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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. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Possible Composition of Martian Polar Caps and Controls on Ice-Cap Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    1998-01-01

    David Fisher asked "if martian polar caps flow." Are martian polar caps akin to Earth's polar glacial ice sheets, or are they immobile? Though certain dynamical differences are obvious, it is unknown whether similarities in ice tectonics may also exist. The question bears not only on modem martian polar processes, but perhaps on hypothesized glacial processes elsewhere on Mars in the geologic past. The rheological properties and tectonics of martian polar caps also pertain to the possibility that liquids may have existed beneath the polar caps in the past, or even now, and to prospects for life in possible lakes beneath the ice caps. The cold martian polar surface temperatures and the lower martian gravity suggest a reduced propensity of martian polar ice deposits to deform under their own weight. The greater accumulation timescales of the martian polar caps compared to Earth's also mean that more time has been available for accumulated deformation, possibly offsetting the effects of colder temperatures and lower gravity on Mars. Further complicating our understanding is that the martian polar caps may not be made purely of ordinary water ice - CO2 is another possible major constituent; the rheological and melting behavior may be very different from what we are accustomed to dealing with on Earth.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. PLANETARY SCIENCE: 'Spiders' Channel Mars Polar Ice Cap.

    PubMed

    Lovett, R A

    2000-09-15

    Scientists studying the latest high-resolution photos of the martian south polar ice cap think they may have found additional clues to its ebb and flow. These hints of the planet's bizarre atmosphere come from a new class of dramatic-looking terrain features whose dark, multilimbed, vaguely radial designs have earned them the moniker "black spiders," and another group of dusky, spreading features called "dark fans." At a recent gathering here of Mars researchers, a planetary scientist proposed that the spiders might be subsurface gas channels, visible through an unusually transparent section of the martian ice.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Patterning instability on the Mars polar ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Felix S. L.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2006-02-01

    We present a mathematical theory to study the origin of large-scale spiral troughs on the Mars residual polar caps, starting with the hypothesis that atmospheric circulation governs the planform of the troughs via an instability that operates in the flow direction of surface winds. This concept can explain why the troughs spiral at each pole in an opposite sense to that expected for Coriolis-deflected winds. The instability arises from interactions on water ice, assumed to contain dust, and depends on how the exchange of atmospheric dust and moisture (H2O) with the polar cap surface controls its albedo and mass and energy balance. Our model predicts spatial patterns to form when moisture is carried by wind over the surface, owing to unstable coupling between the albedo and the H2O-vapor pressure. The resulting albedo pattern causes an alternating ``accumulation-ablation'' mass balance, so that an undulating topography develops which resembles the (dark) troughs and their adjacent (bright) smooth terrains on the polar caps. Because the albedo patterning process is fast, whereas topographic evolution is slow, we suggest that an ancient imprint in the surface albedo preconditions today's trough morphology.

  19. 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.

  20. Dont Get Lost in the North Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-05

    A bright ice cap of frozen water covers the North Pole of Mars as seen by NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In winter, thin coverings of carbon dioxide and water frost covers this area and frosts finally disappear at end of the Martian spring season.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

    "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. Images Fig. 2 PMID:11607442

  3. Simulating Snowfall: Modeling Water Deposition on the Martian Northern Polar Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durbin, Allyn J.; Brown, A.; Hollingsworth, J. L.; Kahre, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    Every spring on the Martian northern ice cap, a retreat of the carbon dioxide ice reveals the permanent layer of water ice below. Data obtain by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on the Mars Global Surveyor during this retreat detected the presence of both carbon dioxide and water ice. However, the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected only water ice in the same location. It is theorized this discrepancy can be explained by the Houben process, first described in Houben, et al. (1997), which is a mechanism that provides the northward transfer of water ice onto the retreating carbon dioxide ice cap. In this project, we attempted to simulate Houben events using the NASA Ames Mars Climate Model. We have been able to replicate and verify some events indicative of the Houben process, providing a basis for the obscuration of carbon dioxide ice by water ice on Martian northern polar ice cap.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2004-04-08

    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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  9. Mars ice caps.

