir; Robinson, T. R.; Yeoman, Timothy K.

    RF-induced plasma instabilities give rise to characteristic spectral enhancements in incoherent scatter spectra. The aspect sensitivity of these enhancements provides valuable information regarding the physical processes that occur within the RF-affected ionospheric patch. These direction-dependent signatures exhibit significant variability and help shed light on possible coupling between artificial field-aligned irregularities generated at the upper-hybrid height and RF-induced instabilities excited near the reflection height for O-mode-polarized radio waves. This directional dependence of RF-enhanced incoherent radar backscatter has been shown using data from the high-latitude ionosphere, and the significant features included consistent field-aligned signatures that may be related to the presence of artificial field-aligned irregularities. These earlier high-latitude results provided motivation for repeating the investigation in the different geophysical conditions that obtain in the polar cap ionosphere. The Space Plasma Exploration by Active Radar (SPEAR) facility is located within the polar cap and has provided observations of RF-enhanced ion and plasma line spectra recorded by the EISCAT Svalbard UHF incoherent scatter radar system (ESR), which is collocated with SPEAR. We present observations of aspect sensitive E-and F-region SPEAR-induced ion and plasma line enhance-ments from several directions in the magnetic meridian plane, centred on field-aligned. These enhancements indicate excitation of both the purely growing mode and the parametric decay instability, together with sporadic E-layer results that may indicate the presence of cavitons. We note consistent enhancements from field-aligned, vertical and also from 5 degrees south of field-aligned. We attribute the prevalence of vertical scatter to the importance of the Spitze region, and of that from field-aligned to possible wave/irregularity coupling.

  14. Comparison between the polar cap index, PC and the auroral electrojet indices AE, AL, and AU

    SciTech Connect

    Vennerstrom, S.; Friis-Christensen, E. ); Troshichev, O.A.; Andresen, V.G. )

    1991-01-01

    The newly introduced index PC for magnetic activity in the polar cap has been examined to establish to which extent it can serve as an indicator of auroral electrojet activity. PC is derived from a single nearpole station, as a 15-min average index. The authors have derived it for two stations, one in the northern hemisphere (Thule) and one in the southern hemisphere (Vostok). The simplicity of the PC index enables us to make a large data base for statistical investigations. They have thus used 7 years of PC values for the two stations to analyze the relationship between PC and the auroral zone indices AE, AU, and AL statistically. They find a very high correlation between PC and AE during winter and equinox, the linear correlation coefficient being {approximately} 0.8-0.9 for Thule and {approximately} 0.7-0.8 for Vostok. During summer the correlation is less because the PC index is then disturbed by polar cap currents controlled by the northward and east-west components of the interplanetary magnetic field. They therefore stress the importance of having PC available from both the northern and southern hemisphere. From event studies they find that PC is sensitive both to DP 2 type electrojet activity and to substorm intensifications of the westward electrojet in the midnight or postmidnight sector but less sensitive to substorm intensifications of the westward electrojet in the midnight or post midnight sector. They conclude that PC can serve as a fast available indicator of DP 2 and DP 1 activity in the polar regions, excluding intrusions of the westward electrojet in the premidnight sector.

  15. Structures in Ionospheric Number Density and Velocity Associated with Polar Cap Ionization Patches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kivanc, O.; Heelis, R. A.

    1997-01-01

    Spectral characteristics of polar cap F region irregularities on large density gradients associated with polar ionization patches are studied using in situ measurements made by the Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE 2) spacecraft. The 18 patches studied in this paper were identified by the algorithm introduced by Coley and Heelis, and they were encountered during midnight-noon passes of the spacecraft. Density and velocity spectra associated with these antisunward convecting patches are analyzed in detail. Observations indicate the presence of structure on most patches regardless of the distance between the patch and the cusp where they are believed to develop. Existence of structure on both leading and trailing edges is established when such edges exist. Results, which show no large dependence of Delta N/N power on the sign of the edge gradient del N, do not allow the identification of leading and trailing edges of the patch. The Delta N/N is an increasing function of gradient del N regardless of the sign of the gradient. The correlation between Delta N/N and Delta V is generally poor, but for a given intensity in Delta V, Delta N/N maximizes in regions of large gradients in N. There is evidence for the presence of unstructured patches that seem to co-exist with unstructured horizontal velocities. Slightly smaller spectral indices for trailing edges support the presence of the E X B drift instability. Although this instability is found to be operating in some cases, results suggest that stirring may be a significant contributor to kilometer-size structures in the polar cap.

