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. South Polar Residual Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This mosaic is composed of 18 Viking Orbiter images (6 each in red, green, and violet filters), acquired on September 28, 1977, during revolution 407 of Viking Orbiter 2. The south pole is located just off the lower left edge of the polar cap, and the 0 degree longitude meridian extends toward the top of the mosaic. The large crater near the right edge (named 'South') is about 100 km in diameter. These images were acquired during southern summer on Mars (Ls = 341 degrees); the sub-solar declination was 8 degrees S., and the south polar cap was nearing its final stage of retreat just prior to vernal equinox. The south residual cap is approximately 400 km across, and the exposed surface is thought to consist dominantly of carbon-dioxide frost. This is in contrast to the water-ice surface of the north polar residual cap. It is likely that water ice is present in layers that underlie the south polar cap and that comprise the surrounding layered terrains. Near the top of this image, irregular pits with sharp-rimmed cliffs appear 'etched', presumably by wind. A series of rugged mountains (extending toward the upper right corner of the image) are of unknown origin.

  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. 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

  6. Morphology of Mars North Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    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)(exp 2)/113.6] - [(Y-y)(exp 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.

  7. Seasat and polar ice. [instrument package for ice cap research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, W. J.

    1974-01-01

    The instrument package for SEASAT-A possesses three tools that could give data greatly needed in ice cap research: the Compressed Pulse Radar Altimeter (CPRA), the Coherent Imaging Radar (CIR), and the Scanning Multifrequency Microwave Radiometer (SMMR). Certain problems that can be studied with each sensor are discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. Nonequilibrium air clathrate hydrates in Antarctic ice: a paleopiezomdter for polar ice caps.

    PubMed

    Craig, H; Shoji, H; Langway, C C

    1993-12-01

    "Craigite," the mixed-air clathrate hydrate found in polar ice caps below the depth of air-bubble stability, is a clathrate mixed crystal of approximate composition (N2O2).6H2O. Recent observations on the Byrd Station Antarctic core show that the air hydrate is present at a depth of 727 m, well above the predicted depth for the onset of hydrate stability. We propose that the air hydrate occurs some 100 m above the equilibrium phase boundary at Byrd Station because of "piezometry"--i.e., that the anomalous depth of hydrate occurrence is a relic of a previous greater equilibrium depth along the flow trajectory, followed by vertical advection of ice through the local phase-boundary depth. Flowline trajectories in the ice based on numerical models show that the required vertical displacement does indeed occur just upstream of Byrd Station. Air-hydrate piezometry can thus be used as a general parameter to study the details of ice flow in polar ice caps and the metastable persistence of the clathrate phase in regions of upwelling blue ice.

  13. Field-calibrated model of melt, refreezing, and runoff for polar ice caps: Application to Devon Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Richard M.; Mair, Douglas W. F.; Nienow, Peter W.; Bell, Christina; Burgess, David O.; Wright, Andrew P.

    2014-09-01

    Understanding the controls on the amount of surface meltwater that refreezes, rather than becoming runoff, over polar ice masses is necessary for modeling their surface mass balance and ultimately for predicting their future contributions to global sea level change. We present a modified version of a physically based model that includes an energy balance routine and explicit calculation of near-surface meltwater refreezing capacity, to simulate the evolution of near-surface density and temperature profiles across Devon Ice Cap in Arctic Canada. Uniquely, our model is initiated and calibrated using high spatial resolution measurements of snow and firn densities across almost the entire elevation range of the ice cap for the summer of 2004 and subsequently validated with the same type of measurements obtained during the very different meteorological conditions of summer 2006. The model captures the spatial variability across the transect in bulk snowpack properties although it slightly underestimates the flow of meltwater into the firn of previous years. The percentage of meltwater that becomes runoff is similar in both years; however, the spatial pattern of this melt-runoff relationship is different in the 2 years. The model is found to be insensitive to variation in the depth of impermeable layers within the firn but is very sensitive to variation in air temperature, since the refreezing capacity of firn decreases with increasing temperature. We highlight that the sensitivity of the ice cap's surface mass balance to air temperature is itself dependent on air temperature.

  14. Gravitational separation of gases and isotopes in polar ice caps.

    PubMed

    Craig, H; Horibe, Y; Sowers, T

    1988-12-23

    Atmospheric gases trapped in polar ice at the firn to ice transition layer are enriched in heavy isotopes (nitrogen-15 and oxygen-18) and in heavy gases (O(2)/N(2) and Ar/N(2) ratios) relative to the free atmosphere. The maximum enrichments observed follow patterns predicted for gravitational equilibrium at the base of the firn layer, as calculated from the depth to the transition layer and the temperature in the firn. Gas ratios exhibit both positive and negative enrichments relative to air: the negative enrichments of heavy gases are consistent with observed artifacts of vacuum stripping of gases from fractured ice and with the relative values of molecular diameters that govern capillary transport. These two models for isotopic and elemental fractionation provide a basis for understanding the initial enrichments of carbon-13 and oxygen-18 in trapped CO(2), CH(4), and O(2) in ice cores, which must be known in order to decipher ancient atmospheric isotopic ratios.

  15. 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.

  16. Mars ice caps.

    PubMed

    Leovy, C

    1966-12-01

    Minimum atmospheric temperatures required to prevent CO(2) condensatio in the Mars polar caps are higher than those obtained in a computer experiment to simulate the general circulation of the Mars atmosphere. This observation supports the view that the polar caps are predominantly solid CO(2). However, thin clouds of H(2)0 ice could substantially reduce the surface condensation rate.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Recent volcano ice interaction and outburst flooding in a Mars polar cap re-entrant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovius, Niels; Lea-Cox, Andrew; Turowski, Jens M.

    2008-09-01

    Formation of chasms in the polar ice caps of Mars has been attributed to meltwater outburst floods, but the cause of melting has remained uncertain. In a cap re-entrant enveloping Abalos Colles, west of Casma Boreale in the north polar cap, we have found possible evidence of recent volcano-ice interaction and outburst flooding. In this paper we demonstrate that these two mechanisms can have acted together to form or expand the Abalos re-entrant. Flat-topped ridges and circular rims protruding above the ice cap surface in the re-entrant apex may be lava ridges and volcano craters, and can have caused melting of 3.3 to 7.7×10 km of ice. The surrounding cap surface appears to have subsided and the likely volume of missing ice matches the melt estimate. Outburst flooding from this area may have reached peak discharges of 0.3 to 1.5×10 ms according to scour patterns in one of the re-entrant channels. This required ponding of melt water during lava eruption and catastrophic release through a sub- or englacial melt water tunnel, the collapse of which has left a chasm in the ice cap margin. The flood features are geologically recent, and volcano-ice interaction may have occurred within the last 20,000 years.

  19. 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

  20. Ice caps on venus?

    PubMed

    Libby, W F

    1968-03-01

    The data on Venus obtained by Mariner V and Venera 4 are interpreted as evidence of giant polar ice caps holding the water that must have come out of the volcanoes with the observed carbon dioxide, on the assumption that Earth and Venus are of similar composition and volcanic history. The measurements by Venera 4 of the equatorial surface temperature indicate that the microwave readings were high, so that the polar ice caps may be allowed to exist in the face of the 10-centimeter readings of polar temperature. Life seems to be distinctly possible at the edges of the ice sheets.

  1. 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.

  2. Reconciling different observations of the CO2 ice mass loading of the Martian north polar cap

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haberle, R.M.; Mattingly, B.; Titus, T.N.

    2004-01-01

    The GRS measurements of the peak mass loading of the north polar CO2 ice cap on Mars are about 60% lower than those calculated from MGS TES radiation data and those inferred from the MOLA cap thicknesses. However, the GRS data provide the most accurate measurement of the mass loading. We show that the TES and MOLA data can be reconciled with the GRS data if (1) subsurface heat conduction and atmospheric heat transport are included in the TES mass budget calculations, and (2) the density of the polar deposits is ???600 kg m-3. The latter is much less than that expected for slab ice (???1600 kg m-3) and suggests that processes unique to the north polar region are responsible for the low cap density. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. Radar scattering from venus at large angles of incidence and the question of polar ice caps.

    PubMed

    Jurgens, R F

    1968-12-20

    Spectrum analysis of radar waves backscattered from an anulus near the limb of Venus shows that a uniform scattering model applies over regions extending from the equator to within approximately 15 degrees of the poles. These observations indicate that large polar ice caps extending to latitudes as low as 60 degrees are very unlikely.

  4. Black carbon aerosols and the third polar ice cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, S.; Koch, D.; Beig, G.; Sahu, S.; Fasullo, J.; Orlikowski, D.

    2009-12-01

    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 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 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 ~0.9% due to aerosols. The contribution of the enhanced Indian BC to this decline is ~30%, 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.

  5. Black carbon aerosols and the third polar ice cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, S.; Koch, D.; Beig, G.; Sahu, S.; Fasullo, J.; Orlikowski, D.

    2010-05-01

    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 ~0.9% due to aerosols. The contribution of the enhanced Indian BC to this decline is ~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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. How Thick is the North Polar Ice Cap on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This map shows the thickness of the north polar layered deposits on Mars as measured by the Shallow Radar instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    The Shallow Radar instrument was provided by the Italian Space Agency. Its operations are led by the University of Rome and its data are analyzed by a joint U.S.-Italian science team. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington

  11. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    7 September 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a 1.4 m/pixel (5 ft/pixel) view of a typical martian north polar ice cap texture. The surface is pitted and rough at the scale of several meters. The north polar residual cap of Mars consists mainly of water ice, while the south polar residual cap is mostly carbon dioxide. This picture is located near 85.2oN, 283.2oW. The image covers an area approximately 1 km wide by 1.4 km high (0.62 by 0.87 miles). Sunlight illuminates this scene from the lower left.

  12. 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.

  13. Ice-Ripples on Martian Polar Caps: Exploration of Their Size and Dynamics by a Linear Instability Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpy, S.; Bordiec, M.; Blanchard, C.; Perret, L.; Herny, C.; Massé, M.; Bourgeois, O.; Mathis, H.

    2016-09-01

    We have conducted a linear stability analysis of a coupled ice-airflow interface under turbulent boundary layer in order to evaluate whether ice-ripples similar to those observed in Antarctica can develop at the surface of the martian polar caps.

  14. 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. .

  15. 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.

  16. South Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    8 December 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows landforms created by sublimation processes on the south polar residual cap of Mars. The bulk of the ice in the south polar residual cap is frozen carbon dioxide.

    Location near: 86.6oS, 342.2oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Summer

  17. Energy balance in ice layers - the solid-state greenhouse effect at the Mars polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufmann, E.; Kömle, N. I.; Kargl, G.

    Icy surfaces like the polar caps of Mars or the surfaces of the outer Galilean satellites behave different than rock and soil surfaces when they are irradiated by solar light The latter ones absorb and reflect incoming solar radiation immediately at the surface In contrast ices are partially transparent in the visible spectral range and opaque in the infrared Due to this property it is possible for the solar radiation to reach a certain depth and raise the temperature of the ice layer below the surface This internal temperature rise is called solid-state greenhouse effect It may play an important role in the energy balance of icy surfaces in the solar system as already suggested in previous theoretical investigations One possible consequence of the solid-state greenhouse effect are the Martian spiders observed at the cryptic region on Mars by Mars Global Surveyor In the frame of a project performed at the Space Research Institute in Graz the solid-state greenhouse effect was investigated experimentally and theoretically A couple of experiments were performed including diverse samples with the main focus on layered samples with a covering coat consisting of pure H 2 O-ice Different samples were irradiated under cryo-vacuum conditions by a solar simulator The temperature distributions inside the samples were measured and compared with the results of theoretical modelling In addition models describing the influence of the solid-state greenhouse effect on Mars where the surface is partially covered by CO 2 -ice were developed

  18. Summer South Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    13 April 2004 The martian south polar residual ice cap is composed mainly of frozen carbon dioxide. Each summer, a little bit of this carbon dioxide sublimes away. Pits grow larger, and mesas get smaller, as this process continues from year to year. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a view of a small portion of the south polar cap as it appeared in mid-summer in January 2004. The dark areas may be places where the frozen carbon dioxide contains impurities, such as dust, or places where sublimation of ice has roughened the surface so that it appears darker because of small shadows cast by irregularities in the roughened surface. The image is located near 86.9oS, 7.6oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. No signature of clear CO2 ice from the 'cryptic' regions in Mars' south seasonal polar cap.

    PubMed

    Langevin, Yves; Douté, Sylvain; Vincendon, Mathieu; Poulet, François; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Gondet, Brigitte; Schmitt, Bernard; Forget, F

    2006-08-17

    The seasonal polar ice caps of Mars are composed mainly of CO2 ice. A region of low (< 30%) albedo has been observed within the south seasonal cap during early to mid-spring. The low temperature of this 'cryptic region' has been attributed to a clear slab of nearly pure CO2 ice, with the low albedo resulting from absorption by the underlying surface. Here we report near-infrared imaging spectroscopy of the south seasonal cap. The deep and broad CO2 absorption bands that are expected in the near-infrared with a thick transparent slab of CO2 ice are not observed. Models of the observed spectra indicate that the low albedo results from extensive dust contamination close to the surface of a CO2 ice layer, which could be linked to atmospheric circulation patterns. The strength of the CO2 absorption increases after mid-spring, so part of the dust is either carried away or buried more deeply in the ice layer during the CO2 ice sublimation process.

  2. Effects of deliquescent salts in soils of polar Mars on the flow of the Northern Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, D. A.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S.; Catling, D.

    2008-12-01

    The discovery of substantial amounts of magnesium and perchlorate by Phoenix' "Wet Chemistry Lab" (WCL) in the soil of Polar Mars suggests that magnesium perchlorate could be the dominant salt in the polar region's soils. This prospect opens some unexpected doors for moving liquid water around at temperatures as low as -68C. In its fully hydrated form ,this salt water mixture has a high density (~ 1700 kgm /cubic meter) (Besley and Bottomley,1969) and a freezing point of -68C (Pestova et al., 2005).This perchlorate is very deliquescent and gives off heat as it melts ice. About 1.8 gram of ice can be 'melted' by 1 gm of pure magnesium perchlorate . If the reported 1 percent perchlorate is typical of polar soils and if 5 percent of the Northern Permanent Ice Cap is soil then the perchorate , makes up about 0.0005 the of the ice cap. Given the average thickness of the ice cap is about 2000 meters,this suggests there enough perchorate in the ice cap to generate about 2m of salty water at the bed. Because of its density the perclorate salty water would pool over impervious layers and make the bed into a perchorate sludge that could be mobilized and deformed by the overburden of ice. The deformation of mobile beds is a well known phenomenon on some terrestrial glaciers presently and was thought to have played a major role during the Wisconsinan ice age (Fisher et al., 1985) . The perchorate sludge would be deformed and moved outwards possibly resulting its re-introduction to the polar environment. Having a deliquescent salt sludge at the bed whose melting point is -68C would mean that the ice cap could slide on its deformable bed while the ice itself was still very cold and stiff . This possibility has been modeled with a 2D time varying model . Adding the deformable bed material allows ice cap motion even at ice temperatures cold enough to generate and preserve the scarp/trough features. When the perchlorate formation mechanisms and rates are known the ultimate

  3. Albedo of Carbon Dioxide Ice in Mars' Residual South Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    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 and suggests either an additional opacity source or modification of the CRISM dust opacity or the dust phase function. The consequences of these changes will be discussed.

  4. Pleistocene reduction of polar ice caps: Evidence from Cariaco Basin marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poore, R. Z.; Dowsett, H. J.

    2001-01-01

    Sea level is projected to rise between 13 and 94 cm over the next 100 yr due to continued climate warming. The sea-level projections assume that polar ice sheets will remain stable or even increase on time scales of centuries, but controversial geologic evidence suggests that current polar ice sheets have been eliminated or greatly reduced during previous Pleistocene interglacials indicating that modern polar ice sheets have become unstable within the natural range of interglacial climates. Sea level may have been more than 20 m higher than today during a presumably very warm interglacial about 400 ka during marine isotope stage 11. Because of the implications for future sea level rise, additional study of the conflicting evidence for warmer conditions and higher sea level during marine isotope stage 11 is needed. Here we present microfossil and isotopic data from marine sediments of the Cariaco Basin supporting the interpretation that global sea level was 10 20 m higher than today during marine isotope stage 11. The increased sea level requires reduction in modern polar ice sheets and is consistent with the interpretation that the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice sheet were absent or greatly reduced during marine isotope stage 11. Our results show a warm marine isotope stage 11 interglacial climate with sea level as high as or above modern sea level that lasted for 25 to 30 k.y. Variations in Earth's orbit around the sun (Milankovitch cycles) are considered to be a primary external force driving glacial-interglacial cycles. Current and marine isotope stage 11 Milankovitch forcing are very similar, suggesting that the present interglacial (Holocene) that began ca. 10 ka will continue for another 15 to 20 k.y. Therefore any anthropogenic climate warming will accelerate the natural process toward reduction in polar ice sheets. The potential for increased rates of sea level rise related to polar ice sheet decay should be considered as a potential natural

  5. Pleistocene reduction of polar ice caps: Evidence from Cariaco Basin marine sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poore, R.Z.; Dowsett, H.J.

    2001-01-01

    Sea level is projected to rise between 13 and 94 cm over the next 100 yr due to continued climate warming. The sea-level projections assume that polar ice sheets will remain stable or even increase on time scales of centuries, but controversial geologic evidence suggests that current polar ice sheets have been eliminated or greatly reduced during previous Pleistocene interglacials indicating that modern polar ice sheets have become unstable within the natural range of interglacial climates. Sea level may have been more than 20 m higher than today during a presumably very warm interglacial about 400 ka during marine isotope stage 11. Because of the implications for future sea level rise, additional study of the conflicting evidence for warmer conditions and higher sea level during marine isotope stage 11 is needed. Here we present microfossil and isotopic data from marine sediments of the Cariaco Basin supporting the interpretation that global sea level was 10-20 m higher than today during marine isotope stage 11. The increased sea level requires reduction in modern polar ice sheets and is consistent with the interpretation that the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice sheet were absent or greatly reduced during marine isotope stage 11. Our results show a warm marine isotope stage 11 interglacial climate with sea level as high as or above modern sea level that lasted for 25 to 30 k.y. Variations in Earth's orbit around the sun (Milankovitch cycles) are considered to be a primary external force driving glacial-interglacial cycles. Current and marine isotope stage 11 Milankovitch forcing are very similar, suggesting that the present interglacial (Holocene) that began ca. 10 ka will continue for another 15 to 20 k.y. Therefore any anthropogenic climate warming will accelerate the natural process toward reduction in polar ice sheets. The potential for increased rates of sea level rise related to polar ice sheet decay should be considered as a potential natural

  6. 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.

  7. The melting sea ice of Arctic polar cap in the summer solstice month and the role of ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Yi, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice is becoming smaller and thinner than climatological standard normal and more fragmented in the early summer. We investigated the widely changing Arctic sea ice using the daily sea ice concentration data. Sea ice data is generated from brightness temperature data derived from the sensors: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)-F13 Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSM/Is), the DMSP-F17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) and the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) instrument on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua satellite. We tried to figure out appearance of arctic sea ice melting region of polar cap from the data of passive microwave sensors. It is hard to explain polar sea ice melting only by atmosphere effects like surface air temperature or wind. Thus, our hypothesis explaining this phenomenon is that the heat from deep undersea in Arctic Ocean ridges and the hydrothermal vents might be contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Magnetospheric polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akasofu, S. I.; Kan, J. R.

    Mount Denali (McKinley), the Alaska Range, and countless glaciers welcomed all 86 participants of the Chapman Conference on the Magnetospheric Polar Cap, which was held on the University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus (UAF), on August 6-9, 1984. The magnetospheric polar cap is the highest latitude region of the earth which is surrounded by the ring of auroras (the auroral oval). This particular region of the earth has become a focus of magnetospheric physicists during the last several years. This is because a number of upper atmospheric phenomena in the polar cap are found to be crucial in understanding the solar wind—magnetosphere interaction. The conference was opened by J. G. Roederer, who was followed by the UAF Chancellor, P. J. O'Rourke, who officially welcomed the participants.

  12. Shrinking ice caps in the spotlight.

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael

    2014-10-01

    From the disappearing sea ice of the Arctic to the thriving microbial communities in subglacial lakes of Antarctica, the Earth's ice caps have often made the news in recent months and years, and polar science has emerged as being crucial to our understanding of our planet's biology and climate. Michael Gross reports.

  13. 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.

  14. North Polar Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    25 December 2004 For 25 December, the MOC team thought that a visit to a north polar site would be timely. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows, at about 1.5 meters per pixel (5 feet per pixel) resolution, a view of the north polar ice cap of Mars. That the material includes water ice has been known since the mid-1970s, when Viking orbiter observations confirmed that the cap gives off water vapor in the summertime, as the ice is subliming away. The surface shown here, observed by MOC during northern summer in November 2004, is pitted and somewhat grooved. Dark material on pit floors might be trapped, windblown dust. The picture covers an area about 1 km (0.62 mi) across, and is located near 86.8oN, 293.1oW. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  15. Can the Solid State Greenhouse Effect Produce ~100 Year Cycles in the Mars South Polar Residual CO2 Ice Cap?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Line, M. R.; Ingersoll, A. P.

    2010-12-01

    Malin et al. (2001) reported that the south perennial cap consists of quasi-circular pits ~8 meters deep, with a flat surface in between. The walls of the pits are retreating at a rate of 1 to 3 meters per year. Byrne and Ingersoll (2003a, 2003b) showed evidence that the floors of the pits are water ice and the upper layer is CO2. This layer will be gone in a few Martian centuries, if the observations are taken at face value. This raises some difficult questions: How likely is it that mankind would be witnessing the final few hundred years of the residual CO2 frost on Mars? Can one imagine extreme weather events that could recharge the residual CO2 frost once it is gone? Both seem unlikely, and we propose a different mechanism. Kieffer et al. (2000) showed that sunlight can penetrate several meters through the seasonal CO2 frost, where it warms the surface below. We have observational evidence that the same is happening in the perennial CO2 frost. Further, we have a model that shows how this "solid-state greenhouse" can lead to cyclic behavior, in which layers of CO2 build up on a water ice substrate, are heated internally by sunlight and lose mass from within. Eventually the layer becomes too weak to support itself, and it collapses to form pits. Then a new CO2 layer accumulates and the process repeats. Our study addresses fundamental questions of long-term stability of the Martian polar caps and how the caps control the atmospheric pressure. Instead of invoking extreme climate events to explain the data, we propose that processes within the frost itself can lead to cyclic growth and collapse of the pits. Our model implies that there is no long-term change in the ~8 meter layer of CO2 and no extreme weather events to make it change.

  16. Additions and corrections to the absorption coefficients of CO2 ice - Applications to the Martian south polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calvin, Wendy M.

    1990-01-01

    Reflectance spectra of carbon dioxide frosts were calculated using the optical constants provided by Warren (1986) for the wavelength region 2-6 microns. In comparing these calculated spectra to spectra of frosts observed in the laboratory and on the surface of Mars, problems in the optical constants presented by Warren (1986) became apparent. Absorption coefficients for CO2 ice have been derived using laboratory reflectance measurements and the Hapke (1981) model for calculating diffuse reflectance. This provides approximate values in regions where no data were previously available and indicates where corrections to the compilation by Warren (1986) are required. Using these coefficients to calculate the reflectance of CO2 ice at varying grain sizes indicates that a typical Mariner polar cap spectrum is dominated by absorptions due to CO2 frost or ice at grain sizes that are quite large, probably of the order of millimeters to centimeters. There are indications of contamination of water frost or dust, but confirmation will require more precise absorption coefficients for solid CO2 than can be obtained from the method used here.

  17. South Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 8 March 2004

    The Odyssey spacecraft has completed a full Mars year of observations of the red planet. For the next several weeks the Image of the Day will look back over this first mars year. It will focus on four themes: 1) the poles - with the seasonal changes seen in the retreat and expansion of the caps; 2) craters - with a variety of morphologies relating to impact materials and later alteration, both infilling and exhumation; 3) channels - the clues to liquid surface flow; and 4) volcanic flow features. While some images have helped answer questions about the history of Mars, many have raised new questions that are still being investigated as Odyssey continues collecting data as it orbits Mars.

    This image was collected March 5, 2002 during the southern summer season. Layering in the South polar cap interior is readily visible and may indicate yearly ice/dust deposition.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -86.6, Longitude 156.8 East (203.2 West). 19 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 led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the

  18. The Role of Sublimation and Condensation in the Dynamics of Aeolian Ice Sedimentation Waves on the North Polar Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herny, C.; Carpy, S.; Bourgeois, O.; Spiga, A.; Rodriguez, S.; Massé, M.; Le Mouélic, S.

    2016-09-01

    We explore the role of sublimation and condensation of water vapor in the development of ice sedimentation waves on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our observations and simulations are in accordance with the hypothesis that sedimentation waves can migrate upwind or downwind.

  19. North Polar Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image illustrates very well the detailed, pitted nature of the north polar residual ice cap. As water ice sublimes away a little bit each summer, dark-floored pits have formed, trapping dust and other debris.

    Location near: 85.1oN, 284.6oW 200 m scale bar = 219 yards Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  20. Time Evolution and Inter-Annual Variability of Seasonal Ice on the Mars Northern Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mount, C.; Titus, T. N.