    PubMed

    Leovy, C

    1966-12-02

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Ice caps on venus?

    PubMed

    Libby, W F

    1968-03-08

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Black carbon aerosols and the third polar ice cap

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. CO2-H2O Phase Equilibria: Residual Ice Layers and Basal Melting of the Martian Polar Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longhi, J.

    2004-03-01

    Shifts in saturation surfaces with pressure favor residual layers of solid CO_2 at the martian south pole. Basal melting of solid-CO_2 layers within polar ice caps during periods of low obliquity may lead to storage of liquid CO_2 in the Martian crust.

  2. 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.

  3. Microorganisms on comets, Europa, and the polar ice caps of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2004-02-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. .

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Northern Ice Cap of Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-05-26

    This image, combining data from two instruments aboard NASA Mars Global Surveyor, depicts an orbital view of the north polar region of Mars. To the right of center, a large canyon, Chasma Boreale, almost bisects the white ice cap.

  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. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bass, Deborah S.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Paige, David 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-μm-thick layer of 50-μm-sized ice particles with 10% dust or (2) a ~14-μm-thick layer of 10-μm-sized ice particles with 50% dust.

  2. Ice Flow, Isostasy and Gravity Anomaly of the Permanent North Polar H2O Ice Cap of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greve, R.; klemann, V.; Wolf, D.

    2000-08-01

    The flow of the permanent north polar H20 ice cap of Mars and the isostatic depression of the underlying bedrock are investigated with the 3-d dynamic/thermodynamic ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS (1) coupled to a two-layer visco-elastic model for the lithosphere/mantle system [2,31. SICOPOLIS describes the ice as a density-preserving, heat-conducting power-law fluid with thermo-mechanical coupling due to the strong temperature dependence of the ice viscosity, and computes three-dimensionally the temporal evolution of ice extent, thickness, temperature, water content and age as a response to external forcing. The tatter must be specified by (1) the mean annual air temperature above the ice, (2) the surface mass balance (ice accumulation minus melting and evaporation), (3) the global sea level (not relevant for Martian applications) and (4) the geothermal heat flux from below into the ice body. However, owing to the now well-known surface topography on the one hand, but the shortage of information about the surface mass balance on the other, here the inverse strategy of prescribing the topography and computing the surface mass balance required to sustain the topography is pursuited. Following further the approach of, we use a conceptional, paraboloid-like ice cap, growing and shrinking between the present minimum extent within 80.5 deg north and an assumed past maximum extent southward to 75 deg north with a period of 1.3 Myr (first modulation of obliquity cycle), vary the surface temperature with the same period between its measured present distribution and a 30 C warming coinciding with the maximum ice extent, and apply a geothermal heat flux of 35 mW m-2. The lithosphere/mantle model displace comprises an elastic lithosphere of constant thickness, underlain by a Maxwell-viscoelastic half-space mantle. Both layers are treated as incompressible, and we apply terrestrial standard values for the rheological parameters: density of the lithosphere and of the mantle rho1

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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 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.

  7. 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.

  8. CO2 Snowfalls, seasonal ice cap formations and baroclinic waves in the winter polar atmosphere of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Medvedev, Alexander S.; Hartogh, Paul

    The seasonal CO _{2} polar cap is formed from ice particles that have fallen from the atmosphere as well as those condensed directly on the surface. The possible occurrence of CO _{2} snowfall in the winter polar regions have been observed, and previous simulation studies have indicated that the longitudinal irregularities of CO _{2} ice clouds in the northern polar region seemed to be linked to local weather phenomena. Transient planetary waves are the prominent dynamical feature during northern winters in the martian atmosphere, and this study focuses on revealing the mechanism of how the dynamical influence of transient planetary waves affects the occurrences of CO _{2} ice clouds, snowfalls and formations of seasonal CO _{2} polar cap in high latitudes during northern winters. The DRAMATIC (Dynamics, RAdiation, MAterial Transport and their mutual InteraCtions) MGCM, which is used for this study, is based on a Japanese terrestrial model (CCSR/NIES/FRCGC MIROC) with a spectral solver for the three-dimensional primitive equations. A simple scheme representing the formation and transport of CO _{2} ice clouds has been implemented into the MGCM. The simulation results showed that the CO _{2} ice clouds are formed at altitudes of up to 40 km in the northern polar region (northward of 70(°) N) during winter, which is consistent with the observations by the Mars Climate Sounder onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In addition, we found that the occurrence of the CO _{2} ice clouds correlated to a large degree with the cold phases of transient planetary waves. Ice particles formed up to 20 km can reach the surface in the form of snowfall in certain longitude regions (in 30(°) W-60(°) E), while in others these particles likely sublimate in the lower warmer atmospheric layers. Given the regular nature of such atmospheric waves on Mars, the results of this study suggest that the snowstorms may be predicted several weeks in advance. For missions to Mars aiming to explore