  16. Climatic versus topographic forcing on the extend of major Alpine ice-caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salcher, Bernhard; Sternai, Pietro

    2015-04-01

    Climate exerts the primary control on glaciers' mass balance, in turn affecting the topographic evolution of mountain ranges worldwide by driving glacial erosion. The hypsometry (i.e. the distribution of elevations) of a mountain range, however, is also known to influence the evolution of glaciers and ice-caps, thereby affecting the patterns and magnitudes of glacial erosion (Pedersen and Egholm, 2013). The importance of these interacting factors, climate and landscape hypsometry, on the glacial history and associated erosion is commonly derived from the geomorphic and the stratigraphic records. However, first-order questions are still unanswered and a better understanding of this double forcing is clearly needed. In this presentation, we explore climate vs. hypsometric forcing on glacial dynamics through numerical landscape evolution modeling. We focus on the European Alps, a mountain range that was repeatedly affected by major glaciations throughout the Quaternary. The European Alps show clear east-west topographic variations in spite of relatively uniform climate forcing. While the width across the Western and Central Alps does not exceed 150 km and the highest peaks rise up to more than 4500 m, the Eastern Alps are up to 260 km wide and the highest peaks are clearly lower than 4000 m. This topographic gradient may be critical during major Quaternary climatic transitions (i.e. at 2.5 Ma, 1.4 Ma or at the mid-Pleistocene transition): Did the related ELA (equilibrium line altitude) variations really lead to strong variations in ice extend in the western and eastern Alps? What is the role of the hypsometry, including effects of landscapes very differently preconditioned by glaciers? In fact, stratigraphic records in the foreland of the western Alps suggest the arrival of glaciers at the mountain front probably long before 1 Ma (Akçar et al. 2014), while there is no evidence of such an early extent on the eastern side (e.g. Preusser, 2004). Later ice advances (i

  17. Potential Arctic sea ice refuge for sustaining a remnant polar bear population (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durner, G. M.; Amstrup, S. C.; Douglas, D. C.; Gautier, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform from which they capture seals. Sea ice availability must be spatially and temporally adequate for birth and weaning of seal pups, and to maximize seal hunting opportunities for polar bears. Projected declines in the spatial and temporal extent of summer and autumn sea ice could potentially limit the ability of polar bears to build up body stores sufficient to maintain reproductive fitness. General circulation models, however, suggest that summer and autumn sea ice may persist in the shelf waters of the Canadian Archipelago and northern Greenland adjacent to the Arctic basin. While winter-formed ice is important, a primary mechanism for sea ice accumulation in this region is by mechanical thickening of the sea ice facilitated by convergent forces from the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift Stream. Collectively these areas could provide a polar bear refugium when other regions have lost the sea ice necessary to support viable populations. The potential for a polar bear refugium, however, must include other resource considerations. Projected declines of sea ice in the Northwest Passage may expose polar bears to hazards related to increase shipping and other commerce. Increasing global demands and limited opportunities elsewhere make the Arctic an increasingly attractive area for petroleum exploration. The Canadian Archipelago coincides with the Sverdrup basin, where petroleum accumulations have already been discovered but as yet are undeveloped. The Lincoln Sea Basin offshore of northern Greenland has the geological possibility of significant petroleum accumulations, and northeastern Greenland is one of the most prospective areas in the Arctic for undiscovered oil. Activities associated with commerce and petroleum development could reduce the potential viability of the region as a polar bear refugium. Hence, if the goal is a sustainable (albeit reduced) polar bear population, important considerations include commerce

  18. Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes

    PubMed Central

    Alley, Richard B.