    2012-03-01

    We explore the temporal density variations of Mars' NPSC and use ice depth and density estimates to constrain the CROCUS date for a specific location and compare it to the CROCUS dates from three previous Mars years.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. Gravitational enrichment of {sup 84}Kr/{sup 36}Ar ratios in polar ice caps: A measure of firm thickness and accumulation temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, H.; Wiens, R.C.

    1996-03-22

    Measurements of {sup 84}Kr/{sup 36}Ar ratios in Greenland ice show that gravitational separation in the firn layer is responsible for the enrichments relative to atmospheric ratios. The {sup 84}Kr/{sup 36}Ar ratio is enriched by 12.8 per mil and is 24 times the {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O enrichment in trapped O{sub 2}, as predicted for gravitational fractionation. Because gravitational enrichment depends on firn thickness, which in turn depends on annual mean temperature, noble gas ratios provide a method for determining paleotemperatures and ancient firn thicknesses in polar ice caps. The gravitational effects are modulated by about 10 to 15 percent by atmospheric concentration changes caused by temperature effects on oceanic gas solubilities. The availability of five noble gases should make it possible to deconvolute the solubility and gravitational enrichments for calibration of {sup 18}O paleo-temperature throughout the polar ice sheets. 11 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  5. 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

  6. Martian north polar cap summer water cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Calvin, Wendy M.; Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane

    2016-10-01

    A key outstanding question in Martian science is "are the polar caps gaining or losing mass and what are the implications for past, current and future climate?" To address this question, we use observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of the north polar cap during late summer for multiple Martian years, to monitor the summertime water cycle in order to place quantitative limits on the amount of water ice deposited and sublimed in late summer. We establish here for the first time the summer cycle of water ice absorption band signatures on the north polar cap. We show that in a key region in the interior of the north polar cap, the absorption band depths grow until Ls = 120, when they begin to shrink, until they are obscured at the end of summer by the north polar hood. This behavior is transferable over the entire north polar cap, where in late summer regions 'flip' from being net sublimating into net condensation mode. This transition or 'mode flip' happens earlier for regions closer to the pole, and later for regions close to the periphery of the cap. The observations and calculations presented herein estimate that on average a water ice layer ∼70 microns thick is deposited during the Ls = 135-164 period. This is far larger than the results of deposition on the south pole during summer, where an average layer 0.6-6 microns deep has been estimated by Brown et al. (2014) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 406, 102-109.

  7. Polar Cap Plasma and Convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, Heather A.; Craven, Paul D.; Comfort, Richard H.; Chandler, Michael O.; Moore, Thomas E.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.

    1998-01-01

    This presentation will describe the character of the polar cap plasma in 10% AGU Spring 1998 particular the convection velocities at the perigee (about 1.8 Re) and apogee( about 8.9 Re) of Polar in relationship to Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and solar wind parameters. This plasma is thought to be due to several sources; the polar wind, cleft ion fountain, and auroral outflow. The plasma in the polar cap tends to be mostly field-aligned. At any given point in the polar cap, this plasma could be from a different regions since convection of magnetic field lines can transport this material. it is quite difficult to study such a phenomena with single point measurements. Current knowledge of the polar cap plasma obtained by in situ measurements will be presented along with recent results from the Polar mission. This study also examines the direct electrical coupling between the magnetosphere and ionosphere by comparing convection velocities measured by the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) and Magnetic Field Experiment (MFE) instruments in magnetosphere and measurements of the ionosphere by ground-based radars. At times such a comparison is difficult because the Polar satellite at apogee spends a large amount of time in the polar cap which is a region that is not coverage well by the current SuperDam coherent radars. This is impart due to the lack of irregularities that returns the radar signal.

  8. 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

  9. Polar ice melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvert, Jack G.

    Shrinking polar ice caps may be causing the earth's sea level to rise and its days to lengthen. ‘Rising mean sea level is a significant indication of global climate change,’ R. Etkins and E. Epstein report, pointing out that global sea levels have risen slightly more than one-tenth of an inch each year, on the average, since 1940, for a total of nearly 5 inches (Science, 215, 287-289, 1982). This is triple the rate of rise measured during the preceding half century, from 1890 to 1940.Etkins and Epstein estimate that more than 10,000 cubic miles of polar ice, most of it presumably from Antarctic ice sheets, must have melted in the past 40 years. They calculate that transfer of this great mass to the equivalent of a thin layer of water spread over the world's oceans also would tend to reduce the speed of the earth's rotation. This would lengthen each day by about one-thousandth of a second, they say, accounting for about three-fourths of the actual increase in the length of the day observed by scientists over the past 40 years.

  10. 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

  11. The hemispherical asymmetry in the Martian polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1993-02-01

    An energy balance model is used to study the behavior of CO2 ice on Mars. The effect of the solar zenith angle dependence of albedo is to lengthen CO2 ice lifetimes at the poles. Hemispherical asymmetries in cloud and dust abundance could result in the survival of seasonal CO2 ice through summer in the south and not in the north, in agreement with observations. CO2 ice observed in the summertime polar cap in the south could be of recent origin, although a permanent CO2 polar cap cannot be ruled out.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. The Search for Subsurface Ice Caps on Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, R. A.; Barlow, N. G.; Vilas, F.

    1996-03-01

    Recent ground-based radar observations of Mercury have detected strong, highly depolarized echoes from the north and south polar regions which have been interpreted as possible polar ice deposits. These radar echoes have been correlated with a number of impact craters. Theoretical studies indicate that such surface ice can be stable within permanently shadowed areas, such as the floors of high latitude impact craters. One proposed hypothesis suggests that stable subsurface ice caps exist at the poles of Mercury, and that several of the impact events that created the high latitude craters exposed this subsurface ice. Thus, our study focused on the possibility of ice caps extending below the mercurian surface, down to some unknown latitude in the polar regions. We used the experiences from Mars, where the depth/diameter ratio (d/D) is smaller for ice rich areas, to investigate whether a comparable latitudinal change in d/D is detectable on Mercury. We found no significant latitudinal differences within the two polar regions of our study or between the north polar and equatorial quadrangles, but craters in the south polar region tend to have slightly lower d/D than those in the north polar region.

  16. Surface mass balance of Greenland mountain glaciers and ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, R. J.; Box, J. E.; Bromwich, D. H.; Wahr, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps contribute roughly half of eustatic sea-level rise. Greenland has thousands of small mountain glaciers and several ice caps > 1000 sq. km that have not been included in previous mass balance calculations. To include small glaciers and ice caps in our study, we use Polar WRF, a next-generation regional climate data assimilation model is run at grid resolution less than 10 km. WRF provides surface mass balance data at sufficiently high resolution to resolve not only the narrow ice sheet ablation zone, but provides information useful in downscaling melt and accumulation rates on mountain glaciers and ice caps. In this study, we refine Polar WRF to simulate a realistic surface energy budget. Surface melting is calculated in-line from surface energy budget closure. Blowing snow sublimation is computed in-line. Melt water re-freeze is calculated using a revised scheme. Our results are compared with NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and associated error is calculated on a regional and local scale with validation from automated weather stations (AWS), snow pits and ice core data from various regions along the Greenland ice sheet.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Mars Secular Obliquity Change Due to Water Ice Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David P.

    1998-01-01

    Mars may have substantially changed its average axial tilt over geologic time due to the waxing and waning of water ice caps. Depending upon Mars' climate and internal structure, the average obliquity could have increased or decreased through climate friction by tens of degrees. A decrease could account for the apparent youthfulness of the polar layered terrain. Alternatively, Mars' average obliquity may have changed until it became "stuck" at its present value of 24.4 deg.

  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.

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stability of the Early Mars Atmosphere to Collapse into Permanent Polar Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Kahre, M. A.; Wordsworth, R.; Forget, F.

    2016-09-01

    Snowfall from CO2 ice clouds on early Mars can affect the formation of permanent polar caps. We use a GCM to study the influence of CO2 cloud microphysics on the stability of thick CO2 atmospheres against collapse into permanent polar caps.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Constraints on the composition of the martian south polar cap from gravity and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieczorek, Mark A.

    2008-08-01

    The polar caps of Mars have long been acknowledged to be composed of unknown proportions of water ice, solid CO 2 (dry ice), and dust. Gravity and topography data are here analyzed over the southern cap to place constraints on its density, and hence composition. Using a localized spectral analysis combined with a lithospheric flexure model of ice cap loading, the best fit density of the volatile-rich south polar layered deposits is found to be 1271 kg m -3 with 1- σ limits of 1166 and 1391 kg m -3. The best fit elastic thickness of this geologically young deposit is 140 km, though any value greater than 102 km can fit the observations. The best fit density implies that about 55% dry ice by volume could be sequestered in these deposits if they were completely dust free. Alternatively, if these deposits were completely free of solid CO 2, the dust content would be constrained to lie between about 14 and 28% by volume. The bulk thermal conductivity of the polar cap is not significantly affected by these maximum allowable concentrations of dust. However, even if a moderate quantity of solid CO 2 were present as horizontal layers, the bulk thermal conductivity of the polar cap would be significantly reduced. Reasonable estimates of the present day heat flow of Mars predict that dry ice beneath the thicker portions of the south polar cap would have melted. Depending on the quantity of solid CO 2 in these deposits today, it is even possible that water ice could melt where the cap is thickest. If independent estimates for either the dust or CO 2 content of the south polar cap could be obtained, and if radar sounding data could determine whether this polar cap is presently experiencing basal melting or not, it would be possible to use these observations to place tight constraints on the present day heat flow of Mars.

  15. 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.

  16. Grain metamorphism in polar nitrogen ice on triton

    SciTech Connect

    Zent, A.P.; McKay, C.P.; Pollack, J.B.; Cruikshank, D.P. )

    1989-08-01

    The authors calculate the rate of nitrogen grain growth on putative N{sub 2}-rich polar caps on Triton. For most plausible assumptions of independent variables, mean grain sizes in polar N{sub 2} 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 many require long path length through condensed N{sub 2}, possibly due to grain growth. Upcoming Voyager data may clarify the situation, although possible complications in detecting a glaze of N{sub 2} ice exist.

  17. 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.

  18. Possible contemporary evaporites formation at the Martian Northern Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Czechowski, Leszek

    Evaporitic minerals are abundant on the surface of Mars (e.g., Wentworth et al. 2005, Velbel 2012, Clark and Van Hart 1981, Wang et al. 2006, Kuzmin et al. 2009), especially within the Circumpolar Dune Field and on the Northern Ice Cap itself (e.g., Langevin et al., 2005, Roach et al. 2007, Horgan et al. 2009, Masse et al. 2010, 2012). Most of their proposed formation mechanisms require significant amounts of liquid water and are thus not possible under current Martian conditions (Arvidson et al. 2006, Andrews-Hanna et al. 2007, Fishbaugh et al. 2007, Szynkiewicz et al. 2010). Some authors have considered the potential role of ice and ice- or snowmelt-related alteration in the weathering of Martian materials (e.g., Catling et al. 2006, Zolotov and Mironenko 2007, Niles and Michalski 2009, Masse et al. 2010). However, none of those studies discussed details of the process leading to the formation of the evaporites or the timing of the processes. The aim of this paper is to model numerically if the current radiant heating is sufficient to melt a thin layer of ice surrounding a single dust grain exposed within the south facing side of the Martian North Polar Cap trench. The results of our initial study suggest that for dust grains with basaltic properties and ice with low values of coefficient of heat conduction, and solar constant = 492 W/m2 liquid water may exist below a dust grain for up to 4 hours a sol. This suggest that contemporary evaporites formation on Martian Polar Cap is possible.

  19. Martian North Polar Cap on September 12, 1998 (color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera obtained its last SPO-2 images of Mars on September 12, 1998. SPO-2, or 'Science Phasing Orbit-2', took place between early June and mid-September 1998. Shown above are MOC wide angle (red and blue band) images of the martian north polar region obtained around 3:15 a.m. PDT on September 12, 1998. This color composite was made using red and blue wide angle MOC images 55001 and 55002--these were the last pictures taken of the planet until the camera resumes its work in late-March 1999.

    The north polar layered deposits, a terrain believed composed of ice and dust deposited over millions of years, dominates this view. The swirled pattern in the images above are channels eroded into this deposit. The pattern is accentuated by the illumination and seasonal frost differences that arise on sun-facing slopes during the summer. The permanent portion of the north polar cap covers most of the region with a layer of ice of unknown thickness.

    At the time this picture was obtained, the martian northern hemisphere was in the midst of the early Spring season. The margin of the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap was at about 67o N, so the ground throughout this image is covered by frost. The frost appears pink rather than white; this may result from textural changes in the frost as it sublimes or because the frost is contaminated by a small amount of reddish martian dust. Please note that these pictures have not been 'calibrated' and so the colors are not necessarily accurately portrayed.

    In addition to the north polar cap, the pictures also show some clouds (bluish-white wisps). Some of the clouds on the right side of the images are long, linear features that cast similar long, dark shadows on the ground beneath them.

    When the MOC resumes imaging of Mars in March 1999, summer will have arrived in the north polar regions and the area surrounding the permanent polar cap will appear much darker than it does here. The dark features

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. CryoScout: A Descent Through the Mars Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hecht, M. H.; Saunders, R. S.

    2003-01-01

    CryoScout was proposed as a subsurface investigation of the stratigraphic climate record embedded in Mars North Polar cap. After landing on a gentle landscape in the midst of the mild summer season, CryoScout was to use the continuous polar sunlight to power the descent of a cryobot, a thermal probe, into the ice at a rate of about 1 m per day. CryoScout would probe deep enough into this time capsule to see the effects of planetary obliquity variations and discrete events such as dust storms or volcanic eruptions. By penetrating tens of meters of ice, the mission would explore at least one of the dominant "MOC layers" observed in exposed layered terrain.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Mining of Lunar polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duke, Michael B.; Gustafson, Robert J.; Rice, Eric E.

    1998-01-01

    The presence and properties of ice in permanently shadowed depressions near the Lunar poles can influence both the near and long-term prospects for Lunar exploration and development. Assuming that ice is present in the polar regolith, it will be important to understand how to extract it for beneficial use, as well as how to preserve it for scientific analysis. Two types of processes can be considered for removal of ice and concentration of water. In the first class of processes, energy is transported into the shadowed regions, ice is processed in-situ, and water is transported out of the cold trap. Alternatively, ice-containing regolith can be mined in the cold trap, transported outside the cold trap, and the ice extracted in a location with abundant solar energy. A series of conceptual implementations have been examined, and criteria have been developed for the selection of systems and subsystems for further study.

  11. 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.

  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. Comparison of Polar Cap (PC) index calculations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) index introduced by Troshichev and Andrezen (1985) is derived from polar magnetic variations and is mainly a measure of the intensity of the transpolar ionospheric currents. These currents relate to the polar cap antisunward ionospheric plasma convection driven by the dawn-dusk electric field, which in turn is generated by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Coefficients to calculate PCN and PCS index values from polar magnetic variations recorded at Thule and Vostok, respectively, have been derived by several different procedures in the past. The first published set of coefficients for Thule was derived by Vennerstrøm, 1991 and is still in use for calculations of PCN index values by DTU Space. Errors in the program used to calculate index values were corrected in 1999 and again in 2001. In 2005 DMI adopted a unified procedure proposed by Troshichev for calculations of the PCN index. Thus there exists 4 different series of PCN index values. Similarly, at AARI three different sets of coefficients have been used to calculate PCS indices in the past. The presentation discusses the principal differences between the various PC index procedures and provides comparisons between index values derived from the same magnetic data sets using the different procedures. Examples from published papers are examined to illustrate the differences.

  15. 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.

  16. Quantifying Solar Wind-Polar Cap Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urban, K. D.; Gerrard, A. J.; Lanzerotti, L. J.; Weatherwax, A. T.; Huang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    It is well known that the solar wind is a major driver of ultra-low frequency [ULF] power at ground locations from low to high latitudes. However, due to the scarcity of deep polar cap magnetometer sites, it is not clear when, where, or if this is true deep inside the polar cap on open field lines where interplanetary magnetic field [IMF] ULF waves could possibly be directly detected. Given recent observations of very large Joule heating estimates from DMSP data, together with the large heating reported by the CHAMP satellite, it is important to understand the degree to which ULF waves in the solar wind can directly cause such heating. Using a time series of lagged correlation sequences ("dynamic correlograms") between GSM Bz ULF power (computed via data obtained from NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer [ACE] ahead of Earth in the solar wind) and the horizontal ULF power (H^2=N^2+E^2) from ground-based magnetometers in Earth's southern polar cap, we investigate the direct penetration of ULF waves from the solar wind into the polar ionosphere during a gamut of space weather conditions at a distributed network of Automated Geophysical Observatories [AGOs] in Antarctica. To infer causation, a predicted lag correlation maximum at each time step is computed by simply dividing the associated distance of ACE from Earth by the concurrent bulk solar wind speed. This technique helps parse out direct penetration of solar wind ULF waves from other sources (e.g., via leakage from closed field line resonances due to the bulk solar wind plasma viscously interacting at dawn/dusk flanks inducing Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities [KHI] or compressional modes induced by impulses in solar wind dynamic pressure). The identified direct-penetrating ULF waves are related to the DMSP-derived Poynting fluxes by regression analysis, and conclusions are drawn for the importance of the ULF source for the measured heating.

  17. 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.

  18. Late Holocene expansion of Istorvet ice cap, Liverpool Land, east Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, Thomas V.; Hall, Brenda L.; Kelly, Meredith A.; Bennike, Ole; Lusas, Amanda R.; Honsaker, William; Smith, Colby A.; Levy, Laura B.; Travis, Scott; Denton, George H.

    2013-03-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is undergoing dynamic changes that will have global implications if they continue into the future. In this regard, an understanding of how the ice sheet responded to past climate changes affords a baseline for anticipating future behavior. Small, independent ice caps adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet (hereinafter called "local ice caps") are sensitive indicators of the response of Greenland ice-marginal zones to climate change. Therefore, we reconstructed late Holocene ice-marginal fluctuations of the local Istorvet ice cap in east Greenland, using radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants, 10Be dates of surface boulders, and analyses of sediment cores from both threshold and control lakes. During the last termination, the Istorvet ice cap had retreated close to its maximum Holocene position by ˜11,730 cal yr BP. Radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants exposed by recent recession of the ice margin indicate that the Istorvet cap was smaller than at present from AD 200 to AD 1025. Sediments from a threshold lake show no glacial input until the ice cap advanced to within 365 m of its Holocene maximum position by ˜AD 1150. Thereafter the ice cap remained at or close to this position until at least AD 1660. The timing of this, the most extensive of the Holocene, expansion is similar to that recorded at some glaciers in the Alps and in southern Alaska. However, in contrast to these other regions, the expansion in east Greenland at AD 1150 appears to have been very close to, if not at, a maximum Holocene value. Comparison of the Istorvet ice-cap fluctuations with Holocene glacier extents in Southern Hemisphere middle-to-high latitude locations on the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Andes and the Southern Alps suggests an out-of-phase relationship. If correct, this pattern supports the hypothesis that a bipolar see-saw of oceanic and/or atmospheric circulation during the Holocene produced asynchronous glacier response at some localities in the two

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Climatic variations on Mars. II - Evolution of carbon dioxide atmosphere and polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, W. R.; Murray, B. C.; Malin, M. C.

    1974-01-01

    The long-term variations in the atmospheric pressure and the polar cap temperature of Mars resulting from the obliquity oscillations are discussed. In performing these calculations, the assumption is made that the atmosphere is in equilibrium with perennial CO2 ice deposits at the north pole, as is proposed by Leighton and Murray (1966). If heat transport by the atmosphere is neglected, the temperature of CO2 ice at the poles ranges from about 130 K to about 160 K, the corresponding atmospheric pressure rising from a few tenths of a millibar to about 30 mbar, respectively. The neglect of atmospheric heat transport probably underestimates the peak pressure. Because the altitude of the south cap is about 2 km higher than that of the north cap, CO2 ice is unstable there and will migrate to the north cap at a rate of about 10 g/sq cm yr, the implication being that the south residual cap is water ice. A simplified model of the annual polar caps and pressure fluctuations is also presented.

  3. Trapped Air in Glacial Ice from the base of Penny, Agassiz, and Devon Ice Caps, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yau, A. M.; Fisher, D.

    2013-12-01

    Basal ice from the Canadian Arctic ice caps, Penny, Agassiz, and Devon, has long been suggested to date back into the last interglacial, or Stage 5e. Cores from all three ice caps contain long Holocene sections with heavy δ18Oice values, overlaying condensed glacial sections with light δ18Oice values, which are underlain by ~1-7 m of ice with δ18Oice values similar to that of the Holocene, suggesting accumulation during the last interglacial. However, the origin of the ice, whether the ice is regelation/segregated or pristine glacial ice has been debated, with important implications as to whether or not ice caps in the Canadian arctic persisted through the last interglacial. Here we present analyses of the trapped air from the bottom portions of Penny, Agassiz, and Devon ice caps to provide context about the nature of the basal ice. Geochemical analyses of N2/Ar, O2/Ar, O2/N2, δ15N2, δ18OATM, and total air content (TAC) indicate a spectrum of ice conditions in basal ice. Low N2/Ar ratios and low TAC indicate partial melting in some of the samples from all three ice caps. High δ15N2, high TAC, and N2/Ar ratios close to air indicate that clean glacial ice is also present in the basal section of each ice cap. Low O2/Ar and high δ18OATM indicates microbial respiration in most samples. The lowest δ18OATM values, near 0‰, indicate trapped air ages >80 ka for the Devon and Agassiz ice caps.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. North-south geological differences between the residual polar caps on Mars.

    PubMed

    Thomas, P C; Malin, M C; Edgett, K S; Carr, M H; Hartmann, W K; Ingersoll, A P; James, P B; Soderblom, L A; Veverka, J; Sullivan, R

    2000-03-01

    Polar processes can be sensitive indicators of global climate, and the geological features associated with polar ice caps can therefore indicate evolution of climate with time. The polar regions on Mars have distinctive morphologic and climatologic features: thick layered deposits, seasonal CO2 frost caps extending to mid latitudes, and near-polar residual frost deposits that survive the summer. The relationship of the seasonal and residual frost caps to the layered deposits has been poorly constrained, mainly by the limited spatial resolution of the available data. In particular, it has not been known if the residual caps represent simple thin frost cover or substantial geologic features. Here we show that the residual cap on the south pole is a distinct geologic unit with striking collapse and erosional topography; this is very different from the residual cap on the north pole, which grades into the underlying layered materials. These findings indicate that the differences between the caps are substantial (rather than reflecting short-lived differences in frost cover), and so support the idea of long-term asymmetry in the polar climates of Mars.

  7. North-south geological differences between the residual polar caps on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, P.C.; Malin, M.C.; Edgett, K.S.; Carr, M.H.; Hartmann, W.K.; Ingersoll, A.P.; James, P.B.; Soderblom, L.A.; Veverka, J.; Sullivan, R.

    2000-01-01

    Polar processes can be sensitive indicators of global climate, and the geological features associated with polar ice caps can therefore indicate evolution of climate with time. The polar regions on Mars have distinctive morphologic and climatologic features: thick layered deposits, seasonal CO2 frost caps extending to mid latitudes, and near-polar residual frost deposits that survive the summer. The relationship of the seasonal and residual frost caps to the layered deposits has been poorly constrained, mainly by the limited spatial resolution of the available data. In particular, it has not been known if the residual caps represent simple thin frost cover or substantial geologic features. Here we show that the residual cap on the south pole is a distinct geologic unit with striking collapse and erosional topography; this is very different from the residual cap on the north pole, which grades into the underlying layered materials. These findings indicate that the differences between the caps are substantial (rather than reflecting short-lived differences in frost cover), and so support the idea of long-term asymmetry in the polar climates of Mars.

  8. 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.

  9. Extreme Poynting Flux Depostion in the Polar Cap and Polar Cap Boundary Regions During Northward IMF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knipp, D.; Kilcommons, L. M.; Cook, M. R.; Larson, T.; Redmon, R. J.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate several intervals of prolonged northward Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and describe the correlation between strong Poynting flux and the transverse components of the IMF. We primarily focus on Summer events in each hemisphere when the polar regions are sunlit. During northward IMF the magnetic reconnection regions can form tailward of the magnetic cusp. Using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13, F15 and F16 spacecraft we looked for and found areas of strong Poynting flux over the magnetic polar cap regions. Values ranging from 20 mW/m^2 to 140 mW/m^2 were measured in narrow channels, showing that there can be significant energy transport to small concentrated regions at very high latitudes. An example of an event from 2001 is shown in the attached image. We also show where these events occur with respect to the dynamic polar cap boundary and discuss the implications of this extreme Poynting flux for other aspects of polar thermodynamics and electrodynamics.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Dynamic ancient ice caps in the sub-Antarctic suggested by new mapping of submarine ice-formed landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alastair; Hodgson, Dominic; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    Recent bathymetric investigations have provided hints of significant past glaciations on several Southern Ocean sub-polar islands. The extent and behaviour of ice cover in these regions is important because it provides critical limits on the evolution of refugia and marine benthic organisms, as well as unique far-field constraints for improving polar ice-sheet model sensitivity. However, despite improvements in regional mapping, sea-floor acoustic data from key shelf areas have still not been of sufficient quality, or broad enough in their coverage, to resolve the number, form or flow of past glacial episodes. Hence the history and style of sub-Antarctic glaciation remains poorly known. Here we use a compilation of multibeam bathymetry and fisheries echo-sounding data to provide evidence for dynamic, widespread ice caps on sub-Antarctic South Georgia during past glacial periods. We present a hitherto unmapped record of sea-bed glacigenic structures, including end moraines and subglacial landforms, from which the flow and form of at least three major, entirely marine-terminating configurations is resolved. The largest glaciation covered the majority of the continental shelf, and included fast-flowing outlets, possible switching of internal flow, meltwater activity, warm-based ice erosion, and substantial marginal deposition during retreat: all features of dynamic ice-cap behaviour. Existing biological evidence suggests the largest glaciation likely pre-dated the Last Glacial Maximum, which may have been restricted in extent reaching to the island's fjord mouths, while a third mid-shelf limit appears partially recorded. Work on dating the relict landscape of ancient ice cap advance and retreat is ongoing, but our preliminary age model suggests that South Georgia's history is unique from the Antarctic polar glacial record, and may be more similar to that of past ice caps on Patagonia. The glacial configurations revealed by these data will provide the basis of new

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. The Medieval Warm/Little Ice Age Transition as Recorded by Ice Caps in East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, T. V.; Kelly, M. A.; Hall, B. L.; Bennike, O.; Honsaker, W. M.; Levy, L.; Lusas, A.