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

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

  10. Automatic Extraction of Ice-Cap Layers from Radar Sounding Data over Greenland and the South Polar Residual Cap on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Siting; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2016-08-01

    Radar depth sounding employs low frequency radar operating at several hundreds of KiloHz to MegaHz frequencies and has been applied to the field of subsurface investigations on both the Earth and Mars.Over Antarctica and Greenland, the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) onboard the NASA Operation IceBridge missions[1] has collected radar echograms since 2009 showing the subsurface ice layers caused by ice accumulation and interrupted by subsurface ice flow. Over the Martian polar regions, subsurface layers are also detected by low frequency radar systems, i.e. MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface Ionosphere Sounding on board ESA's Mars Express) and SHARAD (SHAllow subsurface RADar on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) [2]–[5].Although these subsurface layers are formed by different mechanisms, there is a need for fast and automatic information extraction from these subsurface radar reflectors with the larger and larger coverage acquired nowadays. The detection and automatic extraction of subsurface layers is very important preliminary work to future studies of surface evolution and past climate. This study presents a method based on the Radon Transform (RT) to automatically extract the subsurface layers over Greenland on Earth and South Polar Residual Cap on Mars.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  14. Polar Cap Patch Dynamics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-25

    illustrate the concept with a sample model -run incorporating representative data. Title 12: Space weather challenges of the polar cap ionosphere ...located at Oslo and Ny-Ålesund. The primary objective has been to obtain a better understanding solar wind impacts on the polar ionosphere which are of...made no inventions, and Section 8 lists the core UiO personnel during this project. 15. SUBJECT TERMS EOARD, ionosphere (polar

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Shrinking ice caps in the spotlight.

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael

    2014-10-06

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  4. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  5. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  6. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  8. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  10. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. South Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    17 March 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows mesas and pits formed by sublimation of carbon dioxide of the south polar cap.

    Location near: 85.8oS, 351.5oW Image width: 2 km (1.2 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Summer

  14. Martian north polar water ice clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D.

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Martian north polar water ice clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D.

    2000-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Polar Cap Retreat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    13 August 2004 This red wide angle Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a view of the retreating seasonal south polar cap in the most recent spring in late 2003. Bright areas are covered with frost, dark areas are those from which the solid carbon dioxide has sublimed away. The center of this image is located near 76.5oS, 28.2oW. The scene is large; it covers an area about 250 km (155 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

  18. Pits in Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This full-frame image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows faults and pits in Mars' north polar residual cap that have not been previously recognized.

    The faults and depressions between them are similar to features seen on Earth where the crust is being pulled apart. Such tectonic extension must have occurred very recently because the north polar residual cap is very young, as indicated by the paucity of impact craters on its surface. Alternatively, the faults and pits may be caused by collapse due to removal of material beneath the surface. The pits are aligned along the faults, either because material has drained into the subsurface along the faults or because gas has escaped from the subsurface through them.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp., Boulder, Colo.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Simulations of the seasonal polar caps on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1992-01-01