    2000-01-01

    Ice-core records show that climate changes in the past have been large, rapid, and synchronous over broad areas extending into low latitudes, with less variability over historical times. These ice-core records come from high mountain glaciers and the polar regions, including small ice caps and the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. PMID:10677460

  19. O+ and H+ above the polar cap: Observations and semikinetic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barghouthi, I. A.; Abudayyeh, H. A.; Slapak, R.; Nilsson, H.

    2016-01-01

    A one-dimensional direct simulation Monte Carlo model is used to study the outflow of O+ and H+ ions from 1.2 RE to 15.2 RE along two flight trajectories originating from the polar cap, namely, the central polar cap (CPC) and the cusp. To study the effect of varying geophysical conditions and to deduce the proper set of parameters, several parameters were varied, and the results were compared to corresponding data from Cluster spacecraft. First, several sets of diffusion coefficients were considered based on using diffusion coefficients calculated by Barghouthi et al. (1998), Nilsson et al. (2013), and Abudayyeh et al. (2015b) for different altitude intervals. It was found that in the central polar cap using the diffusion coefficients reported by Barghouthi et al. (1998) for altitudes lower than 3.7 RE, zero diffusion coefficients between 3.7 and 7.5 RE and diffusion coefficients from Nilsson et al. (2013) for altitudes higher than 7.5 RE provide the best fit for O+ ions. For O+ ions in the cusp the best fit was obtained for using Barghouthi et al. (1998) diffusion coefficients for altitudes lower than 3.7 RE and Nilsson et al. (2013) diffusion coefficients for altitudes higher than that. The best fit for H+ ions in both regions was obtained by using the diffusion coefficients calculated by Abudayyeh et al. (2015b). Also, it was found that along an ion's trajectory the most recent heating dominates. Second, the strength of centrifugal acceleration was varied by using three values for the ionospheric electric field, namely, 0, 50, and 100 MV/m. It was found that the value of 50 MV/m provided the best fit for both ion species in both regions. Finally, the lower altitude boundary conditions and the electron temperature were varied. Increasing the electron temperature and the lower altitude O+ parallel velocity were found to increase the access of O+ ions to higher altitudes and therefore increase the density at a given altitude. The variation of all other boundary

  20. Centrifugal acceleration at high altitudes above the polar cap: A Monte Carlo simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abudayyeh, H. A.; Barghouthi, I. A.; Slapak, R.; Nilsson, H.

    2015-08-01

    A Monte Carlo simulation was used to study the outflow of O+ and H+ ions along three flight trajectories above the polar cap up to altitudes of about 15 RE. Barghouthi (2008) developed a model on the basis of altitude and velocity-dependent wave-particle interactions and a radial geomagnetic field which includes the effects of ambipolar electric field and gravitational and mirror forces. In the present work we improve this model to include the effect of the centrifugal force, with the use of relevant boundary conditions. In addition, the magnetic field and flight trajectories, namely, the central polar cap (CPC), nightside polar cap (NPC), and cusp, were calculated using the Tsyganenko T96 model. To simulate wave-particle interactions, the perpendicular velocity diffusion coefficients for O+ ions in each region were determined such that the simulation results fit the observations. For H+ ions, a constant perpendicular velocity diffusion coefficient was assumed for all altitudes in all regions as recommended by Nilsson et al. (2013). The effect of centrifugal acceleration was simulated by considering three values for the ionospheric electric field: 0 (no centrifugal acceleration), 50, and 100 mV/m. It was found that the centrifugal acceleration increases the parallel bulk velocity and decreases the parallel and perpendicular temperatures of both ion species at altitudes above about 4 RE. Centrifugal acceleration also increases the temperature anisotropy at high altitudes. At a given altitude, centrifugal acceleration decreases the density of H+ ions while it increases the density of O+ ions. This implies that with higher centrifugal acceleration more O+ ions overcome the potential barrier. It was also found that aside from two exceptions centrifugal acceleration has the same effect on the velocities of both ions. This implies that the centrifugal acceleration is universal for all particles. The parallel bulk velocities at a given value of ionospheric electric field

  1. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Deweaver, E.T.; Douglas, D.C.; Marcot, B.G.; Durner, G.M.; Bitz, C.M.; Bailey, D.A.