    2011-12-01

    The spatial-temporal distribution of late Holocene temperature changes over the last 2000 yr is still being defined. The high Arctic is often represented by the borehole tem-perature records from GISP and Dye 3. These both show a distinct, but different magni-tude, Medieval warm interval from ~500 to ~1200 AD, with two cold intervals after 1500 AD. However small glaciers in the high Arctic appear reflect a more complex late Holo-cene pattern. On the eastern coast of Greenland two ice caps record a warm interval from 400 AD to 600 AD but cooling after that. These ice caps, Istorvet ,on the coast beside the cold East Greenland Current, and Bregne ice cap, ~ 100 km inland, have yielded organic remains from > 50 sites. A preliminary interpretation is that the organic remains record the last time these ice caps were as small or smaller than the present configuration. Exposure ages show these ice caps reached their post glacial maximum extent within the last 1000 yr. The Istorvet ice cap is thought to show initial cooling at ~AD 884 and an advance to within 500 m of the Little Ice Age extent at AD 1022 and its fullest extent at 1125 AD. Core sediments suggest that extent was maintained until 1750 AD. Results from the inland site indicate a retracted ice cap from AD 1054 to 1393, followed by expansion. Although some of these events appear to have correlative events recorded in SST or sea ice near Iceland. Taken together they appear to have a different signature than lo-cations further south. This may indicate that temperature patterns at high latitudes are only partly coupled with those at lower latitudes.

  19. 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.

  20. Contribution of Iceland's Ice Caps to Sea Level Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjornsson, H.; Gudmundsson, S.; Pálsson, F.; Magnusson, E.; Sigurdsson, O.; Johannesson, T.; Thorsteinsson, T.; Berthier, E.

    2011-12-01

    We report on the volume change of Icelandic ice caps during several time intervals from the 1980s until present. Changes in ice volume have been monitored by both annual mass balance measurements on the glaciers and by comparison of multi-temporal digital surface elevation models derived from various satellite and airborne remote observations. The glaciers' mass budgets have declined significantly, from being close to zero in the 1980s and early 1990s, to becoming on average negative by -0.7 to -1.8 m w.e. per year since the mid 1990s. This reduction in mass balance is related to rapid climate warming in Iceland, approx. 1.5 °C since the early 1980s. High mass balance sensitivities of -1 to -2 m w. e. per °C are identified. The current contribution of Icelandic ice caps to sea level change is estimated to be ~0.03 mm SLE per year. Icelandic ice caps contain in total approx. 3,600 cubic km of ice, which if melted would raise sea level by approx. 1 cm.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Summer evolution of the north polar cap of Mars as observed by OMEGA/Mars Express.

    PubMed

    Langevin, Y; Poulet, F; Bibring, J-P; Schmitt, B; Douté, S; Gondet, B

    2005-03-11

    The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) visible-infrared imaging spectrometer extensively observed regions of Mars with latitudes above 70 degrees N in late 2004 (heliocentric longitude from Ls 93 degrees to Ls 127 degrees ). The extent of water ice at the surface and the size of ice grains were monitored as a function of time. Bright, small-grained frost, which initially covered a large fraction of the polar cap, waned in favor of large-grained ice. In outlying regions, dominated by large-grained ice, the albedo increased over the period. Evaluating the dust content was model dependent. However, contamination of ice by dust was low.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. Present (unified) and past Polar Cap (PC) index calculations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter; Troshichev, Oleg; Janzhura, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) index was introduced by Troshichev and Andrezen (1985). Index values are derived from polar cap magnetic variations and are mainly related to the intensity of the variable transpolar ionospheric currents. These currents relate to the polar cap antisunward ionospheric plasma convection driven by the dawn-dusk electric field, which in turn is generated by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Thus the PC index is an important Space Weather parameter. Coefficients to calculate PC index values from polar magnetic variations have been derived by several different procedures in the past. Now, a unified procedure (Troshichev et al., 2005) has been adopted for both the PCN (north) and the PCS (south) index values. The presentation outlines and discusses the principles and the details of the unified procedure, which will be submitted to IAGA for formal approval. The PC index can be made available on-line in real-time for Space Weather applications.

  12. Mercurian Impact Craters: Implications for Polar Ground Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.; Allen, Ruth A.; Vilas, Faith

    1999-10-01

    Recent radar observations of Mercury have detected strong depolarized echoes from the north and south polar regions which have been interpreted by some as ice deposits in the floors of permanently shadowed impact craters. We have used the experience from Mars, where subsurface ice lowers the depth-to-diameter ratio ( d/ D) of impact craters, to test for subsurface ice deposits on Mercury. This analysis determines the d/ D ratios for 170 impact craters in the Borealis (north polar), Tolstoj (equatorial), Kuiper (equatorial), and Bach (south polar) quadrangles of the planet. Possible effects from sun angle and terrain were eliminated. To test whether d/ D differences could be detected at Mariner 10 resolutions (˜1 km/pixel), we perform a similar analysis using Mariner 9 images of Mars which have similar resolutions. We demonstrate that d/ D differences due to terrain softening can be detected between craters in the martian polar regions and the equatorial regions at the Mariner 9 resolutions. Although our initial results indicate that the south polar Bach Quadrangle has a statistically lower d/ D than the north polar (Borealis) or two equatorial (Tolstoj and Kuiper) quadrangles, further investigation reveals that this finding is most likely the result of the filtering which was applied to the images of the Bach quadrangle by JPL. Thus, no unequivocal evidence exists that the possible ice deposits in craters at Mercury's north and south poles are the exposed portions of more extensive subsurface ice caps. Combined with the temporal constraint imposed by the fact that the proposed ice deposits are found only in USGS Class 4 craters, this suggests a large, rapidly emplaced exogenic source of water to Mercury during the Mansurian period. We suggest that the source was multiple impacts from a fragmented comet or a comet shower.

  13. H2O grain size and the amount of dust in Mars' residual North polar cap

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kieffer, H.H.

    1990-01-01

    In Mars' north polar cap the probable composition of material residual from the annual condensation cycle is a mixture of fine dust and H2O grains of comparable size and abundance. However, metamorphism of such material will gradually lower its albedo by increasing the size of the H2O grains only. If the cap is undergoing net annual sublimation (as inferred from water vapor observations), late summer observations should be of old ice with H2O grain sizes of 100 ??m or more. Ice of this granularity containing 30% fine dust has a reflectivity similar to that of dust alone; the observed albedo and computed ice grain size imply dust concentrations of 1 part per 1000 or less. The brightness of the icy areas conflicts with what would be expected for a residual cap deposited by an annual cycle similar to that observed by Viking and aged for thousands of years. The residual cap surface cannot be "old dirty' ice. It could be old, coarse, and clean; or it could be young, fine, and dirty. This brings into question both the source of the late summer water vapor and the formation rate of laminated terrain. -Author

  14. 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.

  15. The hemispherical asymmetry of the residual polar caps on Mars. Semiannual progress report, 1 Sep. 1989 - 1 Mar. 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Lindner, B. L.

    1991-03-01

    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 CO{sub 2} frost at the south pole and reproduces the general trend in the Viking Lander pressure data.

  16. Albedo control of seasonal South Polar cap recession on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Frédéric; Douté, Sylvain; Schmitt, Bernard; Vincendon, Mathieu; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Langevin, Yves; Omega Team

    2009-04-01

    Over the last few decades, General Circulation Models (GCM) have been used to simulate the current martian climate. The calibration of these GCMs with the current seasonal cycle is a crucial step in understanding the climate history of Mars. One of the main climatic signals currently used to validate GCMs is the annual atmospheric pressure cycle. It is difficult to use changes in seasonal deposits on the surface of Mars to calibrate the GCMs given the spectral ambiguities between CO 2 and H 2O ice in the visible range. With the OMEGA imaging spectrometer covering the near infra-red range, it is now possible to monitor both types of ice at a spatial resolution of about 1 km. At global scale, we determine the change with time of the Seasonal South Polar Cap (SSPC) crocus line, defining the edge of CO 2 deposits. This crocus line is not symmetric around the geographic South Pole. At local scale, we introduce the snowdrop distance, describing the local structure of the SSPC edge. Crocus line and snowdrop distance changes can now be used to calibrate GCMs. The albedo of the seasonal deposits is usually assumed to be a uniform and constant parameter of the GCMs. In this study, albedo is found to be the main parameter controlling the SSPC recession at both global and local scale. Using a defrost mass balance model (referred to as D-frost) that incorporates the effect of shadowing induced by topography, we show that the global SSPC asymmetry in the crocus line is controlled by albedo variations. At local scale, we show that the snowdrop distance is correlated with the albedo variability. Further GCM improvements should take into account these two results. We propose several possibilities for the origin of the asymmetric albedo control. The next step will be to identify and model the physical processes that create the albedo differences.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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'.

  3. Spatial Distribution of Pair Production Over the Pulsar Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belyaev, Mikhail A.; Parfrey, Kyle

    2016-10-01

    Using an analytic, axisymmetric approach that includes general relativity, coupled to a condition for pair production deduced from simulations, we derive general results about the spatial distribution of pair-producing field lines over the pulsar polar cap. In particular, we show that pair production on magnetic field lines operates over only a fraction of the polar cap for an aligned rotator for general magnetic field configurations, assuming the magnetic field varies spatially on a scale that is larger than the size of the polar cap. We compare our result to force-free simulations of a pulsar with a dipole surface field and find excellent agreement. Our work has implications for first-principles simulations of pulsar magnetospheres and for explaining observations of pulsed radio and high-energy emission.

  4. A GCM Recent History of Northern Martian Polar Layered Deposits: Contribution from Past Equatorial Ice Reservoirs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levrard, B.; Laskar, J.; Montmessin, F.; Forget, F.

    2005-01-01

    Polar layered deposits are exposed in the walls of the troughs cutting the north polar cap of Mars. They consist of alternating ice and dust layers or layers of an ice-dust mixture with varying proportions and are found throughout the cap. Layers thickness ranges from meters to several tens of meters with an approximately 30 meter dominant wavelength. Although their formation processes is not known, they are presumed to reflect changes in ice and dust stability over orbital and axial variations. Intensive 3-D LMD GCM simulations of the martian water cycle have been thus performed to determine the annual rates of exchange of surface ice between the northern cap and tropical areas for a wide range of obliquity and orbital parameters values.These rates have been employed to reconstruct an history of the northern cap and test simple models of dust-ice layers formation over the last 10 Ma orbital variations. We use the 3-D water cycle model simulated by the 3-D LMD GCM with an intermediate grid resolution (7.5 longitude x 5.625 latitude) and 25 vertical levels. The dust opacity is constant and set to 0,15. No exchange of ice with regolith is allowed. The evolution of the northern cap over obliquity and orbital changes (eccentricity, Longitude of perihelion) has been recently described with this model. High summer insolation favors transfer of ice from the northern pole to the Tharsis and Olympus Montes, while at low obliquity, unstable equatorial ice is redeposited in high-latitude and polar areas of both hemisphere. The disappearance of the equatorial ice reservoir leads to a poleward recession of icy high latitude reservoirs, providing an additional source for the cap accumulation during each obliquity or orbital cycle. Furthering the efforts, a quantitative evolution of ice reservoirs is here investigated for various astronomical conditions.

  5. 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.

  6. Polar Climate: Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, R.S.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, G.I.; Drobot, S.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent decreases in snow and sea ice cover in the high northern latitudes are among the most notable indicators of climate change. Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent for the year as a whole was the third lowest on record dating back to 1973, behind 1995 (lowest) and 1990 (second lowest; Hadley Center–NCEP). September sea ice extent, which is at the end of the summer melt season and is typically the month with the lowest sea ice extent of the year, has decreased by about 19% since the late 1970s (Fig. 5.2), with a record minimum observed in 2002 (Serreze et al. 2003). A record low extent also occurred in spring (Chapman 2005, personal communication), and 2004 marked the third consecutive year of anomalously extreme sea ice retreat in the Arctic (Stroeve et al. 2005). Some model simulations indicate that ice-free summers will occur in the Arctic by the year 2070 (ACIA 2004).

  7. Allerod Collapse of the Newfoundland Ice Cap, northwestern Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosse, J. C.; Bell, T.; Yang, G.; Fastook, J.

    2007-12-01

    Control on the timing of deglaciation of the island of Newfoundland was mostly restricted to offshore records although a few lakes have yielded latest Pleistocene paleovegetation proxies of paleoclimate. Twenty-three cosmogenic 10Be ages on boulders throughout Newfoundland have a range of 11.6 to 14.1 ka and mean of 13.1 +/- 0.1 ka (standard error). The samples indicate near-synchronous deglaciation (collapse) in all the regions sampled over a >100,000 km2 area: St. John's Highlands (on the Great Northern Peninsula once believed to be a nunatak); head of White Bay (northcentral NF); Gaff Topsails Region central NF; Anniopsquotch Mountains and Burgeo region (southwestern NF); Granite Lake (southcentral NF); head of Baie d'Espoir (southern NF); and northern Burin Peninsula (southeastern NF). The large (>2 m) boulders with flat horizontal surfaces are unlikely to have been influenced by snow cover, exhumation through till, boulder erosion, or inheritance. Lake bottom (most bulk sediment) conventional and AMS radiocarbon dates support this exposure chronology, and UMISM simulations of ice sheet decay (driven by a scaled GISP temperature record) is consistent with a rapid melting of the ice cap after retreating from (modern) continental shelf regions. Coincidence of the collapse of the Newfoundland Ice Sheet with the timing of Allerod warming provides an example of the sensitivity of large peripheral ice caps to rapid regional climate change.

  8. 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.

  9. Improved parameterization of marine ice dynamics and flow instabilities for simulation of the Austfonna ice cap using a large-scale ice sheet model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunse, T.; Greve, R.; Schuler, T.; Hagen, J. M.; Navarro, F.; Vasilenko, E.; Reijmer, C.

    2009-12-01

    The Austfonna ice cap covers an area of 8120 km2 and is by far the largest glacier on Svalbard. Almost 30% of the entire area is grounded below sea-level, while the figure is as large as 57% for the known surge-type basins in particular. Marine ice dynamics, as well as flow instabilities presumably control flow regime, form and evolution of Austfonna. These issues are our focus in numerical simulations of the ice cap. We employ the thermodynamic, large-scale ice sheet model SICOPOLIS (http://sicopolis.greveweb.net/) which is based on the shallow-ice approximation. We present improved parameterizations of (a) the marine extent and calving and (b) processes that may initiate flow instabilities such as switches from cold to temperate basal conditions, surface steepening and hence, increases in driving stress, enhanced sliding or deformation of unconsolidated marine sediments and diminishing ice thicknesses towards flotation thickness. Space-borne interferometric snapshots of Austfonna revealed a velocity structure of a slow moving polar ice cap (< 10m/a) interrupted by distinct fast flow units with velocities in excess of 100m/a. However, observations of flow variability are scarce. In spring 2008, we established a series of stakes along the centrelines of two fast-flowing units. Repeated DGPS and continuous GPS measurements of the stake positions give insight in the temporal flow variability of these units and provide constrains to the modeled surface velocity field. Austfonna’s thermal structure is described as polythermal. However, direct measurements of the temperature distribution is available only from one single borehole at the summit area. The vertical temperature profile shows that the bulk of the 567m thick ice column is cold, only underlain by a thin temperate basal layer of approximately 20m. To acquire a spatially extended picture of the thermal structure (and bed topography), we used low-frequency (20 MHz) GPR profiling across the ice cap and the

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Surface exposure dating of Little Ice Age ice cap advances on Disko Island, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Timothy; Jomelli, Vincent; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Brunstein, Daniel; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Swingedouw, Didier; Favier, Vincent; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie

    2015-04-01

    Little Ice Age (LIA: 1200-1920 AD) glacier advances in Greenland often form the most extensive positions of Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) ice cap and margins since the Early Holocene. Across Greenland these advances are commonly represented by un-vegetated moraines, usually within 1-5 km of the present ice margin. However, chronological constraints on glacier advances during this period are sparse, meaning that GrIS and ice cap behavior and advance/retreat chronology remains poorly understood during this period. At present the majority of ages are based on historical accounts, ice core data, and radiocarbon ages from proglacial threshold lakes. However, developments in the accuracy and precision of surface exposure methods allow dating of LIA moraine boulders, permitting an opportunity to better understand of ice dynamics during this period. Geomorphological mapping and surface exposure dating (36Cl) were used to interpret moraine deposits from the Lyngmarksbræen on Disko Island, West Greenland. A Positive Degree Day (PDD) model was used to estimate Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) and mass balance changes for two distinct paleo-glacial extents. Three moraines (M1, M2, and M3) were mapped in the field, and sampled for 36Cl surface exposure dating. The outermost moraine (M1) was of clearly different morphology to the inner moraines, and present only in small fragments. M2 and M3 were distinct arcuate termino-lateral moraines within 50 m of one another, 1.5 km from the present ice margin. The weighted average of four 36Cl ages from M1 returned an early Holocene age of 8.4 ± 0.6 ka. M2 (four samples) returned an age of 0.57 ± 0.04 ka (1441 AD) and M3 (four samples) returned an age of 0.28 ± 0.02 ka (1732 AD). These surface exposure ages represent the first robustly dated Greenlandic ice cap moraine sequence from the LIA. The two periods of ice cap advance and marginal stabilisation are similar to recorded periods of LIA GrIS advance in west Greenland, constrained

  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. The little ice age as recorded in the stratigraphy of the tropical quelccaya ice cap.

    PubMed

    Thompson, L G; Mosley-Thompson, E; Dansgaard, W; Grootes, P M

    1986-10-17

    The analyses of two ice cores from a southern tropical ice cap provide a record of climatic conditions over 1000 years for a region where other proxy records are nearly absent. Annual variations in visible dust layers, oxygen isotopes, microparticle concentrations, conductivity, and identification of the historical (A.D. 1600) Huaynaputina ash permit accurate dating and time-scale verification. The fact that the Little Ice Age (about A.D. 1500 to 1900) stands out as a significant climatic event in the oxygen isotope and electrical conductivity records confirms the worldwide character of this event.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. TES premapping data: Slab ice and snow flurries in the Martian north polar night

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Titus, T.N.; Kieffer, H.H.; Mullins, K.F.; Christensen, P.R.

    2001-01-01

    In the 1970s, Mariner and Viking spacecraft observations of the north polar region of Mars revealed polar brightness temperatures that were significantly below the expected kinetic temperatures for CO2 sublimation. For the past few decades, the scientific community has speculated as to the nature of these Martian polar cold spots. Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) thermal spectral data have shown these cold spots to result largely from fine-grained, CO2 and have constrained most of these cold spots to the surface (or near-surface). Cold spot formation is strongly dependent on topography, forming preferentially near craters and on polar slopes. TES data, combined with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) cloud data, suggest atmospheric condensates form a small fraction of the observed cold spots. TES observations of spectra close to a blackbody indicate that another major component of the polar cap is slab CO2 ice; these spectrally bland regions commonly have a low albedo. The cause is uncertain but may result from most of the light being reflected toward the specular direction, from the slab ice being intrinsically dark, or from it being transparent. Regions of the cap where the difference between the brightness temperatures at 18 ??m (T18) and 25 ??m (T25) is less than 5?? are taken to indicate deposits of slab ice. Slab ice is the dominant component of the polar cap at latitudes outside of the polar night. Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Polar cap particle precipitation and aurora: Review and commentary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newell, Patrick T.; Liou, Kan; Wilson, Gordon R.

    2009-02-01

    Polar rain has a beautiful set of symmetry properties, individually established, but not previously discussed collectively, which can be organized by a single unifying principle. The key polar rain properties are favored hemisphere (controlled by the interplanetary magnetic field Bx), dawn/dusk gradient (IMF By), merging rate (IMF Bz or more generally d[Phi]MP/dt), nightside/dayside gradient, and seasonal effect. We argue that all five properties involve variants on a single theme: the further downstream a field line exits the magnetosphere (or less directly points toward the solar wind electron heat flux), the weaker the polar rain. This effect is the result of the requirements of charge quasi-neutrality, and because the ion thermal velocity declines and the tailward ion bulk flow velocity rises moving down tail from the frontside magnetopause. Polar cap arcs (or more properly, high-latitude sun-aligned arcs) are largely complementary to the polar rain, occurring most frequently when the dayside merging rate is low, and thus when polar rain is weak. Sun-aligned arcs are often considered as originating either in the polar rain or the expansion of the plasma sheet into the polar cap. In fact three quite distinct types of sun-aligned high-latitude arcs exist, two common, and one rare. One type of arc occurs as intensifications of the polar rain, and is common, but weak, typically <0.1 ergs/cm2 s, and lacks associated ion precipitation. A second category of Sun-aligned arcs with energy flux >0.1 ergs/cm2 s usually occurs adjacent to the auroral oval, and includes ion precipitation. The plasma regime of these common, and at times intense, arcs is often distinct from the oval which they abut. Convection alone does not specify the open/closed nature of these arcs, because multiple narrow convection reversals are common around such arcs, and the arcs themselves can be embedded within flows that are either sunward or anti-sunward. These observational facts do not neatly

  12. Recent Changes in Arctic Glaciers, Ice Caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet: Cold Facts About Warm Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2005-12-01

    One of the major manifestations of Arctic change can be observed in the state of balance of Arctic glaciers and ice caps and the Greenland ice sheet. These ice masses are estimated to contain nearly 3 million cubic kilometers of ice, which is more than six times greater than all the water stored in the Earth's lakes, rivers, and snow combined and is the equivalent of over 7 meters of sea level. Most of these ice masses have been shrinking in recent in years, but their mass balance is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. On the Greenland ice sheet most of the coastal regions have thinned substantially as melt has increased and some of its outlet glaciers have accelerated. Near the equilibrium line in West Greenland, we have seen evidence of summer acceleration that is linked to surface meltwater production, suggesting a relatively rapid response mechanism of the ice sheet change to a warming climate. At the same time, however, the vast interior regions of the Greenland ice sheet have shown little change or slight growth, as accumulation in these areas may have increased. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, many glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in the past few decades, and in Canada and Alaska, the rate of ice loss seems to have accelerated during the late 1990s. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of the long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it in one of the most climatically sensitive regions on Earth. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing observations, in situ measurements and improved modeling capabilities, it is important that we coordinate and integrate these approaches effectively in order to predict future changes and their impact on sea level, freshwater discharge, and ocean circulation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Dissolved Chemical Ions in an Ice Core of Grigoriev Ice Cap, Kyrgyz Tien Shan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SHUN, A.; Takeuchi, N.; Sera, S.; Fujita, K.; Okamoto, S.; Naoki, K.; Aizen, V. B.

    2012-12-01

    Snow and ice of glaciers contain various chemical ions supplied through the atmosphere and preserve them for a long period of time. Thus, analysis of soluble ions in glaciers is important to reveal material circulation and climate change in the cryosphere. Many glaciers are distributed over the mountains of the Central Asia. Chemical analysis of ice cores recovered from there play an important role to understand the atmosphere and material circulation peculiar to the Eurasian Continent. In this study, we analyzed the concentration of major ions in the ice core drilled on Grigoriev Ice Cap, Kyrgys Tien Shan, located in the northwestern part of Central Asia. We aim to understand material circulation in this area based on the chemical records. Then, we have attempted to reconstruct the environmental change of Central Asia, combining the chronology, hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratio, and density of dust in the ice core analyzed by prior researches. In this study, we used 2,176 samples of a snow pit and ice core from the surface to bed (86.87 m total length) on the top of Grigoriev Ice Cap (4,660 m high), Kyrgys Tien Shan in September, 2007. Samples were cut every 1-5 cm and scraped thinly, and transported frozen to Chiba University, Japan. After that, we dispensed those for various experiments, and analyzed the concentration of major ions using ion chromatography. By the way, it is estimated that the date of the bottom of this ice core is approximately 12,000 years ago by prior researches. The concentration of major ions dissolved in the ice core of Grigoriev Ice Cap revealed that Ca is the most dominant species in the measured ions and it accounted for more than 50 % (Eq ratio) of the mean of the entire core. This suggests that CaCO3 included in mineral dust derived from deserts around Tien Shan strongly influence the chemical composition of the Ice Cap. In addition, this composition is similar to those of Urumqi No.1 Glacier (Tien Shan), Mustagh Ata Glacier

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Airborne geophysical survey of ice caps in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, S. J.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Christoffersen, P.; Benham, T. J.; Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Richter, T.; Ng, G.; Grima, C.; Habbal, F.; Sharp, M. J.; Rutishauser, A.