    One of the most puzzling mysteries about the planet Mars is the hemispherical asymmetry in the polar caps. Every spring the seasonal polar cap of CO2 recedes until the end of summer, when only a small part, the residual polar cap, remains. During the year that Viking observed Mars, the residual polar cap was composed of water ice in the Northern Hemisphere (Kieffer et al., Science, 194, 1341, 1976), but was primarily carbon dioxide ice in the Southern Hemisphere (Kieffer, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 8263, 1979). Scientists have sought to explain this asymmetry by modeling observations of the latitudinal recession of the polar cap and seasonal variations in atmospheric pressure (since the seasonal polar caps are primarily frozen atmosphere, they are directly related to changes in atmospheric mass). These models reproduce most aspects of the observed annual variation in atmospheric pressure fairly accurately. Furthermore, the predicted latitudinal recession of the northern polar cap in the spring agrees well with observations, including the fact that CO2 ice is predicted to completely sublime away. However, these models all predict that the carbon dioxide ice will also sublime away during the summer in the Southern Hemisphere, unlike what is observed. It is shown here how the radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust, light penetration into and through the polar cap, and the dependence of albedo on solar zenith angle affect CO2 ice formation and sublimation, and how they help explain the hemispherical asymmetry in the residual polar caps. These effects have not been studied with prior polar cap models. The combination of the effects of solar zenith angle on albedo and the radiative effects of clouds and dust act to extend the lifetime of CO2 ice on the south pole relatively more than on the north pole, possibly explaining the hemispherical asymmetry in the residual polar caps without the need of a hemispherical asymmetry in polar cap albedo. This does not imply

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Mars South Polar Cap "Fingerprint" Terrain

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-04-24

    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 86.0°S, 53.9°W. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02373

  10. Creation of polar cap patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. The hemispherical asymmetry in the Martian polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard L.

    1993-01-01

    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. Cold jets in the Martian polar caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieffer, Hugh H.

    2007-08-01

    Mars seasonal polar caps display dark ice, local darker spots, aligned elongate patches, and radially dendritic forms that reverse albedo contrast. The unexpected variety and sequence of these features are explained on the basis of processes involving CO2, dust, sand, and H2O. These processes are largely related to the atmosphere being near its saturation temperature, and they have few terrestrial analogies. In the simplest case the ~1 m thick seasonal cap, initially dusty, cleans itself and becomes translucent after sunrise and is impermeable over extensive regions except for local vents. The slab ice sublimates at the base and is levitated on high-pressure gas, causing humidity exchange with deeper layers; subslab gas converging toward the vents erodes channels in the soil and ejects this material in high-velocity jets. Recent spectral observations indicate great variety in the details.

  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. North Polar Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This image shows clouds and one of the many storm fronts common in the north polar region during spring and early summer. Note the linear nature of the clouds towards the top of the image, and the appearance of a large crater barely visible beneath the cloud cover.

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

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

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. North Polar Cap Layers and Ledges

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-08-24

    At the edge of Mars' permanent North Polar cap, we see an exposure of the internal layers, each with a different mix of water ice, dust and dirt. These layers are believed to correspond to different climate conditions over the past tens of thousands of years. When we zoom in closer, we see that the distinct layers erode differently. Some are stronger and more resistant to erosion, others only weakly cemented. The strong layers form ledges. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21022

  18. South Polar Cap Erosion and Aprons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

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

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

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

  19. 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

  20. Ice Caps and Ice Belts: The Effects of Obliquity on Ice‑Albedo Feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Brian E. J.; Cronin, Timothy W.; Bitz, Cecilia M.

    2017-09-01

    Planetary obliquity determines the meridional distribution of the annual mean insolation. For obliquity exceeding 55°, the weakest insolation occurs at the equator. Stable partial snow and ice cover on such a planet would be in the form of a belt about the equator rather than polar caps. An analytical model of planetary climate is used to investigate the stability of ice caps and ice belts over the widest possible range of parameters. The model is a non-dimensional diffusive Energy Balance Model, representing insolation, heat transport, and ice‑albedo feedback on a spherical planet. A complete analytical solution for any obliquity is given and validated against numerical solutions of a seasonal model in the “deep-water” regime of weak seasonal ice line migration. Multiple equilibria and unstable transitions between climate states (ice-free, Snowball, or ice cap/belt) are found over wide swaths of parameter space, including a “Large Ice-Belt Instability” and “Small Ice-Belt Instability” at high obliquity. The Snowball catastrophe is avoided at weak radiative forcing in two different scenarios: weak albedo feedback and inefficient heat transport (favoring stable partial ice cover), or efficient transport at high obliquity (favoring ice-free conditions). From speculative assumptions about distributions of planetary parameters, three-fourths to four-fifths of all planets with stable partial ice cover should be in the form of Earth-like polar caps.