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the worlds polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here we show, using a general circulation model, that substantially more sea-ice habitat would be retained if greenhouse gas rise is mitigated. We also show, with Bayesian network model outcomes, that increased habitat retention under greenhouse gas mitigation means that polar bears could persist throughout the century in greater numbers and more areas than in the business-as-usual case. Our general circulation model outcomes did not reveal thresholds leading to irreversible loss of ice; instead, a linear relationship between global mean surface air temperature and sea-ice habitat substantiated the hypothesis that sea-ice thermodynamics can overcome albedo feedbacks proposed to cause sea-ice tipping points. Our outcomes indicate that rapid summer ice losses in models and observations represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than tipping-point behaviour. Mitigation-driven Bayesian network outcomes show that previously predicted declines in polar bear distribution and numbers are not unavoidable. Because polar bears are sentinels of the Arctic marine ecosystem and trends in their sea-ice habitats foreshadow future global changes, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to improve polar bear status would have conservation benefits throughout

  2. On the surging potential of polar ice streams: Part 1, Sliding and surging of large ice masses: A review

    SciTech Connect

    McInnes, B.; Radok, U.; Budd, W.F.; Smith, I.N.

    1985-01-01

    The main features of glacier surges were well known by the time the first detailed glacier dynamics and ice flow law came into being during the 1950s. The surging potential of polar ice streams raises additional questions which remain to be answered by a combination of observations and model refinements. This report reviews the available evidence on glacier sliding, and the main concepts and hypotheses that have been advanced for the surging phenomenon.

  3. Landward and eastward shift of Alaskan polar bear denning associated with recent sea ice changes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, D.C.

    2007-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the northern Alaska region den in coastal areas and on offshore drifting ice. We evaluated changes in the distribution of polar bear maternal dens between 1985 and 2005, using satellite telemetry. We determined the distribution of maternal dens occupied by 89 satellite collared female polar bears between 137°W and 167°W longitude. The proportion of dens on pack ice declined from 62% in 1985–1994 to 37% in 1998–2004 (P = 0.044) and among pack ice dens fewer occurred in the western Beaufort Sea after 1998. We evaluated whether hunting, attraction to bowhead whale remains, or changes in sea ice could explain changes in den distribution. We concluded that denning distribution changed in response to reductions in stable old ice, increases in unconsolidated ice, and lengthening of the melt season. In consort, these changes have likely reduced the availability and quality of pack ice denning habitat. Further declines in sea ice availability are predicted. Therefore, we expect the proportion of polar bears denning in coastal areas will continue to increase, until such time as the autumn ice retreats far enough from shore that it precludes offshore pregnant females from reaching the Alaska coast in advance of denning.

  4. A tale of two polar bear populations: Ice habitat, harvest, and body condition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rode, K.D.; Peacock, E.; Taylor, M.; Stirling, I.; Born, E.W.; Laidre, K.L.; Wiig, O.

    2012-01-01

    One of the primary mechanisms by which sea ice loss is expected to affect polar bears is via reduced body condition and growth resulting from reduced access to prey. To date, negative effects of sea ice loss have been documented for two of 19 recognized populations. Effects of sea ice loss on other polar bear populations that differ in harvest rate, population density, and/or feeding ecology have been assumed, but empirical support, especially quantitative data on population size, demography, and/or body condition spanning two or more decades, have been lacking. We examined trends in body condition metrics of captured bears and relationships with summertime ice concentration between 1977 and 2010 for the Baffin Bay (BB) and Davis Strait (DS) polar bear populations. Polar bears in these regions occupy areas with annual sea ice that has decreased markedly starting in the 1990s. Despite differences in harvest rate, population density, sea ice concentration, and prey base, polar bears in both populations exhibited positive relationships between body condition and summertime sea ice cover during the recent period of sea ice decline. Furthermore, females and cubs exhibited relationships with sea ice that were not apparent during the earlier period (1977-1990s) when sea ice loss did not occur. We suggest that declining body condition in BB may be a result of recent declines in sea ice habitat. In DS, high population density and/or sea ice loss, may be responsible for the declines in body condition. ?? 2011 The Society of Population Ecology and Springer.

  5. Increased Arctic Sea Ice Drift Alters Polar