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that between 2003 and 2009, 60 ± 6 Gt of ice was lost each year from the Canadian Arctic (Gardner et al., 2013), making the region the largest cryospheric contributor to global sea level rise outside of the great ice sheets. Glacier ice in the Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI) currently covers more than 100,000 km2, representing 20% of Earth's ice-covered land area outside of Greenland and Antarctica. The vast majority of this ice is stored within six ice caps located on Ellesmere, Devon and Axel Heiberg islands. Recent satellite observations of the outlet glaciers draining these ice caps have revealed significant velocity variability on inter-annual and multi-year timescales (Van Wychen et al., 2014), though the drivers of these dynamics are not yet understood. Here we present results obtained in May 2014 during an airborne geophysical survey of the ice caps of Axel Heiberg, Ellesmere and Devon islands, including Agassiz Ice Cap (17,300 km2), Prince of Wales Icefield (19,300 km2) and Devon Ice Cap (14,000 km2). We used a Basler BT-67 aircraft equipped with a suite of geophysical instruments, including a phase-coherent VHF ice-penetrating radar, to measure ice thickness and investigate ice basal conditions along outlet glacier flow lines and in the interior of the ice caps. We reveal that the glaciers draining the ice caps of the QEI exhibit diverse characteristics over short spatial scales, and that fast-flowing tidewater glaciers are located adjacent to previously fast-flowing areas that have subsequently stagnated. Our results show that many ice cap outlet glaciers on Ellesmere and Devon islands are between 700 and 1000 m thick and flow through deep bedrock troughs whose beds lie below sea-level. Some of the outlet glaciers also have floating tongues of ice which extend into the adjacent fjord waters. We intend to use our results to characterize the substrate beneath the ice, and to reveal any variations in conditions at the ice

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Topography of Small Volcanoes at the Margin of the Mars North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Garvin, J. B.; Wong, M.; Wright, H.

    2000-01-01

    Putative volcanic craterforms have been observed in the north polar region of Mars since Mariner 9. Hodges and Moore described some of these features for the region they called the 'Borealis Volcanic Field', and suggested that several were formed as a consequence of magma-ice or magmawater interactions. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic measurements confirm suggest that the features are unlikely to be of impact origin, and that there are many more of them present around the north polar cap than suspected from images alone. Analysis of one of the larger features--suggested by Hodges and Moore to represent a hydromagmatic explosion crater or maar--showed topographic characteristics more similar to a terrestrial small basaltic shield volcano, possibly of recent origins. Recent work with the MOLA topography has also suggested that the possible volcanic extent of the Borealis Field is substantially larger in both number and range than previously mapped. Since the majority of these features are within 100 km of the present edge of the northern residual polar cap, and several extend into the Chasma Boreale cap re-entrant, they are some of the best Mars candidates for possible magma-water or magma-ice interactions. However, so far, these features have not displayed the expected average slope or other characteristics predicted for martian hydrovolcanic features, or even martian explosive volcanic features. Here, we show some of the range of feature types observed in the topography, along with their characteristic topographic measurements, and compare them to terrestrial and martian volcanic features. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [Study on the thermal radiation polarization characteristics of ice].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ting-Ting; Zhao, Yun-Sheng; Zhang, Hong-Yan; Zhang, Xia; Zhang, Li-Li

    2014-03-01

    As an important parameter of the global energy balance, climate, hydrological and ecological model, ice directly affects the energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system, weather and climate. It is of great significance to use the thermal infrared polarization technology to study ice thermal radiation. For the ice monitoring and the impact of global climate change on the ice, studies on ice thermal radiation polarization characteristics were conducted based on the wavelength, detection angle and azimuth angle. The results show that the wavelength has an obvious impact on the ice thermal radiation polarization properties. The polarized radiance of four bands shows that L(CH1) > L(CH3) > L(CH4) > L(CH2) while the polarization brightness temperature shows that T(CH4) > T(CH1) > TCH2 > TCH3. It's better to use the brightness temperature of the third channel than the radiance to study the thermal radiation polarization. The detection angle affects the ice thermal radiation polarization characteristics greatly and there are some differences between the polarization angles. The brightness temperature of ice is the lowest in the detection angle of 10 degrees and the polarization angle of 30 degrees, which are non-accidental factors. These was closely related to ice physical and chemical properties. The degree of ice polarization performance shows that P0 < P40 polarization angles. The degree of polarization changes with the azimuth angles and plays an important role in ice physical and chemical characteristics monitoring. The impact of azimuth angle on the ice thermal radiation polarization characteristics was not significant. And it is affected by the roughness of the surface, organizational structure and other factors which are direct results of ice emitted radiation at different azimuth angles.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. Spatial, temporal, and inter-annual variability of the Martian northern seasonal polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mount, Christopher P.

    Earth and Mars have nearly the same axial tilt, so seasons on these two bodies progress in a similar manner. During fall and winter on Mars, the primarily CO2 atmosphere (~95% by volume) condenses out onto the poles as ice. Approximately 25% of the entire Martian atmosphere condenses, and then sublimes in the spring, making this cycle a dominant driver in the global climate. Because the water and dust cycles are coupled to this CO2 cycle, we must examine seasonal CO2 processes to understand the global (seasonal) distribution of H2O on Mars. The density of the ice may indicate whether it condensed in the atmosphere and precipitated as "snow" or condensed directly onto the surface as "slab". Variations in density may be controlled by geographic location and surface morphology. The distribution and variations in densities of seasonal deposits on the Martian poles gives us insight to the planet's volatile inventories. Here we analyze density variations over time on Mars' Northern Polar Seasonal Cap (NPSC) using observational data and energy balance techniques. We calculate the bulk density of surface CO2 ice by dividing the column mass abundance (the mass of CO2 per unit area) by the depth of the ice cap at a given location. We use seasonal rock shadow measurements from High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images to estimate ice depth. The length of a rock's shadow is related to its height through the solar incidence angle and the slope of the ground. From differences in the height of a rock measured in icy vs. ice-free images, we estimate the depth of surface ice at the time of the icy observation. Averaging over many rocks in a region yields the ice depth for that region. This technique yields minimums for ice depth and therefore maximums for density. Thermal properties of rocks may play an important role in observed ice depths. Crowns of ice may form on the tops of rocks with insufficient heat capacity to inhibit ice condensation, and may cause an

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Penny ice cap cores, baffin island, canada, and the wisconsinan foxe dome connection: two states of hudson bay ice cover

    PubMed

    Fisher; Koerner; Bourgeois; Zielinski; Wake; Hammer; Clausen; Gundestrup; Johnsen; Goto-Azuma; Hondoh; Blake; Gerasimoff

    1998-01-30

    Ice cores from Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada, provide continuous Holocene records of oxygen isotopic composition (delta18O, proxy for temperature) and atmospheric impurities. A time scale was established with the use of altered seasonal variations, some volcanic horizons, and the age for the end of the Wisconsin ice age determined from the GRIP and GISP2 ice cores. There is pre-Holocene ice near the bed. The change in delta18O since the last glacial maximum (LGM) is at least 12.5 per mil, compared with an expected value of 7 per mil, suggesting that LGM ice originated at the much higher elevations of the then existing Foxe Dome and Foxe Ridge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The LGM delta18O values suggest thick ice frozen to the bed of Hudson Bay.

  20. Penny ice cap cores, baffin island, canada, and the wisconsinan foxe dome connection: two states of hudson bay ice cover

    PubMed

    Fisher; Koerner; Bourgeois; Zielinski; Wake; Hammer; Clausen; Gundestrup; Johnsen; Goto-Azuma; Hondoh; Blake; Gerasimoff

    1998-01-30

    Ice cores from Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada, provide continuous Holocene records of oxygen isotopic composition (delta18O, proxy for temperature) and atmospheric impurities. A time scale was established with the use of altered seasonal variations, some volcanic horizons, and the age for the end of the Wisconsin ice age determined from the GRIP and GISP2 ice cores. There is pre-Holocene ice near the bed. The change in delta18O since the last glacial maximum (LGM) is at least 12.5 per mil, compared with an expected value of 7 per mil, suggesting that LGM ice originated at the much higher elevations of the then existing Foxe Dome and Foxe Ridge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The LGM delta18O values suggest thick ice frozen to the bed of Hudson Bay. PMID:9445472

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 discretisation. On

  4. On the IMF BY dependence on polar cap patch exits at night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moen, J.; Hosokawa, K.; Gulbrandsen, N.

    2012-04-01

    Polar cap patches are islands of enhanced F-region electron density within the polar cap. They form near the cusp inflow region at day, transit the polar cap when frozen into twin-cell convection, and finally exit the polar cap at night into the night time auroras. When exiting they change status from patches to blobs. Monitoring the presence of F-region plasma structures and their travel path is essential in order to develop reliable space weather forecasts for the high latitude ionosphere in future. This paper presents a comprehensive study of a sequence of polar cap patches that exit the polar cap. Superimposing satellite images of the auroral oval and all-sky camera observations of airglow patches onto SuperDARN convection maps for an extended time period around magnetic midnight, provides an unparalleled opportunity to examine how plasma exits the polar cap. Under conditions of IMF BY predominantly positive (+5nT) we find that the patches exit both into the oval on the dusk cell pre midnight and on the dusk cell post midnight. This event study concurs with a statistical result also presented. The statistics show that the MLT distribution of patch exits, which is a ~10 hours broad bell shaped function cantered on ~23:30 MLT, is just marginally sensitive to the IMF BY polarity. This makes us conclude that the patches do not memorize on which cell they entered the polar cap.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. DE-2 photoelectron measurements consistent with a large scale parallel electric field over the polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winningham, J. D.; Gurgiolo, C.

    1982-01-01

    Winningham and Heikkila (1974) presented observations of various polar cap particle morphologies. They interpreted observations of 'anomalous' photoelectron angular distribution over the polar caps to be indicative of a large scale, outwardly directed, parallel electric field over the polar cap. The parallel field was observed to be spatially and/or temporarily variable. However, results obtained by Winningham and Heikkila have one weakness, which is related to the lack of simultaneous observations at many pitch angles. The present investigation is, therefore, concerned with the presentation of results from Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE-2) which confirm the experimental results of Winningham and Heikkila. It is concluded that the earth's polar caps act much like any conductor immersed in a plasma and illuminated by sunlight. DE-1 and DE-2 would then represent tiny point probes examining the internal details in the sheath region of the polar cap.

  11. Perchlorate Found by Phoenix Could Provide a Mobile Brine Sludge at the Bed of Mars Northern Ice Cap that Would Allow Flow with Very Low Basal Temperatures: Possible Mechanism for Water Table Re-Charge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, D. A.; Hecht, M.; Kounaves, S.; Catling, D.

    2009-03-01

    The north cap of Mars has basal temperature that precludes the flow of ice. Phoenix discovered polar soils contain perchlorate salts. These salts depress the melting point so it could form a sludge that provides a mobile bed that moves the ice outwards.

  12. 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.

  13. Broadband plasma waves observed in the polar cap boundary layer: Polar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsurutani, B. T.; Lakhina, G. S.; Ho, C. M.; Arballo, J. K.; Galvan, C.; Boonsiriseth, A.; Pickett, J. S.; Gurnett, D. A.; Peterson, W. K.; Thorne, R. M.

    1998-08-01

    Polar observations indicate the presence of intense broadband plasma waves nearly all of the time (96% occurrence frequency in this study) near the apogee of the Polar trajectory (~6-8RE). The region of wave activity bounds the dayside (0500 to 1800 LT) polar cap magnetic fields, and we thus call these waves polar cap boundary layer (PCBL) waves. The waves are spiky signals spanning a broad frequency range from ~101 to 2×104Hz. The waves have a rough power law spectral shape. The wave magnetic component has on average a f-2.7 frequency dependence and appears to have an upper frequency cutoff of ~(6-7)×103Hz, which is the electron cyclotron frequency. The electric component has on average a f-2.2 frequency dependence and extends up to ~2×104Hz. The frequency dependences of the waves and the amplitude ratios of B'/E' indicate a possible mixture of obliquely propagating electromagnetic whistler mode waves plus electrostatic waves. There are no clear intensity peaks in either the magnetic or electric spectra which can identify the plasma instability responsible for the generation of the PCBL waves. The wave character (spiky nature, frequency dependence and admixture of electromagnetic and electrostatic components) and intensity are quite similar to those of the low-latitude boundary layer (LLBL) waves detected at and inside the low-latitude dayside magnetopause. Because of the location of the PCBL waves just inside the polar cap magnetic field lines, it is natural to assume that these waves are occurring on the same magnetic field lines as the LLBL waves, but at lower altitudes. Because of the similar wave intensities at both locations and the occurrence at all local times, we rule out an ionospheric source. We also find a magnetosheath origin improbable. The most likely scenario is that the waves are locally generated by field-aligned currents or current gradients. We find a strong relationship between the presence of ionospheric and magnetosheath ions and the

  14. SPIRIT. SPOT 5 stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images and Topographies during the fourth International Polar Year (2007-2009)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korona, J.; Berthier, E.; Bernard, M.; Remy, F.; Thouvenot, E.

    2008-12-01

    Monitoring the evolution of polar glaciers, ice caps and ice streams is of utmost importance because they constitute a good indicator of global climate change and contribute significantly to ongoing sea level rise. Accurate topographic surveys are particularly relevant as they reflect the geometric evolution of ice masses. Improving our knowledge of the topography of Polar Regions is the goal of the SPIRIT (SPOT 5 stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images and Topographies) IPY project. SPIRIT allows (1) the acquisition of a large archive of SPOT 5 stereoscopic images covering most polar ice masses and, (2) the free delivery of digital terrain models (DTM) to the scientific community. Here, we present the architecture of this project and the coverage achieved over northern and southern polar areas during the first year of IPY (July 2007 to November 2008). We also provide the first accuracy assessments of the SPIRIT DTMs. Over Jakobshavn Isbrae (West Greenland), SPIRIT elevations are within ± 5 m (RMSE) of ICESat elevations. Some comparisons with ICESat profiles over Devon ice cap (Canada), St Elias Mountains (Alaska) and west Svalbard confirm the good overall quality of the SPIRIT DTMs although large errors are observed in the flat accumulation area of Devon ice cap. We also demonstrate the potential of SPIRIT DTMs for mapping glacier elevation changes. The comparison of summer-2007 SPIRIT DTMs with October-2003 ICESat profiles shows that the thinning of Jakobshavn Isbrae (by 30 to 40 m in 4 years) is restricted to the fast glacier trunk. The thinning of the coastal part of the ice stream (by over 100 m) and the retreat of its calving front (by up to 10 km) are clearly depicted by comparing the SPIRIT DTM to an ASTER April-2003 DTM.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Preservation of glaciochemical time-series in snow and ice from the Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grumet, Nancy S.; Wake, Cameron P.; Zielinski, Greg A.; Fisher, David; Koerner, Roy; Jacobs, John D.

    A detailed investigation of major ion concentrations of snow and ice in the summit region of Penny Ice Cap (PIC) was performed to determine the effects of summer melt on the glaciochemical time-series. While ion migration due to meltwater percolation makes it difficult to confidently count annual layers in the glaciochemical profiles, time-series of these parameters do show good structure and a strong one year spectral component, suggesting that annual to biannual signals are preserved in PIC glaciochemical records.

  18. 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

  19. ON THE POLAR CAP CASCADE PAIR MULTIPLICITY OF YOUNG PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Timokhin, A. N.; Harding, A. K.

    2015-09-10

    We study the efficiency of pair production in polar caps of young pulsars under a variety of conditions to estimate the maximum possible multiplicity of pair plasma in pulsar magnetospheres. We develop a semi-analytic model for calculation of cascade multiplicity which allows efficient exploration of the parameter space and corroborate it with direct numerical simulations. Pair creation processes are considered separately from particle acceleration in order to assess different factors affecting cascade efficiency, with acceleration of primary particles described by recent self-consistent non-stationary model of pair cascades. We argue that the most efficient cascades operate in the curvature radiation/synchrotron regime, the maximum multiplicity of pair plasma in pulsar magnetospheres is ∼few × 10{sup 5}. The multiplicity of pair plasma in magnetospheres of young energetic pulsars weakly depends on the strength of the magnetic field and the radius of curvature of magnetic field lines and has a stronger dependence on pulsar inclination angle. This result questions assumptions about very high pair plasma multiplicity in theories of pulsar wind nebulae.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Characteristics and potential climatic significance of ''miniature ice caps'' (crest- and cornice-type low-altitude ice archives)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haeberli, Wilfried; Frauenfelder, Regula; Kääb, Andreas; Wagner, Stephan

    Long-term ice-core records of Alpine glaciers are usually taken from cold-firn areas at high altitudes, as on Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. Perennial ice bodies at lower altitudes, however, also bear information about the past. Recent findings from the remains of such ice (the Oetztal iceman found in Austria; wooden bows at Lötschen Pass, Switzerland) clearly indicate the hitherto little-recognized fact that small, more-or-less static perennial ice bodies which are cold and frozen to the underlying bedrock may contain very old ice and, hence, important palaeoclimatic information about warm periods with minimum ice extent in the Alps. Since autumn 1998, investigations have been initiated on a crest-type location or ''miniature ice cap'' at Piz Murtél, Engadine, Swiss Alps. First results from shallow drilling, temperature data-logging, geodetic surveying, visual observation, finite-element modelling of simplified basic two-dimensional configurations and comparison to earlier measurements at similar sites provide promising perspectives concerning a little-studied phenomenon with considerable scientific-environmental research potential. Specific characteristics of the investigated site, and probably of many other comparable mountain sites, are: cold ice (about -4°C at 10 m depth), no basal sliding, small mass turnover, striking lack of a firn zone, accumulation mainly by superimposed ice, and direct access to old layers (centuries, millennia?) at the ice/bedrock interface.

  5. Lunar polar ice deposits: scientific and utilization objectives of the lunar ice discovery mission proposal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    B. Duke, Michael

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Spectral albedo and emissivity of CO sub 2 in Martian polar caps: Model results

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, S.G. ); Wiscombe, W.J. ); Firestone, J.F. )

    1990-08-30

    A model originally developed to explain the spectral albedo and emissivity of terrestrial snow is extended to the case of carbon dioxide snow on Mars. The variation of albedo and emissivity with wavelength is caused by the spectral variation of the absorption coefficient of solid CO{sub 2}. The most important variables controlling the radiative properties are grain size and contamination by dust or water. Solar zenith angle and snowpack thickness are of less importance. The observation that red albedo is higher than blue albedo in the Martian south polar cap indicates that the snow is contaminated with red dust. The interband absorption coefficient of CO{sub 2} ice in the thermal infrared is 2-3 orders of magnitude smaller than that of H{sub 2}O ice, due to the absence of hydrogen bonding in CO{sub 2}. This allows CO{sub 2} snow emissivity to be sensitive to grain size, emission angle, and impurities, in contrast to water snow which is nearly a blackbody under all conditions. The emissivity of CO{sub 2} snow varies substantially with wavelength, so energy budget modeling should be done in spectral detail. The addition of a thin layer of water frost over CO{sub 2} snow dramatically raises the thermal emissivity but causes little change to the spectrally averaged albedo unless the underlying CO{sub 2} snow is dirty. Remote sensing of CO{sub 2} grain size, H{sub 2}O content, and dust content may be possible. However, the design of a remote-sensing strategy awaits more accurate laboratory determination of the optical constants of CO{sub 2} ice.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Mapping the Variability of Winter Accumulation on the Hofsjökull Ice Cap, Central Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorsteinsson, Th.; Jóhannesson, T.; Einarsson, B.; Gunnarsson, A.; Kjartansson, V.; Sigurðsson, O.

    2016-09-01

    The poster presents results from the mapping of winter accumulation on the Hofsjökull ice cap, Central Iceland, using a ground penetrating radar. The data are used to correct biases in older mass-balance data with more limited spatial coverage.

  20. 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.

  1. The microstructure of polar ice. Part I: Highlights from ice core research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

    Polar ice sheets play a fundamental role in Earth's climate system, by interacting actively and passively with the environment. Active interactions include the creeping flow of ice and its effects on polar geomorphology, global sea level, ocean and atmospheric circulation, and so on. Passive interactions are mainly established by the formation of climate records within the ice, in form of air bubbles, dust particles, salt microinclusions and other derivatives of airborne impurities buried by recurrent snowfalls. For a half-century scientists have been drilling deep ice cores in Antarctica and Greenland for studying such records, which can go back to around a million years. Experience shows, however, that the ice-sheet flow generally disrupts the stratigraphy of the bottom part of deep ice cores, destroying the integrity of the oldest records. For all these reasons glaciologists have been studying the microstructure of polar ice cores for decades, in order to understand the genesis and fate of ice-core climate records, as well as to learn more about the physical properties of polar ice, aiming at better climate-record interpretations and ever more precise models of ice-sheet dynamics. In this Part I we review the main difficulties and advances in deep ice core drilling in Antarctica and Greenland, together with the major contributions of deep ice coring to the research on natural ice microstructures. In particular, we discuss in detail the microstructural findings from Camp Century, Byrd, Dye 3, GRIP, GISP2, NorthGRIP, Vostok, Dome C, EDML, and Dome Fuji, besides commenting also on the earlier results of some pioneering ventures, like the Jungfraujoch Expedition and the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, among others. In the companion Part II of this work (Faria et al., 2014), the review proceeds with a survey of the state-of-the-art understanding of natural ice microstructures and some exciting prospects in this field of research.

  2. Evidence of the solar Gleissberg cycle in the nitrate concentration in polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogurtsov, M. G.; Oinonen, M.

    2014-03-01

    Two sets of nitrate (NO3-) concentration data, obtained from Central Greenland and East Antarctic (Dronning Maud Land) ice cores, were analyzed statistically. Distinct century-scale (50-150 yr) variability was revealed in both data sets during AD 1576-1990. It was found that century-type variation in Greenland and Antarctic nitrate correlates fairly significantly with the corresponding Gleissberg cycle: (a) in sunspot number over 1700-1970 AD; (b) in 10Be concentration in Central and South Greenland over 1576-1970 AD. Thus, presence of century-scale relationship between polar nitrate and solar activity was confirmed over the last 4 centuries. That proves that NO3- concentration in polar ice caps could serve as indicator of long-term solar variability.

  3. 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.

  4. SWIR spectral mapping of the Martian South Polar Residual Cap using CRISM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    The Martian South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) exhibits unique CO2 ice sublimation features that cover the surface. These flat floored, circular depressions are highly dynamic, with scarp retreat rates of up to 8m per Martian Year. As the scarps sublimate in Martian Southern Hemisphere spring, they expose dust particles previously trapped within the ice during winter. This allows a window of opportunity to analyse the dust for fragile organic molecules that might otherwise be rapidly destroyed when subjected to ultraviolet radiation at the Martian surface. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are one such type of organic compound that have not yet been reported as detected on Mars. PAHs are considered to be important in astrobiology as they potentially play a role in abiogenesis, and are a biomarker for extant life. PAHs are abundant on Earth, in deep space and in recent years have been identified on the Saturnian moons Iapetus and Phoebe.Utilising data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), SPRC features have been spectrally mapped, the effects of H2O and CO2 ice on infrared spectra eliminated, and regions with obvious dust particles analysed to establish their mineral composition, and signatures indicative of PAHs compared to Mars data.Spectral mapping has identified compositional differences between depression rims and the majority of the SPRC, allowing regions of spectral interest to be selected for in-depth analysis. CRISM spectra have been compared with known Martian mineralogy and PAH laboratory data, with results suggesting Magnesium Carbonate dust content in depression rims, and rims have been found to have higher water content than regions of featureless ice. CO2 ice has been found to be the most limiting factor in looking for PAH diagnostic signatures on the SPRC. Further work is being undertaken with more detailed results to be presented in the future.The research leading

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Polar cap response to the solar wind density jump under constant southward IMF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belenkaya, E. S.; Kalegaev, V. V.; Blokhina, M. S.

    2014-11-01

    Sharp changes of the solar wind parameters determining the dynamic pressure jump lead to strong magnetosphere-ionosphere disturbances. Here the effect on the Earth's ionospheric high latitudes of the solar wind dynamic pressure pulse caused only by the increase of the interplanetary plasma density under southward constant IMF is considered. We investigate reaction of the cross-polar cap potential on the increase of AL index and/or jump of the solar wind density. It is found that for the case of 10 January 1997 the main contribution to the polar cap potential drop increase gave the growth of AL index relative to the input of the solar wind density jump. We also study the influence of the solar wind density increase on the crosspolar cap potential for the quiet magnetospheric conditions. It occurred that the polar cap potential difference decreases with the great increase of the interplanetary plasma density. For the disturbed magnetosphere the main role in the polar cap potential drop increase plays increase of AL. Thus, we found the change of the cross-polar cap potential due to the AL index variations and/or the solar wind density drop even in a case when the interplanetary electric field is constant.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A case-study of the evolution of polar-cap currents and auroral electrojets during polar geomagnetic disturbances with IMS magnetometer data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iijima, T.; Kim, J. S.; Sugiura, M.

    1984-01-01

    The development of the polar cap current and the relationship of that development to the evolution of auroral electrojets during individual polar geomagnetic disturbances is studied using 1 min average data from US-Canada IMS network stations and standard magnetograms from sites on the polar cap and in the auroral zone. It is found that even when the auroral electrojet activity is weak, polar cap currents producing fields of magnitude approximately 100-200 nT almost always exist. A normal convection current system exists quasi-persistently in the polar cap during extended quiet or weakly disturbed periods of auroral electrojet activity. After one such period, some drastic changes occur in the polar cap currents, which are followed by phases of growth, expansion, and recovery. Polar cap currents cannot all be completely ascribed to a single source mechanism.