  1. 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.

  2. The nature of the residual Martian polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, G. A.

    1974-01-01

    A model of the behavior of the Martian polar caps is described which incorporates the heating effects of the atmosphere, as well as insolation and conduction. This model is used to try to match the observed regression curves of the polar caps, and it predicts that all the seasonally condensed CO2 will be lost by around the summer solstice. The implication is that the residual caps are composed of water ice which, it is found by further modeling, should be stable during the Martian summers. However, it is also argued that this model may be too simplistic, and that the effects of wind in redistributing the seasonal condensate may lead to sufficient thicknesses of CO2 in the central polar region to allow the year-long existence of CO2 without significantly changing the retreat characteristics of the cap, and it is, therefore, concluded that at the present, the nature of the residual caps cannot be reliably determined.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mass balance processes on the north polar cap on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hvidberg, C. S.

    2003-04-01

    The permanent north polar cap is thought to consist of H2O ice with some dust and CO2 ice. The cap has formed over millions of years, and its topography at present is a result of geologic and climatic processes. A characteristic feature of the cap is a spiraling pattern of scarps and troughs organized around the pole. Horizontal or north-facing areas appear white, while the scarps expose dark layers. The alternating white polar ice and exposed layers suggest that the cap interacts with the atmosphere through deposition and sublimation processes and plays an active role in the current water cycle on Mars. The spiraling scarps and troughs are thought to be formed in a combination of sublimation, wind effects, deposition and ice flow. We use an ice sheet model to study these mechanisms, their effects and relative importance under the present climatic conditions. The characteristics suggest that the spiraling structure is a result of sublimation combined with wind effects. Ice flow alone would close the troughs within 100-1000 kyrs. Sublimation rates must exceed the flow rates and be in the order of cm/year in order to keep troughs open. We estimate the total amount of sublimation to be in the order of 10^11 to 10^12 kg per Martian year. The result indicates that the cap accounts for the observed annual input of water vapor to the northern hemisphere atmosphere.

  6. Martian South Polar Cap Close-Up

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This picture, illuminated by sunlight coming from the upper left, shows some of the variety of surface textures observed on the south polar residual cap. Here, the upper surface is dotted with a combination of polygonal patterns created by shallow troughs and large, almost circular pits formed by collapse. No one knows exactly how the large arcuate and circular pits are formed, but they appear to result from collapse which means that something underneath these pits has been removed. Alternatively, the ice that makes up much of the polar material has somehow become compacted, allowing the surface to sag and create pits.

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) view of the south polar cap surface was obtained during southern spring on November 3, 1999. Located near 87.0oS, 5.9oW, this view covers 3 by 3 kilometers (1.9 x 1.9 miles) at 1.5 meters per pixel. The pits are only a few meters deep, at most, as determined by measuring shadows cast in them.

    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. Martian South Polar Cap Close-Up

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This picture, illuminated by sunlight coming from the upper left, shows some of the variety of surface textures observed on the south polar residual cap. Here, the upper surface is dotted with a combination of polygonal patterns created by shallow troughs and large, almost circular pits formed by collapse. No one knows exactly how the large arcuate and circular pits are formed, but they appear to result from collapse which means that something underneath these pits has been removed. Alternatively, the ice that makes up much of the polar material has somehow become compacted, allowing the surface to sag and create pits.

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) view of the south polar cap surface was obtained during southern spring on November 3, 1999. Located near 87.0oS, 5.9oW, this view covers 3 by 3 kilometers (1.9 x 1.9 miles) at 1.5 meters per pixel. The pits are only a few meters deep, at most, as determined by measuring shadows cast in them.

    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.