  14. 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 .

  15. GPS scintillation effects associated with polar cap patches and substorm auroral activity: direct comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Yaqi; Moen, Jøran I.; Miloch, Wojciech J.

    2014-08-01

    We directly compare the relative GPS scintillation levels associated with regions of enhanced plasma irregularities called auroral arcs, polar cap patches, and auroral blobs that frequently occur in the polar ionosphere. On January 13, 2013 from Ny-Ålesund, several polar cap patches were observed to exit the polar cap into the auroral oval, and were then termed auroral blobs. This gave us an unprecedented opportunity to compare the relative scintillation levels associated with these three phenomena. The blobs were associated with the strongest phase scintillation (σϕ), followed by patches and arcs, with σϕ up to 0.6, 0.5, and 0.1 rad, respectively. Our observations indicate that most patches in the nightside polar cap have produced significant scintillations, but not all of them. Since the blobs are formed after patches merged into auroral regions, in space weather predictions of GPS scintillations, it will be important to enable predictions of patches exiting the polar cap.

  16. 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.

  17. GPS scintillation effects associated with polar cap patches, auroral arcs and blobs in European Arctic sector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Yaqi; Moen, Jøran; Miloch, Wojciech

    2014-05-01

    Both polar cap patches and auroral arcs are associated with irregularities that can affect the propagation of radio waves and thus disrupt the navigation system in the high latitudes. But which is the worst case remains unanswered. This study focuses on the direct comparison of the relative scintillation effects associated with different phenomena in high latitudes. The All Sky Camera located at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard observed six polar cap patches on January 13, 2013. The patches exited into the nightside auroral region in response to the ongoing substorms and then they are termed blobs. The collocated GPS scintillation monitor is used to study the scintillations produced by these different phenomena which are frequently observed at high latitudes. The amplitude scintillation index (S_4) was very low during this period, while the phase scintillation index (sigma_phi) indicated a disturbed ionospheric condition but responded differently to these three types of phenomena. Comparisons of the associated scintillation effects indicate that the blobs are the most violent scintillation source. Moreover, polar cap patches produce scintillation more effectively than auroral arcs do. Five of the six polar cap patches were observed to produce significant scintillations either on the edges or on the center of the patches, which imply most of the polar cap patches are associated with strong small scale irregularities. All of the scintillations produced by the pure auroral arcs were below 0.2 rad in this period. This study highlights the compound effects of the particle precipitations (auroral arcs) and high density plasma islands (patches) in developing the small scale irregularities. From the space weather forecasting perspective, particular attention is to be paid to polar cap patches exiting the polar cap at night in the European sector.

  18. Sensitivity of Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada, to climate state and internal dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, A.; Flowers, G. E.; Miller, G. H.; Rabus, B. T.; Van Wychen, W.; Gardner, A. S.; Copland, L.

    2016-08-01

    Barnes Ice Cap is a remnant of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered much of northern North America during the Last Glacial Maximum. Barnes reached a quasi-equilibrium state ~2000 years ago and has remained similar in size since then, with a small increase during the Little Ice Age. In this study, we combine historical observations (1960-1980) with more recent satellite and airborne data (1995-2010) to drive a mass balance model coupled to a transient thermomechanical model with an adaptive mesh geometry. The model is used to characterize the current state of the ice cap and to investigate its stability as a function of climate and its own internal dynamics. On millennial time scales we show that ice flow is influenced by adjustment of an unsteady shape, by gently sloping bedrock, and by contrasting viscosities between the Pleistocene and Holocene ice. On shorter time scales, Barnes is affected by surge activity. Sensitivity tests reveal that Barnes experienced climate conditions which enabled its stability 2000 to 3000 years ago but will disappear under current climate conditions in the next millennium.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Harry L.; Laidre, Kristin L.

    2016-09-01

    Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology - the cycle of biological events - is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat) on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance) on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979-2014) mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from -3 to -9 days decade-1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade-1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days) and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of -7 to -19 days decade-1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June-October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from -1 to -9 percent decade-1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change) were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in future reports.

  3. 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

  4. Is CO2 ice permanent?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1992-01-01

    Carbon dioxide ice has been inferred to exist at the south pole in summertime, but Earth based measurements in 1969 of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere suggest that all CO2 ice sublined from the southern polar cap and exposed underlying water ice. This implies that the observed summertime CO2 ice is of recent origin. It appears possible to construct an energy balance model that maintains seasonal CO2 ice at the south pole year round and still reasonably simulates the polar cap regression and atmospheric pressure data. This implies that the CO2 ice observed in the summertime south polar cap could be seasonal in origin, and that minor changes in climate could cause CO2 ice to completely vanish, as would appear to have happened in 1969. However, further research remains before it is certain whether the CO2 ice observed in the summertime south polar cap is seasonal or is part of a permanent reservoir.

  5. The influence of the Martian polar caps on the diurnal tide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.

    1979-01-01

    The large horizontal heating gradients that exist near the edge of the Martian polar caps during spring are shown to be capable of exciting large oscillations in the diurnal tide. To a lesser extent, the daily mass cycling between cap and atmosphere can also contribute. The calculations which demonstrate this are based on classical tidal theory as applied to the cylindrical coordinate system. This is done to facilitate the representation of the heating function. Results are presented for the horizontal surface winds only. They indicate a circulation at the cap edge somewhat analogous to the smaller scale terrestrial sea breeze. The amplitude of the zonal component is largest and is increased from 1 to 10 m/sec by the modeled influence of the polar cap. When coupled with the basic flow these cap-edge tides can produce strong surface winds during spring. Such a mechanism may contribute to the ability of the south polar cap winds to generate the local dust storms observed near the cap edge at this season.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Multi-stage polar cap convection response to enhanced interplanetary driving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandholt, Per Even; Farrugia, Charlie; Andalsvik, Yngvild

    2013-04-01

    In two case studies we investigate the response of ionospheric convection to enhanced magnetopause reconnection rate leading to repetitive substorm activity. Our interplanetary (IP) driver is coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The aim is to estimate the cross-polar cap potential (CPCP) at high temporal resolution (1 min). To achieve this, we use a method where we combine direct measurements of the CPCP from satellite ion drift data, which have limited temporal coverage, with high-resolution (1 min) ground observations of equivalent convection in the central polar cap, obtained from the polar cap index in the northern hemisphere (PCN). In our CPCP estimates we distinguish between contributions from different sectors of the polar cap (center and periphery) as well as from the dayside and nightside sources. The polar cap (PC) periphery is characterized by channels of enhanced antisunward flows, which are particularly pronounced in the winter hemisphere. These flow channels are continuously monitored by ground data from the IMAGE chain of magnetometers in Svalbard - Scandinavia - Finland. They are discussed as stages in the evolution of the Dungey flux circulation cycle driven by both dayside and nightside sources. Following Siscoe et al. (2011) we distinguish between two stages of the evolution of the convection response, i.e., an initial transient phase, and a subsequent persistent phase.

  10. 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.

  11. Organic Remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap, Liverpool Land, East Greenland: A Record of Late Holocene Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, T. V.; Kelly, M. A.; Hall, B.; Smith, C. A.; Garhart, K.; Travis, S.; Denton, G. H.

    2007-12-01

    Radiocarbon dates of emergent organic remains along the western margin of Istorvet ice cap (70.8°N, 22.2°W) indicate a time when the ice cap was smaller than at present. This ice cap, similar to others in east Greenland, exhibits "historic" moraines ~1-2 km in front of the presently retreating ice margins. At Istorvet, ice margin retreat has exposed a thin (~8 cm) organic horizon and in situ plant remains in bedrock cracks lie less than 10 m away from the present ice margin (453 m asl in 2006). Clusters of multi-species vegetation also were found on two nuntaks (to 719 m asl) located ~3 km from the historic drift limit. All organic remains were located in protected bedrock lees. On the west side of the ice-cap, vegetation is sparse but present at elevations near the ice margin. Both the ice cap geometry and the presence of overrun organic remains indicate past temperatures at least as warm as those at present. At Istorvet plant remains yielded 12 number of radiocarbon dates. These ages, when converted to calendar years, range from A.D. 400 to 1014, with the largest concentration from A.D. 800 to 1014. This work hones the conclusion of Funder (1978) who reported general climate deterioration since 800 BC. Moreover, it indicates warm conditons at this latitude at the time of Norse colonization of Greenland.

  12. Infrared Observations of Mars South Polar Residual Cap: When Eating Swiss Cheese - Use a Fork

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titus, T. N.; Brown, A. J.; Seelos, F. P.; Murchie, S. L.; Piqueux, S.; Christensen, P. R.; CRISM Team

    2008-03-01

    On the edge of the Mars southern residual cap is a region known as the fork region. This region contains scarps, CO2 Swiss cheese mesas, and a strip of exposed H2O ice 10 km wide. We examine this region using both THEMIS and CRISM observations.

  13. 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.

  14. 110 years of local glacier and ice cap changes in Central- and North East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjork, A. A.; Aagaard, S.; Kjaer, K. H.; Khan, S. A.; Box, J.

    2014-12-01

    The local glaciers and ice caps of Greenland are becoming more apparent players in global sea-level rise, and their contribution to future changes is significant. Very little information on their historical fluctuations exists as much of the focus has been on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Now, we can for the first time present historic data that spans 110 years for more than 200 of the local glaciers and ice caps covering this large and important region of the Arctic. The central- and north eastern part of Greenland is of particular interest as these areas are predicted to exhibit a more active behavior with higher mass loss in the future - simultaneously with an increase in precipitation. Our results show that the glaciers and ice caps in the region are responding very rapidly to changes in temperature and precipitation. The present retreat is the fastest observed within the last eight decades, only surpassed by the rapid post LIA retreat. The 1930s was the golden era for scientific exploration in Central- and North East Greenland as several large expeditions visited the area and photographed from land, sea and air. We use historic recordings from Danish and Norwegian aerial missions and terrestrial recordings from the renowned American Explorer Louise Boyd. These unique pictures from the early 1930s form the backbone of the study and are supplemented the more recent aerial photographs the 1940s and onwards and satellite imagery from the mid-1960s and up until present. From high resolution aerial photographs we are able to map the maximum extent of the glaciers during the LIA (Little Ice Age), from which retreat in this area is estimated to commence in 1900. Using a new SMB (Surface Mass Balance) model and its components covering the entire observational period along with high resolution DEMs and historic sea-ice records we are now able to extract valuable information on the past and present triggers of glacial change.

  15. Polarization structure of lidar signals reflected from ice crystal clouds.

    PubMed

    Krekov, Georgii M; Krekova, Margarita M; Romashov, Dmitrii N; Shamanaev, Vitalii S

    2005-07-01

    Polarization characteristics of signals of a monostatic lidar intended for sensing of homogeneous ice crystal clouds are calculated by the Monte Carlo method. Clouds are modeled as monodisperse ensembles of randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The polarization state of multiply scattered lidar signal components is analyzed for different scattering orders depending on the crystal shapes and sizes as well as on the optical and geometrical conditions of observation. Light-scattering phase matrices (SPMs), calculated by the beam splitting method (BSM), are used as input data for solving the vector radiative transfer equation. The principles of the BSM method are briefly described, and the SPM components are given for hexagonal ice plates and columns of different sizes and linearly polarized incident radiation with the wavelength lambda = 0.55 microm.

  16. 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

  17. Investigating the asymmetry of Mars' South Polar Cap using the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model with a CO2 cloud microphysics scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dequaire, J. M.; Kahre, M. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Hollingsworth, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    One of the most intriguing and least understood climate phenomena on Mars is the existence of a high albedo perennial south polar CO2 ice cap that is offset from the pole in the western hemisphere (SPRC). Colaprete et al. (2005) hypothesize that since the process by which CO2 surface frost accumulates (i.e., precipitation or direct vapor deposition) affects the albedo of the ice, the atmosphere can play a role in the stability and asymmetry of the cap. They show that the basins of Hellas and Argyre force a stationary wave resulting in a colder western hemisphere in which atmospheric CO2 condensation and precipitation is favored. Because precipitated CO2 is brighter than directly deposited CO2, they suggest that this topography driven atmospheric circulation maintains the asymmetry of the southern ice cap. However, Colaprete et al (2005) do not explicitly model the albedo of the south cap to demonstrate the viability of their hypothesis. We build on their study with a version of the NASA Ames GCM that includes a newly incorporated CO2 cloud microphysics scheme. Simulated results compare well to observed temperatures, pressures, cap recession rates and cloud patterns (mesospheric and polar night clouds). Although mesospheric and polar night clouds are thoroughly documented in the literature, the model predicts a third type of cloud to form close to the surface of the subliming ice caps, which has not been observed. As hypothesized by Colaprete et al. (2005), we find that the zonally asymmetric topography forces a stationary wave in the atmosphere resulting in an asymmetric cloud cover over the south pole during fall and winter and enhanced snowfall over a region encompassing the SPRC. These positive results open to further studies including a mesospheric simulation to refine the horizontal grid around the SPRC as well as the implementation of an ice albedo scheme dependent both on the amount and size of aerosols falling onto the cap during fall and winter (snow

  18. Polar Volatiles on Mars--Theory versus Observation: Excess solid carbon dioxide is probably present in the north residual cap.

    PubMed

    Murray, B C; Malin, M C

    1973-11-01

    The residual frost caps of Mars are probably water-ice. They may be the source of the water vapor associated with seasonal polar hoods. A permanent reservoir of solid CO(2) is also probably present within the north residual cap and may comprise a mass of CO(2) some two to five times that of the present atmosphere of Mars. The martian atmospheric pressure is probably regulated by the temperature of the reservoir and not by the annual heat balance of exposed solid CO(2) (37). The present reservoir temperature presumably reflects a long-term average of the polar heat balance. The question of a large permanent north polar cap is reexamined in light of the Mariner 9 data. The lower general elevation of the north polar region compared to the south and the resulting occurrence in the north of a permanent CO(2) deposit are probably responsible for the differences in size and shape of the two residual caps. The details of the processes involved are less apparent, however. It might be argued that the stability of water-ice deposits depends on both insolation and altitude. The present north and south residual caps should be symmetrically located with respect to such a hypothetical stability field. However, the offset of the south cap from the geometrical pole, the non-symmetrical outline of the north cap, and the apparently uniform thickness of the thin, widespread water-ice all argue against control by simple solid-vapor equilibrium of water under present environmental conditions. We think that the present location of the water-ice may reflect, in part, the past location of the permanent CO(2) reservoir. The extreme stability of polar water-ice deposits increases the likelihood that past environmental conditions may be recorded there. Detailed information on elevations in the vicinity of the residual caps is needed before we can further elucidate the nature and history of the residual caps. This, along with measurements of polar infrared emission, should be given high

  19. 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.

  20. Kinetics of ice particles growth in the polar summer mesosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasetsky, A. Y.; Petelina, S. V.

    2009-05-01

    The growth kinetics of ice particles in the polar summer mesosphere is discussed. The particle growth time is calculated using the temperature, water vapor density, and ice number density simultaneously measured by the infrared Fourier Transform Spectrometer on the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE-FTS) satellite. The formation rate for ice particles is a very strong function of temperature and water vapor concentration. We found the equilibrium radius of ice particles to be in the range from 20 to 70 nm, and the formation time - from about 2 hours at 150 K to about 18 hours at 125 K. Our results imply that in addition to the commonly accepted particle growth during their sedimentation from higher altitudes, in-situ growth to radii of 50-70 nm at mesospheric temperatures near 150 K in two hours or less may also be possible. Our analysis of possible shapes for mesospheric ice particles using the band shape of ice absorption feature measured by ACE-FTS suggests that cubes or compact hexagonal prisms (with an aspect ratio of 1.1) are the best candidates to represent the crystalline ice particles in the polar summer mesosphere.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. CGPS as a Tool to Measure Short-Term Mass Balance Variations of Icelandic Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Compton, K. C.; Bennett, R. A.; Hreinsdottir, S.; van Dam, T. M.; Spada, G.

    2015-12-01

    As the global climate changes, understanding the variations in water storage is increasingly important. In Iceland, glaciers cover approximately 11% of the land surface and comprise the country's largest reservoir of freshwater. Seasonal variations in winter snowfall and summer melting can impact river discharge and water availability for utilities such as hydropower. A dense network of continuously operating GPS sites record rapid crustal uplift exceeding 30 mm/year and accelerations up to 1-2 mm/yr2 reflecting the recent accelerating ice mass loss from the major Icelandic ice caps. Additionally, CGPS records seasonal motion: the elastic response to annual snow and melt seasons. Amplitudes of vertical seasonal motion approach 10 mm for those sites in the Central Highlands region in close proximity to the Vatnajökull ice cap. We demonstrate the utility of CGPS-measured displacements for estimating seasonal ice mass changes using a simple least squares inversion. We utilize all 3 components of motion, taking advantage of the seasonal motion recorded in the horizontal. We remove secular velocities and accelerations as well as seasonal motions due to atmospheric, hydrologic, and non-tidal ocean loading. We model GPS noise as a flicker process and set the standard deviation for that noise to be 1 mm for the horizontal components and 3 mm for the vertical. We calculate unit responses to each of the 5 largest ice caps in central Iceland at each of the 62 CGPS locations using both the RELAX and REAR codes and investigate the impact that Earth's structure has on our modeling results, noting here that the standard PREM Earth model results in calculated displacements smaller than the observations by a factor of two. Our preliminary inversion results match available summer and winter mass balance measurements well. We are often able to reproduce the year-to-year variations in loading and melting within our calculated 95% confidence bounds.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ice core from Akademii Nauk ice cap, Severnaya Zemlya (Russian Arctic), dated with a Nye model modified for a growing glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritzsche, Diedrich; Opel, Thomas; Meyer, Hanno

    2010-05-01

    From 1999 to 2001 a 724 m deep ice core has been drilled from surface to bedrock close to summit of the Akademii Nauk ice cap, Severnaya Zemlya (Russian Arctic), within a joint German-Russian project. The analysis of stable water isotopes and major ion concentration in high resolution were used for reconstruction of past climate and environmental changes. The upper 304 m of the core were dated by counting annual stable isotope cycles considering radioactive (1986, 1963) and volcanic events (1956, 1912, 1783, 1259) as reference horizons. The resulting depth-age relationship and the corresponding annual-layer thickness imply that the ice cap was not in dynamic steady state but had been growing until recent times. That does not comply with requirements of a standard Nye or Dansgaard-Johnson flow model approach. To take into account the peculiarities of Akademii Nauk ice cap a Nye model was modified by adding a growing term according to the found relationship between annual layer thickness and depth. Using the volcanoes identified an average increase of altitude of about 0.08 m w.e. per year was calculated since AD 1259. The model enables us to reconstruct the altitude changes of the ice cap with time and to consider an altitude effect to correct the stable isotope values and to explain decreasing sea-salt ion data. Using the suggested model annual layer thickness can be decompressed to accumulation rates at the altitude where the precipitation was originally deposited. The model can also be used for dating deeper parts of ice core where volcanoes are not identified up to now. Applying this model, the ice core has an age of about 2 500 years, much less than claimed for an older core from Akademii Nauk ice cap. Consequently, the ice cap is much younger and only of Late Holocene age, as also assumed for most Arctic ice caps and glaciers outside Greenland. However, the lowest part of Akademii Nauk ice cap is probably a remnant of an older ice cap stage.

  10. 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.

  11. Substorms and polar cap convection: the 10 January 2004 interplanetary CME case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andalsvik, Y.; Sandholt, P. E.; Farrugia, C. J.

    2012-01-01

    The expansion-contraction model of Dungey cell plasma convection has two different convection sources, i.e. reconnections at the magnetopause and in the magnetotail. The spatial-temporal structure of the nightside source is not yet well understood. In this study we shall identify temporal variations in the winter polar cap convection structure during substorm activity under steady interplanetary conditions. Substorm activity (electrojets and particle precipitations) is monitored by excellent ground-satellite DMSP F15 conjunctions in the dusk-premidnight sector. We take advantage of the wide latitudinal coverage of the IMAGE chain of ground magnetometers in Svalbard - Scandinavia - Russia for the purpose of monitoring magnetic deflections associated with polar cap convection and substorm electrojets. These are augmented by direct observations of polar cap convection derived from SuperDARN radars and cross-track ion drift observations during traversals of polar cap along the dusk-dawn meridian by spacecraft DMSP F13. The interval we study is characterized by moderate, stable forcing of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system (EKL = 4.0-4.5 mV m-1; cross polar cap potential (CPCP), Φ (Boyle) = 115 kV) during Earth passage of an interplanetary CME (ICME), choosing an 4-h interval where the magnetic field pointed continuously south-west (Bz < 0; By < 0). The combination of continuous monitoring of ground magnetic deflections and the F13 cross-track ion drift observations in the polar cap allows us to infer the temporal CPCP structure on time scales less than the ~10 min duration of F13 polar cap transits. We arrived at the following estimates of the dayside and nightside contributions to the CPCP (CPCP = CPCP/day + CPCP/night) under two intervals of substorm activity: CPCP/day ~110 kV; CPCP/night ~50 kV (45% CPCP increase during substorms). The temporal CPCP structure during one of the substorm cases resulted in a dawn-dusk convection asymmetry measured by DMSP F13 which

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Dominant processes for microstructure evolution in polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Daniela; Faria, Sergio H.; Weikusat, Ilka; Azuma, Nobuhiko

    2013-04-01

    The microstructure of polycrystalline polar ice is affected by many recrystallization processes, which can occur simultaneously as well as in succession. The size and shape of individual grains, the orientation of c-axes and the occurrence of sub-grain boundaries are all influenced by a number of agents, including stress, strain, impurity content, and temperature within the ice. To interpret the structures found in ice core data with respect to the generating deformation mechanisms, it is necessary to better understand the feedback between microstructure and rheology of the ice. A better knowledge of ice rheology is also required for improving macroscopic ice flow models and producing realistic projections of the mass balance of ice sheets. The analysis of microstructural data of deep ice cores within the last decades contributed significantly to the understanding of recrystallization processes. The review paper by Faria et al. (in preparation) revisits some historic results: The analysis of grain sizes and c-axis orientation distributions with depth of the Byrd deep ice core, Antarctica, suggested that microstructural evolution could be characterized by three main depth ranges of the ice core, defined by their predominant recrystallization regimes. A generalization of these results gave rise to the tripartite paradigm of polar ice microstructure, also called the "three-stage model": (1) In the upper part Normal Grain Growth (NGG) dominates the evolution of the microstructure, leading to steady increase of the average grain size with age/depth. (2) In the central part the NGG is balanced by rotation recrystallization (sometimes also called "polygonisation"), which describes splitting of grains along sub-grain boundaries and consequently leads to a stationary average grain size. (3) In the lower (and warmer) parts of the ice core strain-induced boundary migration including nucleation of new grains was thought to be the dominant factor, resulting in larger average

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Contribution of Icelandic ice caps to sea level rise: Trends and variability since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Björnsson, Helgi; Pálsson, Finnur; Gudmundsson, Sverrir; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Adalgeirsdóttir, Gudfinna; Jóhannesson, Tómas; Berthier, Etienne; Sigurdsson, Oddur; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn

    2013-04-01

    In total, Icelandic ice caps contain ˜3600 km3 of ice, which if melted would raise sea level by ˜1 cm. Here, we present an overview of mass changes of Icelandic ice masses since the end of the 19th century. They have both gained and lost mass during this period. Changes in ice volume have been estimated both through surface mass balance measurements (performed annually since ˜1990) and differencing of digital elevation models derived from various satellite and airborne observations. While the glaciers showed little mass loss as the 20th century began, losses increased rapidly after 1925, peaked in the 1930s and 1940s, and remained significant until the 1960s. After being near-zero or even positive during the 1980s and early 1990s, glacier mass budgets declined considerably, and have since the mid-1990s shown an average annual loss of 9.5±1.5 Gt a-1, contributing ˜0.03 mm a-1 to sea level rise. Since 1995 interannual variability in mass loss is high, ranging from 2.7 to 25.3±1.5 Gt a-1, corresponding to surface mass balances of -0.2 to -2.2 ± 0.15 m we a-1. This variability is driven by climate fluctuations and also by transient reduction of albedo due to volcanic eruptions.

  19. Mariner 9 observations of the south polar CAP of Mars - Evidence for residual CO2 frost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paige, D. A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Murray, B. C.

    1990-02-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Sensitivity Analysis of Repeat Track Estimation Techniques for Detection of Elevation Change in Polar Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harpold, R. E.; Urban, T. J.; Schutz, B. E.

    2008-12-01

    Interest in elevation change detection in the polar regions has increased recently due to concern over the potential sea level rise from the melting of the polar ice caps. Repeat track analysis can be used to estimate elevation change rate by fitting elevation data to model parameters. Several aspects of this method have been tested to improve the recovery of the model parameters. Elevation data from ICESat over Antarctica and Greenland from 2003-2007 are used to test several grid sizes and types, such as grids based on latitude and longitude and grids centered on the ICESat reference groundtrack. Different sets of parameters are estimated, some of which include seasonal terms or alternate types of slopes (linear, quadratic, etc.). In addition, the effects of including crossovers and other solution constraints are evaluated. Simulated data are used to infer potential errors due to unmodeled parameters.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Critical component of the interplanetary magnetic field responsible for large geomagnetic effects in the polar cap.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friis-Christensen, E.; Lassen, K.; Wilhjelm, J.; Wilcox, J. M.; Gonzalez, W.; Colburn, D. S.