  8. Recent ice mass loss of outlet glaciers and ice caps in the Qaanaaq region, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiyama, S.; Tsutaki, S.; Sakakibara, D.; Jun, S.; Yoshihiko, O.; Mihiro, M.; Naoki, K.; Podolskiy, E. A.; Minowa, M.; Satoshi, M.; Takanobu, S.; Matoba, S.; Martin, F.; Genco, R.; Enomoto, H.

    2016-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet and peripheral ice caps are rapidly losing mass. Recently, ice mass loss is increasing particularly in northwestern Greenland (e.g. Enderlin et al., GRL 2014). It is urgently important to understand the ongoing changes in this region, but observational data are sparse in northern Greenland. To quantify current ice mass loss in northwestern Greenland and better understand processes driving the mass loss, we studied outlet glaciers and ice caps in the Qaanaaq region (Fig. 1). This was a part of a Japanese integrated Arctic research project, GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project. Field and satellite observations were performed to quantify ice surface elevation change of outlet glaciers and ice caps (Saito et al., Polar Science 2016; Tsutaki et al., J. Glaciol. in press). Frontal position and ice speed of outlet glaciers were mapped by satellite data. We also studied processes occurring near the front of outlet glaciers to investigate interaction of the glaciers and the ocean (Ohashi et al., Polar Science in press). Our field activities include mass balance monitoring on Qaanaaq Ice Cap since 2012 (Sugiyama et al., Ann. Glaciol. 2014), integrated field observations near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier since 2013 (Sugiyama et al., J. Glaciol. 2015; Podolskiy et al., GRL 2016), and ocean measurements in front of the glaciers. In this contribution, we present the overview of the results obtained in the GRENE project, and introduce a new project established under the framework of ArCS (Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project).

  9. Ice crystal and ice nucleus measurements in cap clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vali, G.; Rogers, D. C.; Deshler, T. L.

    1982-01-01

    Ice nucleation in cap clouds over a mountain in Wyoming was examined with airborne instrumentation. Crosswind and wind parallel passes were made through the clouds, with data being taken on the ice crystal concentrations and sizes. A total of 141 penetrations of 26 separate days in temperatures ranging from -7 to -24 C were performed. Subsequent measurements were also made 100 km away from the mountain. The ice crystal concentrations measured showed good correlation with the ice nucleus content in winter time, midcontinental air masses in Wyoming. Further studies are recommended to determine if the variations in the ice nucleus population are the cause of the variability if ice crystal content.

  10. Sunward convection in both polar caps

    SciTech Connect

    Reiff, P.H.

    1982-08-01

    The geomagnetic storm of July 29, 1977 has been the object of concentrated study. The latter part of the day (1800--2300 UT) is particularly interesting because it is a period of extremely strong, almost directly northward interplanetary magnetic fields (IMF). Such northward IMF's have been related to periods of reversed (i.e., sunward) convection in the polar cap, and this day is no exception. Zanetti et al. (1981), using Triad magnetometer data, show magnetic perturbations implying reversed convection in the northern polar cap, while the Birkeland currents in the southern polar cap are very weak. They give two possible interpretations: (1) merging occurs preferentially in the northern cusp region, and therefore reversed convection is restricted to the northern polar cap or (2) the currents flow predominantly in the sunlit northern polar cap because its conductivity is higher. This paper shows convection data from both the northern polar cap (S3-3) and the southern polar cap (AE-C). In both cases, regions of reversed convection are seen. Therefore the asymmetry of the Birkeland currents is more likely caused by a conductivity asymmetry than a convection asymmetry. It is likely that the low-energy ions seen deep in the polar cap may be traped on closed field lines after merging on both tail lobe boundaries.

  11. Inter-annual variability 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.; Russel, P.; Bibring, J.-P.; Gondet, B.; Vincendon, M.