    1972-01-01

    An observed influence of the interplanetary magnetic-sector structure on the geomagnetic variations in the polar cap appears to be due to the component of the interplanetary magnetic field near the ecliptic perpendicular to the earth-sun direction. This suggests that the observed effect on the ground originates in the front of the magnetosphere.

  5. Critical component of the interplanetary magnetic field responsible for large geomagnetic effects in the polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friis-Christensen, E.; Lassen, K.; Wilhjelm, J.; Wilcox, J. M.; Gonzalez, W.; Colburn, D. S.

    1972-01-01

    An observed influence is studied of the interplanetary magnetic sector structure on the geomagnetic variations in the polar cap which appears to be due to the component of the interplanetary magnetic field near the ecliptic perpendicular to the earth-sun direction. It is suggested that the observed effect on the ground originates in the front of the magnetosphere.

  6. 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.

  7. Polar cap plasma densities based on Cluster electric field probe measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haaland, S.; Svenes, K. R.; Lybekk, B.; Pedersen, A.; Kronberg, E.

    2011-12-01

    The plasma density above the Earth's polar caps provide crucial information about the state of the magnetosphere. This region of space is known for its tenuous plasma and extremely low plasma densities, thus making traditional measurements with particle and plasma instruments extremely difficult. A new method based on spacecraft potential measurements from the electric field instrument onboard the Cluster satellites has shown that more reliable density measurements can be obtained. In this study, we utilize this method and present a survey of the polar cap densities and the response to changes in the solar irradiation, solar wind parameters as well as processes internal to the magnetosphere. Our observations spans a time interval of almost 10 years, thus covering almost a half solar cycle. The observations indicate that solar irradiance, and thus ionization through UV absorption in the atmosphere is the most important mechanism controlling the polar cap plasma density. We also find positive correlations between polar cap density and solar wind density and solar wind dynamic pressure, as well as geomagnetic activity levels.

  8. Energy inputs in the polar cap during geomagnetic storms and the impacts on the ionosphere/thermosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y.; Sheng, C.; Huang, Y.; Huang, C. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Large Poynting flux has been observed in the polar cap by Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites during the main phase of the August 5, 2011 storm, the magnitude of which is comparable to that in the auroral zone. In order to understand the mechanisms for the observed large Poynting flux in the polar cap, the particle precipitation along DMSP satellite trajectory has been studied. Meanwhile, the global ionosphere-thermosphere model (GITM) has been run to examine the relative contribution of convection pattern and conductance to the polar cap Poynting flux enhancement. The influence of energy inputs in the polar cap including both Poynting flux and soft particle precipitation on the thermosphere has been examined through the analysis of the GRACE neutral density observations and GITM simulations with different forcings. This study will help to illustrate the mechanisms and impacts of the polar cap energy inputs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Modeling the Seasonal South Polar Cap Sublimation Rates at Dust Storm Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonev, B. P.; James, P. B.; Wolff, M. J.; Bjorkman, J. E.; Hansen, G. B.; Benson, J. L.

    2003-01-01

    Carbon dioxide is the principal component of the Martian atmosphere and its interaction with the polar caps forms the CO2 seasonal cycle on the planet. A significant fraction of the atmospheric constituent condenses on the surface during the polar winter and sublimes back during spring. The basic aspects of the CO2 cycle have been outlined by Leighton and Murray and a number of follow-up theoretical models ranging from energy balance to general circulation models have been used to study the physical processes involved in the cycle. This paper presents a modeling study on the seasonal south polar cap subliminiation rate under dust storm conditions. Mars Global Surveyor observations are also presented.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The pulsed nature of the nightside contribution to polar cap convection: Repetitive substorm activity under steady interplanetary driving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandholt, P.; Farrugia, C. J.; Andalsvik, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the contributions of substorm processes to temporal structure of polar cap plasma convection. The central parameter is the cross-polar cap potential (CPCP). Selecting a ten hour-long interval of stable interplanetary driving by an interplanetary CME (ICME), we are able to distinguish between the dayside and nightside sources of the convection. The event was initiated by an abrupt enhancement of the magnetopause (MP) reconnection rate triggered by a southward turning of the ICME magnetic field. This was followed by long interval (ten hours) of steady and strong driving. Under the latter condition a long series of electrojet intensifications (polar cap contractions) was observed which recurred at 50 min. intervals. The detailed temporal structure of polar cap convection in relation to the polar cap contraction events is obtained by combining continuous ground observations of convection - related magnetic deflections (including polar cap magnetic indices in the northern and southern hemispheres, PCN and PCS) and the more direct but lower resolution ion drift data obtained from a satellite (DMSP F13) in polar orbit. The observed PCN enhancements combined with satellite observations (DMSP F13 and F15 data) of polar cap contractions during the evolution of selected substorm expansions allowed us to calculate the CPCP enhancements associated with each event in the series.

  20. 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).

  1. [The analysis of polarization of ice based on the multi-angle hyperspectral technique].

    PubMed

    Lü, Yun-Feng

    2012-09-01

    In the visible light range, the reflected light of ice contains a portion of polarized light, especially smooth ice often can make the detector obtain the reflection information that contains more polarization information. The fresh water ice and sea ice reflection information was measured, and combined with the angle information and spectral information, the difference in the polarized reflectance characteristics between them was analyzed. It was found that with the polarization degree as index, the difference in the relative reflectance between sea ice and water ice is larger, and at the same time ice shows its unique polarization characteristics. So that the polarization measurements can assist the existing remote sensing technology for better detection of the ice covering the earth's surface.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Polar wander of an ice shell on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, G. W.; Stevenson, D. J.

    1989-10-01

    The present consideration of a hypothesized ice shell around Europa, which is decoupled from the silicate core by a liquid water layer and possesses a spatially varying thermal equilibrium thickness profile, proceeds through the development of equations for variations in the inertia tensor of a body when second-harmonic-degree topography is added to the crustal base. Attention is given to a realistic model in which the shell and ocean are assumed to undergo reorientations as a single entity independently of the core, but subject to viscous dissipation within the shell. Shell friction is in this case noted to preclude polar wander, unless a low conductivity regolith increases the near-surface temperature by a few tens of degrees C; the ice beneath the regolith would then behave viscously on the time-scale of polar wander.

  5. The pulsed nature of the nightside contribution to polar cap convection: repetitive substorm activity under steady interplanetary driving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandholt, P. E.; Andalsvik, Y. L.; Farrugia, C. J.

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the relative contributions of dayside and nightside processes to the spatial and temporal structure of polar cap plasma convection. The central parameter is the cross-polar cap potential (CPCP). Selecting a 10-h-long interval of stable interplanetary driving by an interplanetary CME (ICME), we are able to distinguish between the dayside and nightside sources of the convection. The event was initiated by an abrupt enhancement of the magnetopause (MP) reconnection rate triggered by a southward turning of the ICME magnetic field. This was followed by a long interval (10 h) of steady and strong driving. Under the latter condition a long series of electrojet intensifications was observed which recurred at 50 min intervals. The detailed temporal structure of polar cap convection in relation to polar cap contraction events is obtained by combining continuous ground observations of convection-related magnetic deflections (including polar cap magnetic indices in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, PCN and PCS) and the more direct, but lower-resolution ion drift data obtained from a satellite (DMSP F13) in polar orbit. The observed PCN enhancements combined with DMSP satellite observations (F13 and F15 data) of polar cap contractions during the evolution of selected substorm expansions allowed us to estimate the CPCP enhancements (25%) associated with individual events in the series. Ground-satellite conjunctions are further used to investigate the spatial structure of polar cap convection, i.e., the homogeneous plasma flow in the centre (Vi ≤ 1 km s-1) versus channels of enhanced antisunward flows (Vi ≥ 1 km s-1) along the periphery of the polar cap. We emphasise the temporal structure of these polar cap flow phenomena in relation to the prevailing solar wind forcing and the repetitive substorm activity.

  6. 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

  7. Ice Stories: Engaging Polar Scientists as Field Correspondents for IPY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    The International Polar Year (IPY 2007-09) gives the public, teachers, and students an extraordinary opportunity to experience the process of scientific discovery in action. The Exploratorium, working in partnership with international scientists at both poles, will create educational resources for museum and online visitors that celebrate life, legacy and science in the world's polar regions. In this session, Senior Science Producer Mary Miller will discuss the Exploratorium's proposed IPY project, Ice Stories. This unique educational project will provide a public face for IPY by using the power of contemporary media to bring current research to mass audiences with unprecedented intimacy and immediacy. Ice Stories includes: a media-rich, dynamic and continuously updated public Web site; a media-assets database for journalists, media producers, educators, and museum partners; a training program in media production and story-telling for polar scientists Ice Stories provides the public with access to IPY research through the development of a network of Exploratorium-trained polar field correspondents. It makes use of the design, education and production capacity of an informal science center to create a bridge between scientific discovery and interested members of the public. Ice Stories employs sophisticated media production and communication technology as well as strong partnerships with allied research groups and with scientists and international organizations at the poles. The Exploratorium has pioneered in translating current science research into exhibits and presentations accessible to museum and Web audiences. It also has long experience creating award-winning Web sites, professional-development workshops, community outreach, and institutional alliances.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Evidence for smaller extents of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet and North Ice Cap during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and local glaciers on Greenland are responding dynamically to warming temperatures with widespread retreat. GRACE satellite data (e.g., Kahn et al., 2010) and the Petermann Glacier calving events document the recent expansion of ice loss into northwestern Greenland. To improve the ability to estimate future ice loss in a warming climate, we are developing records of the response of the northwestern Greenlandic cryosphere to Holocene climatic conditions, with a focus on past warm periods. Our ongoing research includes analyses of glacial geology, sub-fossil vegetation, lake sediment cores, chironomid assemblages and ice cores combined with glaciological modeling. To constrain past ice extents that were as small as, or smaller than, at present, we recovered sub-fossil vegetation exposed at the receding margins of the GrIS and North Ice Cap (NIC) in the Nunatarssuaq region (~76.7°N, 67.4°W) and of the GrIS near Thule (~76.5°N, 68.7°W). We present vegetation types and radiocarbon ages of 30 plant samples collected in August 2012. In the Nunatarssuaq region, five ages of in situ (rooted) vegetation including Polytrichum moss, Saxifraga nathorstii and grasses located <5 m outboard of the GrIS margin are ~120-200 cal yr BP (range of medians of the 2-sigma calibrated age ranges). Nine ages of in situ Polytrichum, Saxifraga oppositafolia and grasses from ~1-5 m inboard of the NIC margin (excavated from beneath ice) range from ~50 to 310 cal yr BP. The growth of these plants occurred when the GrIS and NIC were at least as small as at present and their ages suggest that ice advances occurred in the last 50-120 yrs. In addition to the in situ samples, we collected plants from well-preserved ground material exposed along shear planes in the GrIS margins. In Nunatarssuaq, two Polytrichum mosses rooted in ground material and exposed along a shear plane in the GrIS margin date to 4680 and 4730 cal yr BP. Near Thule, three ages of Salix arctica

  12. Rapid onset of Little Ice Age summer cold in the northern North Atlantic derived from precisely dated ice cap records (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. H.; Larsen, D.; Geirsdottir, A.; Refsnider, K. A.; Anderson, C.

    2009-12-01

    Precise radiocarbon dates on dead vegetation emerging beneath retreating non-erosive ice caps in NE Arctic Canada define the onset of ice cap growth, and provide a Holocene context for 20th Century warming. Although most plateau ice caps melted during the Medieval Warm Period, a few that are now disappearing remained intact since at least 350 AD. Little Ice Age ice cap inception occurred in two pulses, centered on 1250-1300 AD and around 1450 AD, with ice caps remaining in an expanded state until the warming of the past few decades. Ice cap inception occurred simultaneously (±10 years) over a 200 m elevational range, suggesting an abrupt onset of Little Ice Age cold, rather than a slow cooling over many decades. Similarly, a 3000 year annually resolved lacustrine record of glacier power and a complementary independent proxy for landscape instability in the highlands of central Iceland show an initial jump in both glacier power and landscape instability between 1250 and 1300 AD, with a second step-increase around 1450 AD, and dramatic increases in both proxies around 1800 AD, retracting in the 20th Century. A sub-decadal record of hillslope stability and within-lake primary productivity in sediments from a low-elevation lake in northern Iceland shows parallel changes at similar times. Sea ice proxies and historical records document the first appearance of sea ice around Iceland following Medieval time about 1250 AD. The similarity in the onset and intensification of Little Ice Age cold-weather proxies across a wide region of the northern North Atlantic suggests at least a regional driver of abrupt climate change. The time intervals for which these abrupt changes occur coincide with the three most intense episodes of multiple explosive volcanic eruptions that introduced large volumes of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere during the past millennium. Although the direct impacts of volcanic aerosols have a duration of only a few years, the memory stored by the

  13. 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.

  14. Inventory of Ice-Related Deposits on Mars: Evidence for Burial and Long-Term Sequestration of Ice in Non-Polar Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J.; Marchant, D.

    2009-04-01

    We estimate the total water abundance on Mars and the nature and magnitude of sources and sinks throughout its history by starting with the present environment, when climate conditions are more well-known, and working backward in time, using the geologic record as a measure of the presence, location, and state of water. We identify elements of the current water cycle, assess their volumes, and then turn to the Amazonian geological record to trace the history of the climate and water cycle as recorded in non-polar ice deposits. This inventory permits us to assess the migration paths and behavior of water during long-term climate change and to document changes in the nature and volumetric significance of the water cycle in the past geologic history of Mars. We first assess the current polar caps and then identify non-polar ice deposits and assess their significance. The current hydrological cycle on Mars is horizontally stratified, separated from the subsurface by a global permafrost layer; seasonal variations and longer-term climate change result in migration between the largest reservoir (the polar caps), the atmosphere, vapor diffusion into and out of the regolith, and surface deposition in non-polar regions. Current polar layering is related to variations in spin-axis/orbital parameters. These variations cause changes in insolation and climate, and corresponding variations in dust and volatile stability, mobility, transport and deposition. Examples of non-polar ice-related deposits include: 1) The Latitude-dependent mantle emplaced during recent Ice Ages; 2) Northern high latitude cold-based glacial crater fill; 3) Mid-high latitude concentric crater fill (CCF); 4) Mid-latitude lineated valley fill (LVF) and plateau glaciation; 5) Mid-latitude lobate debris aprons (LDA); 6) Mid-latitude ice highstands; 7) Low mid-latitude phantom LDAs; 8) Tropical mountain glaciers; 9) Near-equatorial outflow channel rim deposits; 10) Pedestal and excess-ejecta craters (EEC); 11

  15. Sublimation and transport of water from the north residual polar cap on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, Robert M.; Jakosky, Bruce M.

    1990-01-01

    The possible role of the north residual cap in the current Martian water cycle was examined using models to assess the ability of the cap to supply water to the atmosphere and the ability of the atmospheric circulation to transport it out of the polar regions to low northern latitudes. Results indicate that rather extreme circumstances would be required for the cap to provide all of the observed increase in atmospheric water, such as a combination of high surface winds, low cap emissivities, or substantial evaporation from dark material. But even if these conditions could be met, the high-latitude circulation is too localized in scale to move much water vapor out of the polar environment. Both the present calculations and the data from the Viking's Mars Atmospheric Water Detection Experiment show that about two thirds of the water appearing in the Martian northern hemisphere during summer must be supplied by other sources. It is suggested that the additional source is water desorbing from the nonpolar regolith.

  16. Sublimation and transport of water from the north residual polar CAP on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1990-02-01

    The possible role of the north residual cap in the current Martian water cycle was examined using models to assess the ability of the cap to supply water to the atmosphere and the ability of the atmospheric circulation to transport it out of the polar regions to low northern latitudes. Results indicate that rather extreme circumstances would be required for the cap to provide all of the observed increase in atmospheric water, such as a combination of high surface winds, low cap emissivities, or substantial evaporation from dark material. But even if these conditions could be met, the high-latitude circulation is too localized in scale to move much water vapor out of the polar environment. Both the present calculations and the data from the Viking's Mars Atmospheric Water Detection Experiment show that about two thirds of the water appearing in the Martian northern hemisphere during summer must be supplied by other sources. It is suggested that the additional source is water desorbing from the nonpolar regolith.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Thomas; Wahr, John; Pfeffer, W Tad; Swenson, Sean

    2012-02-08

    Glaciers and ice caps (GICs) are important contributors to present-day global mean sea level rise. Most previous global mass balance estimates for GICs rely on extrapolation of sparse mass balance measurements representing only a small fraction of the GIC area, leaving their overall contribution to sea level rise unclear. Here we show that GICs, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic peripheral GICs, lost mass at a rate of 148 ± 30 Gt yr(-1) from January 2003 to December 2010, contributing 0.41 ± 0.08 mm yr(-1) to sea level rise. Our results are based on a global, simultaneous inversion of monthly GRACE-derived satellite gravity fields, from which we calculate the mass change over all ice-covered regions greater in area than 100 km(2). The GIC rate for 2003-2010 is about 30 per cent smaller than the previous mass balance estimate that most closely matches our study period. The high mountains of Asia, in particular, show a mass loss of only 4 ± 20 Gt yr(-1) for 2003-2010, compared with 47-55 Gt yr(-1) in previously published estimates. For completeness, we also estimate that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, including their peripheral GICs, contributed 1.06 ± 0.19 mm yr(-1) to sea level rise over the same time period. The total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered regions is thus 1.48 ± 0.26 mm (-1), which agrees well with independent estimates of sea level rise originating from land ice loss and other terrestrial sources.

  4. 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.

  5. The nonlinear response of the polar cap potential under southward IMF: A statistical view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilder, F. D.; Clauer, C. R.; Baker, J. B. H.; Cousins, E. P.; Hairston, M. R.

    2011-12-01

    We report the results of an investigation into the effect of solar wind properties on the saturation of the polar cap potential (CPCP) during periods of strongly southward IMF. We use propagated solar wind data to search for periods between 1998 and 2007 when the interplanetary electric field is stable for more than 50 min and placed further conditions on the availability of SuperDARN and DMSP velocity data. CPCP values are calculated from these data sets and various fits of the polar cap potential to the interplanetary electric field (IEF) are compared. It is found that the trend is nonlinear, with a square root function fitting better than a straight line, and that the CPCP does not appear to exhibit asymptotic behavior. The nonlinearity of the CPCP is then correlated with various interplanetary parameters to test the various models of polar cap potential saturation. It is also found that the deviation of the CPCP from a linear fit has statistically significant correlation with solar wind Alfvènic Mach number and no significant correlation with solar wind dynamic pressure.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The glaciation of Dartmoor: the southernmost independent Pleistocene ice cap in the British Isles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, David J. A.; Harrison, Stephan; Vieli, Andreas; Anderson, Ed

    2012-06-01

    The granite uplands of Dartmoor have traditionally been considered to be relict permafrost and periglacial landscapes that lay beyond the limits of Quaternary glaciations but a variety of landform evidence indicates that a plateau icefield existed on the northern part of the moor, constituting the southernmost independent ice cap in the British Isles. Overdeepened or weakly U-shaped valley segments fringing north Dartmoor document an early, extensive phase of glaciation but the most convincing landform evidence relates to more recent, valley-based glacier occupancy. A moraine ridge on the Slipper Stones represents the most unequivocal palaeo-glacier on north Dartmoor with a palaeo-ELA of c.460 m above sea level (asl), although this relates to the youngest and most restricted phase of glaciation. A longer term ELA is likely to be represented by the Corn Ridge proto-cirque at 370-410 m asl. More extensive valley glaciers are recorded in each of the major drainage basins of north Dartmoor by arcuate and linear bouldery ridges and hummocky valley floor drift, which are interpreted as latero-frontal moraines deposited by outlet lobes of a plateau icefield. Recession of these lobes is marked by inset sequences of such ridges and occasional meltwater channels. Plateau ice was predominantly thin and protective, and snowblow and preferential accumulation in valley heads facilitated the modest glacial erosion and debris transport recorded in the landforms and sediments. It is proposed that the highest plateaux have been occupied by ice for the longest cumulative period of time throughout the Quaternary ("average glacial conditions"), explaining the distribution of different tor types on northern Dartmoor. This also explains the lack of tors on the most expansive of the highest plateau terrain (ice dispersal centres) as the product of: a) average glacial conditions preferentially removing tors or dampening their production rates; b) the survival of high relief (Type 1) tors

  12. 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.

  13. Morphological characteristics of disturbances generated in the polar cap region of the upper thermosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujiwara, Hitoshi

    Recent radar and satellite observations have shown various disturbances in the polar cap region of the upper thermosphere. For example, the European incoherent scatter (EISCAT) radar, Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), and CHAMP satellite observations have revealed ionospheric and thermospheric variations due to energy inputs from the magnetosphere. From the simultaneous observations with the EISCAT Svalbard radar and CUTLASS radar, Fujiwara et al. [2007] showed existence of significant heat source in the dayside polar cap/cusp region of the upper thermosphere in association with the dayside magnetospheric phenomena of reconnections and flux transfer events. Bruinsma and Forbes [2007] showed trans-polar propagation of the traveling atmospheric disturbances (TADs) in connection with three sudden injections of energy at high latitudes from the CHAMP mass density observations. In the present study, we focus our attention on both disturbances directly generated in the polar cap region of the upper thermosphere and those propagating from other regions. We perform numerical simulations with a general circulation model, which includes all the atmospheric regions, developed by Miyoshi and Fujiwara [2003]. The morphological characteristics of the disturbances due to auroral particle precipitation and electric field enhancement are investigated here. References: Bruinsma, S., and J. M. Forbes, Global observation of traveling atmospheric disturbances (TADs) in the thermosphere, Geophys. Res., Lett., 34, L14103, doi: 10.1029/2007GL030243, 2007. Fujiwara, H., R. Kataoka, M. Suzuki, S. Maeda, S. Nozawa, K. Hosokawa, H. Fukunishi, N. Sato, and M. Lester, Electromagnetic energy deposition rate in the polar upper thermosphere derived from the EISCAT Svalbard radar and CUTLASS Finland radar observations, Ann. Geophys., 25, 2393-2403, 2007. Miyoshi, Y., and H. Fujiwara, Day-to-day variations of migrating diurnal tide simulated by a GCM from the ground surface to the

  14. 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.

  15. The historical residue trend of chlorinated hydrocarbons in the Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere I., Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Gregor, D.J.; Peters, A.J.; Backus, S.; Fisher, D.; Zheng, J.

    1995-12-31

    Current detailed measurements of contaminant deposition can not provide a historical perspective except through long term monitoring programs. In the Arctic, ice caps provide an alternative to lake sediments in that the annual snow layers reflect the atmospheric deposition. As a result of the remoteness of the Agassiz Ice Cap (80{degree}49`50``N, 72{degree}56`30``W) and the limited summer melt, annual layers undergo little chemical change, especially after the first summer season, and therefore provide a well defined historical record. PCBs were first measured above detection limit in the core in the late 1950`s. Mean concentration of {Sigma}PCB over the thirty year period is 3.5 ({+-}1.3) ng. L{sup {minus}1}. {Sigma}PCB is dominated by the lower chlorinated congeners with only infrequent detections of congeners with eight or more chlorines. Deposition peaked at 930 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1967/68 and decreased to 90 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1980/81. Since 1980/81, deposition has again increased to a local maximum of 850 ng.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in 1989/90. PAHs are detectable throughout the sampling period. Only 7 individual PAHs were above the quantification limits including naphthalene (accounting for an overall mean of 88% of the {Sigma}PAH) acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene and chrysene. No PAHs with five or more aromatic rings were observed to be present above the detection limits. The flux of PAHs to the Ice Cap remained relatively constant from 1790 to 1940 at approximately 3 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1}. The period 1940 to 1980 is dominated by a large increase in deposition peaking at 70 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1} in the early 1970`s. The final period, 1980 to 1993 shows a steady increase by a factor of about 2 from a minimum of 10--20 {micro}g.m{sup {minus}2}.a{sup {minus}1}.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Polar Cap index: A critical review of methods and a new approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2013-08-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) index introduced by Troshichev and Andrezen (1985) is derived from polar magnetic variations and is mainly a measure of the intensity of the transpolar ionospheric currents. These currents relate to the polar cap antisunward ionospheric plasma convection driven by the dawn-dusk electric fields, which in turn are generated by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Coefficients to calculate PCN and PCS index values from polar magnetic variations recorded at Thule and Vostok, respectively, have been derived by several different procedures in the past. The PCN index is found in seven different versions while the PCS index is found in five different versions in past publications. Recent publications (in 2011 and 2012) still convey three different PCN and two different PCS indices. The presentation here discusses the principal differences between the various PC index procedures and provides comparisons between coefficient and index values derived using the different procedures. Finally, a new approach to define a simplified PC index procedure is outlined.

  19. The Polar Cap (PC) index. A critical review of methods and a new approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2013-04-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) index introduced by Troshichev and Andrezen (1985) is derived from polar magnetic variations and is mainly a measure of the intensity of the transpolar ionospheric currents. These currents relate to the polar cap antisunward ionospheric plasma convection driven by the dawn-dusk electric field, which in turn is generated by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Coefficients to calculate PCN and PCS index values from polar magnetic variations recorded at Thule and Vostok, respectively, have been derived by several different procedures in the past. Approval of a final PC index procedure is pending at the International Association for Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) for a decision possibly at the General Assembly in 2013. The presentation discusses the principal differences between the various PC index procedures and provides comparisons between coefficient and index values derived using the different procedures. It will be demonstrated that depending on the procedure, PC index values derived in the past, and used in many publications, may differ substantially although the same basic geomagnetic data were used. Finally, a new approach to define a unified PC index procedure, built from the best elements of the three different current versions, is outlined.

  20. 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.

  1. PCN magnetic index and average convection velocity in the polar cap inferred from SuperDARN radar measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiori, R. A. D.; Koustov, A. V.; Boteler, D.; Makarevich, R. A.

    2009-07-01

    The relationship between the polar cap north (PCN) magnetic index and the average convection velocity of the plasma flow across the polar cap is investigated using data from both the Rankin Inlet (RKN) polar cap Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radar and the entire SuperDARN network. Correlation between the PCN index and the average velocity, determined from the median RKN line of sight (LOS) velocity, maximizes near magnetic noon and midnight when the radar field of view is roughly aligned with the noon-midnight meridian. For observations between 1000 and 1100 MLT, a roughly linear increase of the average velocity was found for a PCN index between 0 and 2, but the rate of increase is ˜2 times faster than in previous publications in which the average velocity was estimated from DMSP ion drift measurements. Comparisons between the PCN index with the cross-polar cap velocity estimated from (1) SuperDARN convection maps and (2) median RKN LOS velocities show similar trends. Both the average cross-polar cap velocity (estimated by two methods) and the cross-polar cap potential show a tendency for saturation at PCN > 2. No significant seasonal change in the nature of the relationships was found.

  2. Mariner 7 ultraviolet spectrometer experiment - Photometric function and roughness of Mars' polar cap surface.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pang, K.; Hord, C. W.

    1971-01-01

    Review of some of the results of the Mariner 7 ultraviolet spectrometer observations of the south polar cap of Mars. The near ultraviolet polar spectrum shows the predominance of surface reflection over atmospheric scattering. The intensity of the reflected radiation decreased steeply for a change in solar elevation of only about 10 deg. Neither a haze layer nor ground inhomogeneity is considered a likely explanation for this observation. An unusual photometric function of the surface is more probable. An analysis of reflected radiation intensity as a function of incidence and emission angles was made, assuming a photometric function for the surface. The angular inversion revealed a 'smoothness factor' suggestive of an icy or glazed surface. A hypothesis is advanced to explain the observed phenomena and associated polar features.

  3. 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.

  4. Limited impact of escaping photoelectrons on the terrestrial polar wind flux in the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitamura, N.; Seki, K.; Nishimura, Y.; McFadden, J. P.

    2015-05-01

    A statistical analysis using a long-term (over one solar cycle) photoelectron data set obtained by the Fast Auroral SnapshoT satellite demonstrates that photoelectron outflows has little impact on the polar wind ion flux. This result implies that it is the source region of H+ ions in the topside ionosphere and not the photoelectron flux that controls the terrestrial polar wind flux. The polar wind ion flux, estimated from electron outflow does not change with increasing net photoelectron production due to increasing solar activity. The magnitude of a self-created field-aligned potential drop is likely determined so as to equilibrate electron fluxes with ion fluxes regulated by a net production rate of H+ ions. The result suggests that the polar wind H+ ion flux from magnetized terrestrial planets, including Earth-like exoplanets, can be estimated once the composition and temperature of its atmosphere, which determine the net ion production rate, are known.

  5. HCN ice in Titan's high-altitude southern polar cloud.

    PubMed

    de Kok, Remco J; Teanby, Nicholas A; Maltagliati, Luca; Irwin, Patrick G J; Vinatier, Sandrine

    2014-10-01

    Titan's middle atmosphere is currently experiencing a rapid change of season after northern spring arrived in 2009 (refs 1, 2). A large cloud was observed for the first time above Titan's southern pole in May 2012, at an altitude of 300 kilometres. A temperature maximum was previously observed there, and condensation was not expected for any of Titan's atmospheric gases. Here we report that this cloud is composed of micrometre-sized particles of frozen hydrogen cyanide (HCN ice). The presence of HCN particles at this altitude, together with temperature determinations from mid-infrared observations, indicate a dramatic cooling of Titan's atmosphere inside the winter polar vortex in early 2012. Such cooling is in contrast to previously measured high-altitude warming in the polar vortex, and temperatures are a hundred degrees colder than predicted by circulation models. These results show that post-equinox cooling at the winter pole of Titan is much more efficient than previously thought. PMID:25279918

  6. 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.

  7. Projections of 21st Century Sea Level Rise From the Melt of Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radic, V.; Hock, R.

    2008-12-01

    An ensemble of 21st century volume projections for all mountain glaciers and ice caps from the World Glacier Inventory is derived by modeling the surface mass balance coupled with volume--area--length scaling and forced with temperature and precipitation scenarios with A1B emission scenario from ensemble of GCMs. By upscaling the volume projections through a regionally differentiated approach to all mountain glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland and Antarctica (514,380~km2) we estimated total volume change to range from -0.039~m to -0.150~m of sea level equivalent for the time period 2001--2100. A major source of uncertainty in the methodology is the temperature forcing in the mass balance model which depends on bias correction of ERA-40 temperatures in order to simulate the local temperatures on a mountain glacier or ice cap. Other major sources of uncertainties are the volume-area scaling in deriving initial glacier volume and upscaling the volume changes with assumptions on glacier-size distributions in each glacierized region. Our projected 21st century volume loss is probably a lower bound since no calving is modeled and no mountain glaciers and ice caps surrounding Antarctica and Greenland are included due to a lack of glacier inventory data. Nevertheless, the large range of our projections depends on the choice of GCM emphasizing the importance of ensemble projections.

  8. Modeling of Svartisen Ice Cap, Northern Norway, Using In-situ Observations and Remote Sensing of Ice Velocity and Volume Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclercq, P. W.; Nuth, C.; Altena, B.; Reerink, T.; Kaeaeb, A.

    2015-12-01

    We model the evolution of Vestre Svartisen. Vestre Svartisen is located in northern Norway and is the second largest ice cap in Norway with an area of 218 km2. There is an abundance of in-situ observations for this ice cap as a result of the monitoring programs in relation to hydro-power generation. Based on these in-situ observations, we can use the case of Vestre Svartisen to test the performance of glacier evolution modeling based on remote sensing, that provides data on glacier volume and surface velocity changes, instead of in-situ observations that only are available for a limited number of glaciers world-wide. The in-situ observations at Vestre Svartisen include mass balance observations since 1970 on Engabreen catchment and 10 mass balance years on Storglombreen, a glacier length record of Engabreen back to 1600, outlines of the ice cap in 1968, 1988 and 1999, ice thickness observations, and surface velocity measurements. In addition to these in-situ observations, we derive glacier volume and surface velocity changes from ASTER and Landsat imagery, respectively. We model the surface mass balance (SMB) and the ice dynamics using a simplified energy balance model coupled to a vertically integrated shallow ice approximation 2D glacier flow model. The mass balance model is forced with temperature and precipitation measurements from a nearby weather station at Glomfjord. The SMB model is calibrated on individual stake measurements of winter and summer mass balance over the period 1990--2010 in the Engabreen catchment. The bed topography is reconstructed from iteratively matching modeled and observed surface elevation, and the reconstruction reproduces the observed large ice thickness east of the highest point of the ice cap of about 650 m well. We use the calibrated model to reconstruct the 20th century evolution of the Svartisen ice cap and its fate under the projected climate change in the 21st century. In addition, we explore the possibilities of calibrating

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of remote-sensing techniques to measure decadal-scale changes of Hofsjokull ice cap, Iceland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S.; Barton, J.S.; Sigurdsson, O.; Smith, L.C.; Garvin, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Dynamic surficial changes and changes in the position of the firn line and the areal extent of Hofsjökull ice cap, Iceland, were studied through analysis of a time series (1973–98) of synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) and Landsat data. A digital elevation model of Hofsjökull, which was constructed using SAR interferometry, was used to plot the SAR backscatter coefficient (σ°) vs elevation and air temperature along transects across the ice cap. Seasonal and daily σ° patterns are caused by freezing or thawing of the ice-cap surface, and abrupt changes in σ° are noted when the air temperature ranges from ∼−5° to 0°C. Late-summer 1997 σ° (SAR) and reflectance (Landsat) boundaries agree and appear to be coincident with the firn line and a SAR σ° boundary that can be seen in the January 1998 SAR image. In January 1994 through 1998, the elevation of this σ° boundary on the ice capwas quite stable, ranging from 1000 to 1300 m, while the equilibrium-line altitude, as measured on the ground, varied considerably. Thus the equilibrium line may be obscured by firn from previous years. Techniques are established to measure long-term changes in the elevation of the firn line and changes in the position of the ice margin.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A 100 year record of ion chemistry from Agassiz Ice Cap Northern Ellesmere Island NWT, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koerner, Roy M.; Fisher, David A.; Goto-Azuma, Kumiko

    Two ice cores from the top of Agassiz Ice Cap, one from a snow scoured and the other from an unscoured zone, cover 80 and 100 yr of snow deposition respectively. The time scale for the cores is based on seasonal ion signals, a known stratigraphic horizon (1962), and a marked volcanic signature of high SO 2-4, representing Katmai (1912). A marked increase in the SO 2-4 and NO -3 ion which began in the middle of the 19th century is compared with the earlier increase in Greenland and attributed to a different combination of aerosol sources. A case is made for dry deposition of ions in winter, based on the continued presence of winter ion peaks at a site that δ18O indicates has almost no winter snow accumulation. This case is supported by the snowfall record at a nearby Automatic Weather Station, which shows there is very little winter snowfall at these sites, and by the fact that different accumulation rates and ion concentrations at each site effect almost the same ion fluxes. There is no evidence in either of the cores for a change in the levels of pollutant NO -3 and SO 2-4 ion concentrations, due to improvement in emission technologies in the western nations, over the last two decades. The lack of change may indicate that Russia is the dominant source for aerosols at this site.

  15. Evidence for Non-Polar Ice Deposits in the Past History of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W.; Marchant, D. R.

    2008-03-01

    Mars has undergone significant climate change, driven by spin axis/orbital parameter variations, causing equatorward migration of polar volatiles. We review evidence for the presence of ancient non-polar ice deposits recording these climate changes.

  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. Atmospheric Controls of Snow Accumulation on Glaciers and Ice Caps in High Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherer, D.; Curio, J.

    2015-12-01

    Snowfall is the major contributor to snow accumulation on glaciers and ice caps. Unfortunately, its quantification is rather difficult, both by observations and by numerical modelling. Field measurements of snowfall are generally problematic, and particularly inaccurate in mountainous regions. This holds true also for data from remote sensing systems like the TRMM. Numerical modelling of precipitation in general, and of snowfall in particular, is depending on parameterization of sub-grid processes occurring at a wide range of spatial scales. The scarcity of reliable observational data on snowfall required to test and validate the relevant parameterization schemes is one of the major obstacles for deepening our understanding of atmospheric controls of snow accumulation on glaciers and ice caps. In addition, the often made assumption that easy-to-measure snow accumulation equals snowfall is not valid in areas where other processes like snowdrift or avalanches cause snow deposition or erosion. Besides a general discussion of the above-mentioned problems, the presentation will focus on results obtained from a gridded atmospheric data set, i.e., the so-called High Asia Refined analysis (HAR), covering the study region by two nested domains of 30 km and 10 km grid spacing. Starting from autumn 2000, three-hourly (30 km) and hourly (10 km) data are available for a comprehensive set of atmospheric variables (see www.klima.tu-berlin.de/HAR). HAR data was used to analyse annual and seasonal patterns of precipitation and atmospheric water transport, as well as to drive numerical models for surface mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. A new study, which is the main subject of this presentation, reveals specific regimes of dynamic controls of precipitation in different regions of High Asia. One of the striking results is that the analysis identified a specific regime that is able to explain some of the atmospheric controls behind the so-called Karakoram anomaly (glaciers in

  18. CryoSat-2 swath interferometric altimetry for mapping polar land ice terrain and elevation change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourmelen, N.; Escorihuela, M. J.; Foresta, L.; Shepherd, A.; Muir, A.; Hogg, A. E.; Roca, M.; Nagler, T.; Baker, S.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Reference and repeat-observations of Glacier and Ice Sheet Margin (GISM) topography are critical to identify changes in ice thickness, provide estimates of mass gain or loss and thus quantify the contribution of the cryosphere to sea level change. The lack of such sustained observations was identified in the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Cryosphere Theme Report as a major shortcoming. Conventional altimetry measurements over GISMs exist, but coverage has been sparse and characterized by coarse ground resolution. Additionally, and more importantly, they proved ineffective in the presence of steep slopes, a typical feature of GISM areas. Since the majority of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass loss is estimated to lie within 100 km from the coast, but only about 10% is surveyed, there is the need for more robust and dense observations of GISMs, in both time and space. The ESA Altimetry mission CryoSat aims at gaining better insight into the evolution of the Cryosphere. CryoSat's revolutionary design features a Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL), with two antennas for interferometry. The corresponding SAR Interferometer (SARIn) mode of operation increases spatial resolution while resolving the angular origin of off-nadir echoes occurring over sloping terrain. The SARIn mode is activated over GISMs and the elevation for the Point Of Closest Approach (POCA) is a standard product of the CryoSat mission. Here we present, through a wide range of examples in Polar settings, a new approach for more comprehensively exploiting the SARIn mode of CryoSat and produce ice elevation and elevation change with enhanced spatial resolution compared to standard CryoSat elevation products. In this so-called CryoSat Swath SARIn (CSSARIn) approach, the signal beyond the POCA is analysed, leading to between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude more elevation measurements than conventional approaches, and providing elevation where conventional POCA fails. We will

  19. Changes in the southeast Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, between ~ 1890 and 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannesdóttir, H.; Björnsson, H.; Pálsson, F.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, G.; Guðmundsson, Sv.

    2015-03-01

    Area and volume changes and the average geodetic mass balance of the non-surging outlet glaciers of the southeast Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, during different time periods between ~ 1890 and 2010, are derived from a multi-temporal glacier inventory. A series of digital elevation models (DEMs) (~ 1890, 1904, 1936, 1945, 1989, 2002, 2010) are compiled from glacial geomorphological features, historical photographs, maps, aerial images, DGPS measurements and a lidar survey. Given the mapped basal topography, we estimate volume changes since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) ~ 1890. The variable volume loss of the outlets to similar climate forcing is related to their different hypsometry, basal topography, and the presence of proglacial lakes. In the post-LIA period, the glacierized area decreased by 164 km2 (or from 1014 to 851 km2) and the glaciers had lost 10-30 % of their ~ 1890 area by 2010 (anywhere from 3 to 36 km2). The glacier surface lowered by 150-270 m near the terminus and the outlet glaciers collectively lost 60 ± 8 km3 of ice, which is equivalent to 0.15 ± 0.02 mm of sea-level rise. The volume loss of individual glaciers was in the range of 15-50%, corresponding to a geodetic mass balance between -0.70 and -0.32 m w.e. a-1. The annual rate of mass change during the post-LIA period was most negative in 2002-2010, on average -1.34 ± 0.12 m w.e. a-1, which is among the most negative mass balance values recorded worldwide in the early 21st century.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Correlation between Poynting flux and soft electron precipitation in the dayside polar cap boundary regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Yue; Sheng, Cheng; Su, Yi-Jiun; Hairston, Marc R.; Knipp, Delores; Huang, Cheryl Y.; Ober, Daniel; Redmon, Rob J.; Coley, Robin

    2015-10-01

    Observations have revealed large Poynting flux and soft electron precipitation around the cusp region, which have strong impacts on the polar ionosphere/thermosphere. Simulations also confirmed that Poynting flux and soft electron precipitation significantly change the neutral density and dynamics around the dayside polar cap boundary regions. However, no detailed study has been conducted to show if they should coincide with each other or not. Our analysis of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite data reveals a complex correlation between them. Poynting flux and soft particle precipitation are coincident in some cases (match cases), but a clear displacement between them can also be identified in others (nonmatch cases). In the 29 cusp crossings from F13 we investigated, the ratio between nonmatch and match cases is close to 1:4. In nonmatch cases, the displacement between the Poynting flux enhancement and soft particle precipitation enhancement can be as large as 1° in geomagnetic latitude.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. On the SuperDARN cross polar cap potential saturation effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koustov, A. V.; Khachikjan, G. Ya.; Makarevich, R. A.; Bryant, C.

    2009-10-01

    Variation of the cross polar cap potential (CPCP) with the interplanetary electric field (IEF), the merging electric field EKL, the Polar Cap North (PCN) magnetic index, and the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function EC of Newell et al. (2007) is investigated by considering convection data collected by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter and summer observations are considered separately. All variations considered show close to linear trend at small values of the parameters and tendency for the saturation at large values. The threshold values starting from which the non-linearity was evident were estimated to be IEF*~EKL*~3 mV/m, PCN*~3-4, and EC*~1.5×104. The data indicate that saturation starts at larger values of the above parameters and reaches larger (up to 10 kV) saturation levels during summer. Conclusions are supported by a limited data set of simultaneous SuperDARN observations in the Northern (summer) and Southern (winter) Hemispheres. It is argued that the SuperDARN CPCP saturation levels and the thresholds for the non-linearity to be seen are affected by the method of the CPCP estimates.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Automated identification and tracking of polar-cap plasma patches at solar minimum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burston, R.; Hodges, K.; Astin, I.; Jayachandran, P. T.

    2014-03-01

    A method of automatically identifying and tracking polar-cap plasma patches, utilising data inversion and feature-tracking methods, is presented. A well-established and widely used 4-D ionospheric imaging algorithm, the Multi-Instrument Data Assimilation System (MIDAS), inverts slant total electron content (TEC) data from ground-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers to produce images of the free electron distribution in the polar-cap ionosphere. These are integrated to form vertical TEC maps. A flexible feature-tracking algorithm, TRACK, previously used extensively in meteorological storm-tracking studies is used to identify and track maxima in the resulting 2-D data fields. Various criteria are used to discriminate between genuine patches and "false-positive" maxima such as the continuously moving day-side maximum, which results from the Earth's rotation rather than plasma motion. Results for a 12-month period at solar minimum, when extensive validation data are available, are presented. The method identifies 71 separate structures consistent with patch motion during this time. The limitations of solar minimum and the consequent small number of patches make climatological inferences difficult, but the feasibility of the method for patches larger than approximately 500 km in scale is demonstrated and a larger study incorporating other parts of the solar cycle is warranted. Possible further optimisation of discrimination criteria, particularly regarding the definition of a patch in terms of its plasma concentration enhancement over the surrounding background, may improve results.

  18. A Particle Simulation for the Pulsar Magnetosphere: Relationship of Polar Cap, Slot Gap, and Outer Gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuki, Shinya; Shibata, Shinpei

    2012-06-01

    To explain the pulsed emission of the rotation powered pulsars from radio to gamma-ray, polar cap models, slot gap models, and outer gap models are proposed. Recent observations suggest that these models are likely to co-exist in the same magnetosphere. If so, their mutual relation is known to be troublesome (Harding 2009), due to the boundary conditions and the direction of the current, which are properly assumed in each acceleration model. We performed a particle simulation for the global magnetospheric structure. Based on this simulation, we present a new picture of the global structure of the pulsar magnetosphere. It is found that a new dead zone is formed along the current neutral line that separates the oppositely directed current. We shall call this the current-neutral zone. We suggest that the polar cap accelerators and the slot gaps locate above the current-neutral zone, and the outer gap exist between the current neutral zone and the traditional dead zone. We also give an estimate of the super-rotation region.

  19. Seasonal Evolution and Energy Budget of the South Residual Polar Cap of Mars from CRISM and HiRISE Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilorget, C.; Douté, S.; Vincendon, M.

    2016-09-01

    Here we use both HiRISE and CRISM data from the south residual cap to investigate its seasonal behavior (e.g. albedo increase) and determine its energy budget through the retrieval of the directional-hemispheric surface ice albedo.

  20. Looking Through the Ice: Searching for Past and Present Habitable Zones in the Martian North Polar Region Using MOLA DEMs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, M. C.; Farmer, J. D.

    2002-12-01

    Hydrothermal systems have been acknowledged as important gateways to accessing a potential subsurface biology (extant or extinct) on Mars. Groundwater circulation, sustained for up to one billion years by large plutonic bodies (as modeled by previous authors), might well be capable of tapping into a deep subsurface biosphere and subsequently carrying members of microbial communities to the surface. Hence, future robotic missions with near surface drilling capabilities may be able to unearth cryopreserved biosignatures, or perhaps extant organisms, in the midst of the hydrothermal system itself. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) constructed from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data have proved to be a valuable tool in the search for potential habitable zones for extant and extinct life, and the detection of possible hydrothermal systems on Mars. When formatted for use in a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software package such as ESRI's ArcView, MOLA data can be used to compose DEMs. Those DEMs can, in turn, be used to create contour maps, to allow profiling through features of interest, and to generate hillshaded views, which provide an image-like perspective of a selected area. Furthermore, DEMs eliminate many problems associated with photographic images such as over-/underexposure, poor focus, and albedo values too high or low for optimal observations. During this study, DEMs were used in the analysis of several regions north of 70° N latitude, in the Martian north polar cap and polar cap margin. The regions were selected during a Viking image survey that concentrated on the location of surface expressions of potential magma-ice interactions, and hence past or present hydrothermal activity. Specific features sought included individual volcanoes and volcanic fields, as well as pseudocrater fields, subglacial volcanic constructs (such as tuyas and tindar ridges), fluvial channels and outwash plains (indicative of j”kulhlaup flooding events), possible

  1. A late Holocene record of trace metal deposition in lake sediments near Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beal, S. A.; Kelly, M. A.; Jackson, B. P.; Osterberg, E. C.; Stroup, J. S.; Baker, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    Records of atmospheric metal deposition have been used extensively in the Northern Hemisphere to examine historical events ranging from the evolution of ancient metallurgy to climatic change. Establishing such a record in tropical South America is pertinent due to ongoing questions about the metallurgical history of pre-colonial Andean civilizations, recent atmospheric pollution levels, and late Holocene climate variability. Here we present a late Holocene record of the Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn, and Pb isotopic compositions of atmospheric deposition from three 1.5 m-long lake cores and one 5 m-long bog core recovered near Quelccaya Ice Cap (13.9 °S), in the southeastern Peruvian Andes. The bog core, representing deposition from the present to at least 2415 yr BP, records relatively stable concentrations of As, Co, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn between 2415 (±78) and 916 (±29) yr BP. However, Ag and Cd exhibit brief gradual enrichments over background levels by factors of 6 and 11, respectively, shortly after 2415 (±78) yr BP as a possible result of ancient metallurgy. Sometime following the 916 (±29) yr BP date, Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Sr abruptly become enriched by factors of 10, 37, 11, 11, 47, 6, 16, and 24, respectively, possibly from anthropogenic sources and/or the 1600 AD eruption of Huaynaputina in southern Peru. These enrichments are concurrent with a shift in 206Pb/207Pb to 1.182 from background levels of 1.213 (±0.002, n=20). A subsequent quiescent period in metal concentrations is marked by a brief return to background 206Pb/207Pb values, followed by erratic 206Pb/207Pb values yet decreased metal concentrations in the most recent sediments. Only Hg is enriched over background levels, by a factor of 3, in the most recent sediment. Forthcoming higher-resolution data from the three lake cores will utilize pre-industrial lead isotope ratios and Ti, Zr, and REE fluxes to examine past variability of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation

  2. 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

    2011-11-09

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. SHARAD Finds Voluminous CO2 Ice Sequestered in the Martian South Polar Layered Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.; Davis, B. J.; Byrne, S.; Campbell, B. A.; Carter, L. M.; Haberle, R. M.; Holt, J. W.; Kahre, M. A.; Nunes, D. C.; Plaut, J. J.; Putzig, N. E.; Smith, I. B.; Smrekar, S. E.; Tanaka, K. L.; Titus, T. N.

    2010-12-01

    The SHARAD instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission has carried out systematic radar soundings of the layered deposits at both martian polar regions. While well-organized sets of radar reflectors are ubiquitous in the North Polar Layered Deposits, those in the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) are limited to specific regions, and it is difficult to map SPLD-wide radar stratigraphy. What is evident in the radar observations are four regional reflection-free zones (RFZ) distinguished qualitatively by their radar characteristics. They are up to a kilometer in thickness and extend downward from near the surface. One such zone (RFZ3) occurs beneath the South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC), which is composed of ~5 m of solid CO2 underlain by an apparently thin layer of water ice. Using a correlation technique, we inverted for the real permittivity, ɛ', on each of 41 usable SHARAD orbits over RFZ3. The results were mean values of ɛ' = 2.0 or 2.1, with a σ of 0.2. A secondary technique based on the “smoothest” solution gave similar results. These values are exceptionally close to the laboratory-measured permittivity value of bulk CO2 ice [Pettinelli et al., 2003] and distant from the bulk water ice value (ɛ' = 3.15); water ice is the dominant volatile in the SPLD. An alternative hypothesis for ɛ' = 2.0-2.1 is that the RFZ3 material is porous water ice, but this can be strongly discounted based on theoretical and empirical models of ɛ' of porous water ice vs. thickness. By the same arguments, the proposed CO2 material also cannot be very porous, and ɛ' should be close to the bulk value. With the permittivity estimates, radar time delays were converted to depth, and for RFZ3 a mean thickness of 210-220 m and a volume of 4,200-4,400 km3 result. This is unlikely to be the entire volume because MRO’s orbital inclination precludes SHARAD sounding poleward of ~87°S, where RFZ3 appears to extend. We do find a very good spatial correlation of RFZ3 with

  8. Polar Plasma Wave Observations in the Auroral Region and Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menietti, J. D.; Averkamp, T. F.; Kirchner, D. L.; Pickett, J. S.; Persoon, A. M.; Gurnett, D. A.