    2012-04-01

    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 re-condensation 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%). It is interesting to note that these regions are those still covered by bright ice at Ls 310° [4] , which have been spectrally identified as CO2 ice [2]. The retreat of the seasonal cap is therefore delayed by ~ 1 month over H2O ice deposits. 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. The FOV of CRISM does not make it possible to map large regions at full regions, and we focused on areas within or at the boundary of the outlier. The results demonstrate that the extent of the outlier in 2011 is more similar to 2004 than to 2009. Another important result is that within

  12. Unprecedented Recent Ice Cap Retreat in Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. H.; Refsnider, K. A.; Lehman, S.; Southon, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    The instrumental record of global mean annual surface air temperature (SAT) shows warming from ~1970 to 2010 of ~0.7 °C, while estimates of coeval trends in the Arctic are 3 to 4 times larger, reflecting the strong positive feedbacks unique to polar regions. However, the degree of "Arctic Amplification" and the extent to which recent Arctic warming is anomalous with respect to natural climate variability remain difficult to evaluate because of the limited temporal and spatial coverage of the instrumental record within the Arctic and the presence of multi-decadal temperature trends that may be related to internal modes of climate system variability. Placing the recent warming in a longer perspective requires secure reconstructions of past summer temperatures. Cold-based ice caps preserve evidence that places recent summer warming in a millennial perspective. Ice caps overlying relatively flat terrain remain frozen to their bed and may act as preservation agents, entombing the landscape present when the ice cap formed. The mass balance of ice caps in the Canadian Arctic is dominated by summer temperature; as summer temperatures have risen, ice caps have been receding, revealing their preserved ancient landscapes. Radiocarbon dates on rooted plants revealed as ice margins recede document the last time each site was ice free. We have determined the radiocarbon ages on 147 samples of rooted tundra vegetation collected the year of their exposure by ice recession over a 1000 km transect in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. The dates demonstrate that average summer temperatures of the most recent decades have been higher than any half-century in at least 37,000 years, and likely since the Last Interglaciation ~130,000 to 120,000 years ago. This includes the peak warmth of the early Holocene, when solar energy in summer was 9% greater than at present, providing compelling evidence that recent anthropogenic contributions to the atmosphere have now resulted in summer warming well

  13. Mars polar cap: a habitat for elementary life1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    Ices in the Martian polar caps are potential habitats for various species of microorganisms. Salts in the ice and biological anti-freeze polymers maintain liquid in cracks in the ices far below 0°C, possibly down to the mean 220-240 K. Sub-surface microbial life is shielded from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but could potentially be activated on south-facing slopes under the midday, midsummer Sun. Such life would be limited by low levels of vapour, little transport of nutrients, low light levels below a protective dirt-crust, frost accumulation at night and in shadows, and little if any active translocation of organisms. As in the Antarctic and in permafrost, movement to new habitats depends on geo-climatic changes, which for Mars's north polar cap occur on a 50 000 year scale, except for rare meteorite impacts.

  14. Mars' South Polar Cap in Summer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Simultaneous infrared and visible images taken by the camera system on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft show the martian south polar cap in late summer. The black areas in the infrared image are at a temperature near -125 degrees Celsius (-193 degrees Fahrenheit) and correspond to solid carbon dioxide ice. The purple regions are areas of exposed water ice at a temperature near -95 degrees Celsius (-139degrees Fahrenheit). The warmest (red) areas are classic 'dark lanes' of frost-free soil at a temperature near -55 degrees Celsius(-67 degrees Fahrenheit). The right panel shows the same infrared image with a visible image superimposed. The infrared image is approximately 32 kilometers (20 miles) wide.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science in Washington, D.C. Investigators at Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, operate the science instruments. Additional science partners are located at the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and at Los Alamos National Laboratories, New Mexico. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, 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.

  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.

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. At the Edge of a Polar Cap

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-05-22

    The deep chasm that formed on the polar cap edge is identified as an area of strong down-slope winds and has a clear connection to Mars largest dune field, Olympia Undae as observed by NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

  18. Factors Affecting the Rheologic Properties of Martian Polar Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durham, W. B.