    1998-01-01

    Auroral kilometric radiation (AKR), sometimes associated with auroral myriametric radiation (AMR), has been observed by the plasma wave instrument on board Polar on almost every northern hemisphere pass. High spectral resolution plots of the AKR obtained by the wide-band receiver of the plasma wave instrument on board the spacecraft often show discrete, negative-slope striations each extending over a period of several seconds. A preliminary survey of over 4000 spectrograms (each for 48 seconds of data) indicates that the striations are seen in the northern hemisphere near apogee about 5% of the time. The frequency range is 40 kHz less than f less than 100 kHz, but a few observations of signatures have been made at higher frequency (f less than 225 khz. The frequency drift rates R, are similar ranging from -9.0 kHz/sec less than R less than -1.0 kHz/sec. No data is currently available for perigee (southern hemisphere) passes. The paucity of positive-slope features may be due to the location of the satellite at altitudes well above the AKR source region. Past studies have suggested these features are due to AKR wave growth stimulated by the propagation of electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves travelling up (-R) or down (+R) the field line, through the source region. High-resolution waveform data from both Polar and FAST show the presence of solitary waves in the auroral region which may also be a source of these striations. AMR is seen as diffuse emission associated with, but at lower frequency than the lower AKR. Direction finding of these emissions is not conclusive, but for one case, they have a source region distinct from the magnetic field line containing the AKR source, but possibly associated with the auroral cavity density gradient.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Intensification and fading of auroral arcs in the dusk-midnight sector of the polar cap

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Q.; Rosenberg, T.J. ); Berkey, F.T. ); Eather, R.H. )

    1991-05-01

    Observations of the aurora from South Pole station (magnetic latitude = {minus}74.2{degree}) have been used to study the intensification and fading of polar arcs observed near the dusk meridian. Most of the cases examined have the following features in common: (1) a preexisting auroral form intensifies for about 10 min; (2) this activation is followed by a pronounced decrease of luminosity; (3) the auroral fade terminates after 30-60 min with the onset of intense aurora which sweeps rapidly overhead. The availability of all-sky camera, auroral electrojet (AE) index and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data for some of the cases enables the following additional characterizations of these events. The preexisting form is a Sun- or oval-aligned arc (or part of a multiple arc system) which disappears following the activation; equatorward drift of the arc (or system) accompanies the luminosity change. There is some evidence to suggest that the arc is poleward of the auroral oval. The brief intensification and/or the onset of fading occurs during the growth phase or near the start of the expansive phase of a substorm; termination of the fade is near the maximum in AE and is probably indicative of the beginning of the recovery phase of the substorm. For all three cases for which IMF data were available the onset of fading occurred 20-30 min after B{sub z} turned southward. Sun-aligned arcs are a common feature of the polar cap during northward B{sub z} but disappear during the increasingly disturbed conditions that accompany southward B{sub z}. The present results suggest that brief intensifications of southern hemisphere polar cap arcs near dusk may be linked in part to the sunward orientation of the IMF which favors enhanced electron fluxes in the southern lobe of the magnetotail.

  12. Nightside auroral zone and polar cap ion outflow as a function of substorm size and phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, G. R.; Ober, D. M.; Germany, G. A.; Lund, E. J.

    2004-02-01

    Because the high latitude ionosphere is an important source of plasma for the magnetosphere under active conditions, we have undertaken a study of the way ion outflow from the nightside auroral zone and polar cap respond to substorm activity. We have combined data from the Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) on Polar with ion upflow measurements from the TEAMS instrument on the FAST spacecraft to construct a picture of ion upflow from these regions as a function of substorm size and as a function of time relative to substorm onset. We use data taken during solar minimum in the northern hemisphere between December 1996 and February 1997. We find that the total nightside auroral zone ion outflow rate (averaged over substorm phase) depends on the size of the substorm, increasing by about a factor of 10 for both O+ and H+ from the smallest to the largest substorms in our study. The combined outflow rate from both the polar cap and the nightside auroral zone goes up by a factor of 7 for both ions for the same change in conditions. Regardless of storm size, the nightside auroral zone outflow rate increases by about a factor of 2 after onset, reaching its peak level after about 20 min. These results indicate that the change in the nightside auroral zone ion outflow rate that accompanies substorm onset is not as significant as the change from low to high magnetic activity. As a consequence, the prompt increase in the near earth plasma sheet energy density of O+ and H+ ions that accompanies onset [, 1996] is likely due to local energization of ions already present rather than to the sudden arrival and energization of fresh ionospheric plasma.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ice Stories: Connecting Polar Scientists with Web and Museum Audiences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M. K.

    2009-12-01

    The Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, trained polar scientists in media production and story-telling and provided them with audio, video and photography gear to communicate their research during the International Polar Year and beyond. With funding from the National Science Foundation, museum designers, producers and educators created an interactive Website using open-source blogging software and trained scientists in a week-long intensive workshop in video and audio production, digital photography, and writing. Using a variety of Web 2.0 tools including blogging, video and audio podcasts, narrated slide shows, Twitter, and live webcasts, the two-dozen participating scientists contributed dispatches to the Website and interacted with audiences on the Web and in the museum from their field sites in the Arctic and Antarctic. This partnership between an informal science education institution and working researchers and science institutions allowed scientists to pool and leverage their outreach efforts and interact with a much larger audience than would otherwise be possible. The media and story-telling training provided young scientists with Web communication tools and experience that will serve them throughout their careers. Exploratorium's Ice Stories Website

  17. Late Quaternary fluvial terraces near the Daocheng Ice Cap, eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Liubing; Zhou, Shangzhe

    2014-05-01

    The timing of terrace formation relative to the glacial-interglacial cycle and what factors control that timing, such as changes in climate and/or uplift, are controversial. Here we present a study of the terraces along the Yazheku River using electron spin resonance (ESR) dating and analysis of the sedimentary characteristics in order to establish the timing of terrace formation and to assess the forcing mechanisms that have been proposed. The Yazheku River flows in glacial trough leading from the Haizi Shan, on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. The range was uplifted during the Quaternary and repeatedly glaciated by ice caps. The four highest major terraces (T5, T4, T3, and T2) are the result of both climatic and tectonic influences. Strath terraces T5-T2 were created during Haizi Shan glacial expansions during MIS 16, 12, 6 and 3-4, respectively. The major aggradation phases of the four terraces occurred during the deglaciations at the ends of MIS 16, 12, 6, and 2. Down-cutting, which led to the generation of the four terraces, immediately followed the deposition of the T5-T2 gravel units. These incisions occurred during the transitions between MIS 16-15, MIS 12-11, MIS 6-5, and MIS 2-1.

  18. Current use and legacy pesticide deposition to ice caps on Svalbard, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruggirello, Rachel M.; Hermanson, Mark H.; Isaksson, Elisabeth; Teixeira, Camilla; ForsströM, Sanja; Muir, Derek C. G.; Pohjola, Veijo; van de Wal, Roderik; Meijer, Harro A. J.

    2010-09-01

    Transport and deposition of current use (CUP) and legacy pesticides (LP) and residual products to the Arctic have been documented in abiotic matrices. These observations show that some "low-persistence" pesticides with high OH· reaction rates are stable enough to accumulate in a polar environment. In 2005, we drilled an ice core on Holtedahlfonna, one of the major ice fields on Svalbard, Norway to measure the input of 47 CUPs and 17 LPs to a high-elevation abiotic environment with no local pesticide sources. Of these, 9 CUPs and 12 LPs were observed in at least one of 6 core segments dating to 1953: 15 of these were found in enough core segments to reveal time-related trends. CUPs often observed included chlorpyrifos, dacthal, α- and β- endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, trifluralin, and γ-HCH. LPs most often observed included methoxychlor, α- and γ-chlordane, cis- and trans- nonachlor, endrin, dieldrin, and p,p'-DDE. In our comparison of core burdens at Holtedahlfonna and Austfonna (220 km ENE from Holtedahlfonna), we found twice as many CUPs at Austfonna along with greater amounts of dieldrin, methoxychlor, α-endosulfan and chlorpyrifos suggesting different accumulation processes or sources. Air mass back trajectories over a 10-year period of comparison between sites (1986-1995) show air mass flow from Eurasia 74% of the time to Austfonna and 45% to Holtedahfonna which may account for some of the differences.

  19. Multi-instrument observations of multiple auroral arcs in the duskside polar cap region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, Keisuke; Maggiolo, Romain; Zhang, Yongliang; Fear, Rob; Fontaine, Dominique; Cumnock, Judy; Kullen, Anita; Milan, Steve; Kozlovsky, Alexander; Echim, Marius

    2014-05-01

    Polar cap auroral arcs (PCAs) are one of the outstanding phenomena in the polar cap region during periods of northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Smaller scale PCAs tend to occur either in the duskside or dawnside of the polar cap and are known to drift in the dawn-dusk direction depending on the sign of the IMF By. Studies of PCAs are of particular importance because they represent dynamical characteristics of their source plasma in the magnetosphere, for example in the interaction region between the solar wind and magnetosphere or in the boundary between the plasma sheet and tail lobe. To date, however, very little has been known about the spatial structure and/or temporal evolution of the magnetospheric counterpart of PCAs. In order to gain more comprehensive understanding of the origin of PCAs, we have investigated an event of PCAs on November 10, 2005, during which multiple PCAs were detected by a ground-based all-sky camera at Resolute Bay, Canada. During this interval, several PCAs were detached from the duskside oval and moved poleward. The large-scale structure of these arcs was visualized by space-based imagers of TIMED/GUVI and DMSP/SSUSI. The images from these instruments indicate that the arcs were pointing towards the dayside cusp. In addition to these optical observations, we employ the Cluster satellites to reveal the particle signature corresponding to the small-scale PCAs. The ionospheric footprints of the 4 Cluster satellites encountered the PCAs sequentially and observed well correlated enhancements of electron fluxes at weak energies (< 1 keV). The Cluster satellites also detected signatures of upflowing ion beams exactly at the times of the satellite crossing of the PCAs. This implies that the ions were accelerated upward by a quasi-stationary electric field existing above the PCAs. Ionospheric convection measurement from one of the SuperDARN radars shows an existence of velocity shear across one of the PCAs. This signature is

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Total mercury in snow and ice samples from Canadian High Arctic ice caps and glaciers: a practical procedure and method for total Hg quantification at low pg g(-1) level.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jiancheng; Pelchat, Pierre; Vaive, Judy; Bass, David; Ke, Fu

    2014-01-15

    A newly developed procedure and method for studying total Hg (THg) in the High Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including container type selection, on-site sampling, sample protection and storage, and sample decontamination is reported in this study. Two analytical systems for THg quantification were also compared to confirm the accuracy and reproducibility. This study found that container types, storage time, sample protection from exposure to light and environment are all important for precise quantification of THg in snow and ice samples from the Canadian High Arctic glaciers and ice caps. With this newly developed procedure and method, we retrieved 28-year and 73-year archives for atmospheric THg deposition from Mt. Oxford and Agassiz Ice Cap respectively. Our results show that snow and ice samples contain THg concentrations varying from sub pg g(-1) to low pg g(-1). Comparison of THg concentration trends and fluxes from the two sites demonstrates that quantification of THg from the two locations with similar altitudes and latitudes can be reproducible, which suggests that historical THg information from atmospheric deposition can be preserved in snow and ice in the glaciers and ice caps. The high reproducibility of results achieved by this procedure and method, in return, confirmed its suitability for studies of THg in snow and ice samples from ice caps and glaciers.

  4. Pre-recessional (Ls 160-200) Polar Water Ice Clouds at the Martian South Pole: Potential Tracers of East-West Asymmetry?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, A. J.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahre, M. A.; Haberle, R. M.

    2008-12-01

    CRISM observations of the south polar region during the pre-spring recession period (Ls 160-200) show tenuous water ice signatures mixed with CO2 ice signatures over the polar cap between latitudes [1]. Water ice has been identified using the 1.5 micron absorption band, which is discernable within the CO2 1.435 micron band complex due to the narrow nature of the CO2 ice absorptions [2, 3]. A surface deposit of water ice is not favored due to the apparent fine grained nature of the water ice, which is indicated by the weak 1.5 micron absorption band, and the disappearance of the clouds prior to retreat of the south polar CO2 ice beneath them. CRISM observations show the pre-recessional water ice clouds appear to go through a steady growth phase from Ls 160-190 and have a short terminal phase from Ls 200-205 [1, 2]. The clouds never quite encircle the whole pole, and never penetrate the 80 degree latitude line. They are strongest at, and appear to originate from, the 90-150 degree meridian range. From Mars GCM simulations, similar patterns appear to originate from east-west asymmetries in the early spring circulation and low-level thermal environments of the high-latitude/polar regions of the southern hemisphere that arise due to asymmetries of large-scale orography and its effects on the atmosphere and climate. We are currently investigating the optical thickness of the water ice clouds using CRISM full resolution emission phase function observations and intend to examine the H2O absorption bands at 3.2 microns to further elucidate the cloud properties. The potential to trace asymmetric polar atmospheric fluxes using these water ice clouds as tracers may lead to a better understanding of the enigmatic cryptic region and the displacement of the south pole residual cap [5]. [1] Brown, A.J. (2007) Fall AGU abstract P33A-1016 [2] Brown, A.J. and Calvin, W. JGR in preparation [3] Langevin, Y. et al. (2006) JGR 112 doi:10.1029/2006JE002841 [4] Hollingsworth, J.L. et al

  5. High-Energy Emission From the Polar Cap and Slot Gap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.

    2006-01-01

    Thirty-five years after the discovery of rotation-powered pulsars, we still do not understand the fundamentals of their pulsed emission at any wavelength. I will review the latest developments in understanding the high-energy emission of rotation-powered pulsars, with particular emphasis on the polar cap and slot gap models. Special and general relativistic effects play important roles in pulsar emission, from inertial frame-dragging near the stellar surface to aberration, time-of-flight and retardation of the magnetic field near the light cylinder. Understanding how these effects determine what we observe at different wavelengths is critical to unraveling the emission physics. I will discuss how the next generation of gamma-ray detectors, AGILE and GLAST, will test prediction of these models.

  6. Role of proton ordering in adsorption preference of polar molecule on ice surface.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhaoru; Pan, Ding; Xu, Limei; Wang, Enge

    2012-08-14

    Adsorption of polar monomers on ice surface, relevant to the physical/chemical reaction in ice clouds as well as growth of ice, remains an open issue partially due to the unusual surface characteristics with protons at the top layer of ice. Using first-principle calculations, we explore the adsorption properties of ice surface in terms of a surface proton order parameter, which characterizes the inhomogeneity of the dangling atoms on ice surface. We show that, due to an effective electric field created by dangling OH bonds and lone pairs of water molecules not only directly neighboring but also further away from the adsorbed polar molecule on the ice surface, the adsorption energy of polar monomer on ice surface exhibits large variance and a strong correlation with the proton order parameter of ice surface. Our results about the positive correlation between the inhomogeneity of ice surface and adsorption energies suggest that the physical/chemical reactions as well as the growth of ice may prefer to occur firstly on surfaces with larger proton order parameter.

  7. SuperDARN Cross Polar Cap Potential: Correlation with the IMF and solar wind parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, D.; Koustov, A. V.; Colville, K.; Jayachandran, P. T.

    2011-12-01

    Cross Polar Cap Potential (CPCP) is one of the core parameters provided by the SuperDARN network on a regular basis. The CPCP is estimated from individual convection maps built for every 1-2 min. We show that the SuperDARN CPCPs are highly "quantized" around values "prescribed" by the startup convection model and significantly depart from those values only if the number of convection vectors on a map exceeds 200-300. We show that with an increase of the plasma convection speed in the polar cap (as measured by the CADI ionosonde at Resolute Bay) the CPCP shows "saturation" effect for velocities above ~ 500 m/s. We relate the effect to progressively increased underestimation of the separation between the dawn and dusk convection foci in the process of CPCP derivation. We also show that, although the HF radar velocities are generally in agreement with CADI ExB measurements, significant mixed scatter on the dayside supplies low-velocity data (velocities well below the values given by the startup convection model) to the fitting procedure that might also affect the CPCP estimates. For densely enough convection maps and for weakly- or moderately-driven solar wind conditions, the SuperDARN data should be of satisfactory quality. By considering one full year of SuperDARN CPCP data (2000) and splitting them according to 3 seasons, we illustrate the CPCP almost linear dependence on the IMF Bz and By and the interplanetary electric field. Weak CPCP dependencies upon the solar wind pressure, Alfven Mach number and Alfven speed are found. The CPCP data show best correlation with coupling function introduced by Lyatsky et al. (2007) and they agree best with the recent theory by Kivelson and Ridley (2010), although discrepancies are significant.

  8. A polar cap absorption model optimization based on the vertical ionograms analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaalov, N. Y.; Moskaleva, E. V.

    2016-11-01

    Space weather events significantly affect the high frequency (HF) radio wave propagation. The now-casting and forecasting of HF radio wave absorption is important for the HF communication industries. This paper assimilates vertical sounding data into an absorption model to improve its performance as a now-casting tool. The approach is a modification of the algorithm elaborated by Sauer and Wilkinson, which is based on the riometer data. The optimization is focused on accounting for short timescale variation of the absorption. It should be noted that the expression of the frequency dependence of absorption induced by the energetic particle precipitation employed in Sauer and Wilkinson model is based on the riometer data at frequencies of 20, 30, and 50 MHz. The approach suggested in this paper provides an opportunity for expanding the frequency dependence of the absorption for frequencies below 10 MHz. The simulation of the vertical ionograms in the polar cap region uses a computational model designed to overcome the high frequency wave propagation problem in high latitude of the Earth. HF radio wave absorption induced by solar UV illumination, X-ray flares and energetic particles precipitation is taken into consideration in our model. The absorption caused by the energetic particle precipitation is emphasized, because the study is focused on HF wave propagation in polar cap region. A comparison of observed and simulated vertical ionograms enables the coefficients, which relate absorption (day-time and night-time) to integral proton flux to be refined. The values of these coefficients determined from evaluation of the data recorded by any reliable ionosonde are valid for absorption calculation in high-latitude region.

  9. 24/7 Solar Minimum Polar Cap and Auroral Ion Temperature Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sojka, Jan J.; Nicolls, Michael; van Eyken, Anthony; Heinselman, Craig; Bilitza, Dieter

    2011-01-01

    During the International Polar Year (IPY) two Incoherent Scatter Radars (ISRs) achieved close to 24/7 continuous observations. This presentation describes their data sets and specifically how they can provide the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) a fiduciary E- and F-region ionosphere description for solar minimum conditions in both the auroral and polar cap regions. The ionospheric description being electron density, ion temperature and electron temperature profiles from as low as 90 km extending to several scale heights above the F-layer peak. The auroral location is Poker Flat in Alaska at 65.1 N latitude, 212.5 E longitude where the NSF s new Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar (PFISR) is located. This location during solar minimum conditions is in the auroral region for most of the day but is at midlatitudes, equator ward of the cusp, for about 4-8 h per day dependent upon geomagnetic activity. In contrast the polar location is Svalbard, at 78.2 N latitude, 16.0 E longitude where the EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR) is located. For most of the day the ESR is in the Northern Polar Cap with a noon sector passage often through the dayside cusp. Of unique relevance to IRI is that these extended observations have enabled the ionospheric morphology to be distinguished between quiet and disturbed geomagnetic conditions. During the IPY year, 1 March 2007 - 29 February 2008, about 50 solar wind Corotating Interaction Regions (CIRs) impacted geospace. Each CIR has a two to five day geomagnetic disturbance that is observed in the ESR and PFISR observations. Hence, this data set also enables the quiet-background ionospheric climatology to be established as a function of season and local time. These two separate climatologies for the ion temperature at an altitude of 300 km are presented and compared with IRI ion temperatures. The IRI ion temperatures are about 200-300 K hotter than the observed values. However, the MSIS neutral temperature at 300 km compares favorably

  10. 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

  11. A New Hot Water Drill for Glaciological, Geochemical and Biological Studies of the Subglacial Lakes Beneath the Vatnajokull Ice Cap, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorsteinsson, T.; Elefsen, S.; Johannesson, T.; Thorsteinsson, T.

    2005-12-01

    is then heated to 95 °C in a high-pressure pump and passed through filters and a UV-sterilization unit prior to entering the hose and drill stem. The new system has been tested with success on the Langjokull ice cap in June 2005, where the snow melting efficiency was found to be 500 liters/hr and the water consumption during maximum load was 480 liters/hr. The average drilling speed was 45 m/hr in the depth interval 0-100 m, in ice that did not contain any layers of volcanic tephra. The sterilization efficiency of the system is currently being investigated and it is hoped that the new system will be capable of drilling into subglacial lakes with a minimal risk of borehole contamination. Among the targets for future drillings are two hitherto unsampled water bodies, the Skaftarkatlar (Skaftar cauldrons), located beneath 550 m thick ice cover 10-15 km NW of Grimsvotn. The cauldrons empty out in jokulhlaups every 2 years on average, and existing data on the jokulhlaup hydrographs and floodwater geochemistry make these subglacial water bodies prime candidates for future glaciological, geochemical and biological investigations. References: [1] H. Bjornsson (2002), Glob. Planet. Change 35, 255-271. [2] J.C. Priscu et al. (1999), Science, 286, 2141-2144. [3] E.J. Gaidos et al., Astrobiology, 4, 327-344. [4] Thorsteinsson et al. (2003), 3rd Mars Polar Conference, Alberta, Canada (Abstract # 8134).

  12. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence.

    PubMed

    Amstrup, Steven C; Deweaver, Eric T; Douglas, David C; Marcot, Bruce G; Durner, George M; Bitz, Cecilia M; Bailey, David A

    2010-12-16

    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 world's 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Increased Arctic Sea Ice Drift Alters Polar Bear Movements and Energetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Albeke, S. E.; Whiteman, J. P.; Amstrup, S. C.; Richardson, E.; Wilson, R. R.; Ben-David, M.

    2015-12-01

    Recent thinning of Arctic sea ice has increased its drift from currents and winds. Increased ice drift could affect movements and energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which rely, almost exclusively, on this substrate for hunting seals. Foraging by polar bears is a relatively sedentary behavior, as they typically capture their main prey by waiting at breathing holes, where seals haul-out along leads, or by short-distance stalking. We examined the response of polar bears to ice drift in the Beaufort (BS) and Chukchi (CS) seas, and between two periods with different sea ice characteristics: 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. We used satellite-tracked adult female polar bear locations, standardized by a continuous-time correlated random walk, coupled with modeled ice drift, to estimate displacement and drift-corrected bear movements along east-west and north-south axes. Sea ice drift in both regions increased with greater westward and more extreme northward and southward rates from 1987-1998 to 1999-2013. Polar bears responded with greater eastward movements and, in the CS greater movements north and south. We show that efforts by polar bears to compensate for greater westward ice drift in recent years translated into a model-derived estimate of 5.7-7.2% increase in energy expenditure. We also estimated that polar bears increased their travel time 18-20% between the two time periods, suggesting time allocated to foraging was reduced. Increased energetic costs and travel time resulting from greater ice drift, in conjunction with ongoing habitat loss, suggest that recent changes to Arctic sea ice may affect movements and energy balance of polar bears.

  17. 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

  18. Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes.

    PubMed

    Alley, R B

    2000-02-15

    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.

  19. New evidence of dayside plasma transportation over the polar cap to the prevailing dawn sector in the polar upper atmosphere for solar-maximum winter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Sheng-Gao; Zhang, Bei-Chen; Fang, Han-Xian; Kamide, Y.; Li, Chong-Yin; Liu, Jun-Ming; Zhang, Shun-Rong; Liu, Rui-Yuan; Zhang, Qing-He; Hu, Hong-Qiao

    2016-06-01

    It is well known that owing to the transport of high-density sunlit plasma from dayside to nightside primarily by convection, polar cap tongue of ionization (TOI), polar cap patches, and blobs are common features in the polar ionosphere. The steep density gradients at the edges of these structures lead to severe problems in applications involving radio waves traversing the ionosphere. To better understand the evolution of TOI/patches/blobs, it is essential to examine how the transported sunlit plasma is distributed. Through averaging the hourly total electron content in solar-maximum winter, we present complete distribution of polar ionospheric plasma and find that the dayside plasma can be transported through cusp, over polar cap, and eventually to the prevailing dawnside, showing asymmetric distribution around magnetic midnight. The negative interplanetary magnetic field By or Bz component is favored for the plasma transportation from dayside to the prevailing dawn sector. This provides direct evidence for the plasma source of the dawnside high-density plasma structure. The same corotating convection direction as convection at auroral dawnside is responsible for the prevailing dawn sector transportation. This finding is significant for forecasting TOI/patches/blobs in conducting space weather in the polar ionosphere.

  20. Determining the Heights and Distributions of Swiss Cheese Features on Mars South Polar Residual Cap Using Photoclinometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betz, E. O.; Titus, T. N.; Cushing, G. E.

    2009-03-01

    Strange features known as “Swiss cheese” form in the thin CO2 veneer of Mars south polar residual cap. Here we determine the heights and distributions of Swiss cheese features using photoclinometry in order to constrain the thickness of this veneer.