    1998-01-01

    The flow of the martian polar ice caps is influenced by the martian gravity field, the physical configuration of the caps and the underlying hard terrain, and the distribution and rheology of the material in the caps. This contribution speaks to the intrinsic theology of the material that comprises the polar caps. The polar caps are a mixture of phases of H2O, CO2, and rock. There is great uncertainty in the relative proportions of these components, and there are probably differences between compositions of the north and south polar caps. Frozen CO2 may exist as a shallow surface frost, especially on the south polar cap, but probably does not persist in rheologically important quantities. A good case can be made that CO2 is present as clathrate hydrate, and indeed, much of the material below a meter or so in the ice caps lies within the stability field Of CO2 hydrate. The amount of hydrate is difficult to predict, and the ratio of dust to ice in the layered deposits is not known to within several orders of magnitude. Finally, not only is the proportion of phases in the ice caps largely unknown, it is also likely to be nonuniform, as shown by layered deposits visible in sectional exposures at both poles. We assume for the purposes of discussion the simplest picture of the martian ice caps as void-free, predominantly water ice 1, with some clathuate hydrates and dust mixed in. The rheology of water ice is fairly well known, the rheology of hydrates is poorly known, and the dust can be safely assumed to be nondeformable in this mixture. To the extent the simple picture is incorrect (for example, if hydrates are present in very large quantities), the exercise here become less useful.

  19. Little Ice Age Fluctuations of Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroup, J. S.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T.

    2009-12-01

    A record of the past extents of Quelccaya Ice Cap (QIC) provides valuable information about tropical climate change from late glacial to recent time. Here, we examine the timing and regional significance of fluctuations of QIC during the Little Ice Age (LIA; ~1300-1850 AD). One prominent set of moraines, known as the Huancane I moraines, is located ~1 km from the present-day western ice cap margin and provides a near-continuous outline of the most recent advance of QIC. This moraine set was radiocarbon dated (~298 ± 134 and 831 ± 87 yr BP) by Mercer and Palacios (1977) and presented as some of the first evidence for cooling in the tropics during the Little Ice Age. Recent field investigations in the QIC region focused on refining the chronology of the Huancane I moraines. In 2008, new stratigraphic sections exposed by local lake-flooding events revealed multiple layers of peat within the Huancane I moraines. In both 2008 and 2009, samples were obtained for 10Be dating of boulders on Huancane I moraines. A combination of radiocarbon and 10Be ages indicate that the Huancane I moraines were deposited by ice cap expansion after ~3800 yr BP and likely by multiple advances at approximately 1000, 600, 400, and 200 yr BP. Radiocarbon and 10Be chronologies of the Huancane I moraines are compared with the Quelccaya ice core records (Thompson et al., 1985; 1986; 2006). Accumulation data from the ice core records are interpreted to indicate a significant wet period at ~1500-1700 AD followed by a significant drought at ~1720-1860 AD. We examine ice marginal fluctuations during these times to determine influence of such events on the ice cap extent.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Accelerated Prediction of the Polar Ice and Global Ocean (APPIGO)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    SEP 2013 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2013 to 00-00-2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Accelerated Prediction of the Polar Ice and Global...the Polar Ice and Global Ocean (APPIGO) Eric P. Chassignet Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies Florida State University phone: (850...architectures. These codes form the ocean and sea ice components of the Navy’s Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS) and the Navy Global Ocean

  3. O+ transport across the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  4. O transport across the polar cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

    The plasma sheet, inner magnetosphere, and high-latitude magnetosphere all contain significant amounts of O ions during active times. Singly charged oxygen ions unambiguously come from the ionosphere, making them an excellent tracer species. We test the cleft ion fountain theory, which asserts that O ions escape from the cleft, cross the polar cap, and then enter the plasma sheet. Statistical studies of O density in the cleft, high-altitude polar cap, and plasma sheet all indicate that the O density increases with increasing solar wind dynamic pressure. In order to examine O transport more directly, we use polar cap ion outflow measurements and the 2001 Tsyganenko magnetic field model driven with advanced composition explorer (ACE) solar wind parameters. We calculate the distance between the cleft and the ionospheric footpoints of magnetic field lines mapped from the polar spacecraft along the noon midnight meridian. Using the observed outflow speed and the magnetic field line length we calculate the travel time for the ions. When we examine the distance from the cleft versus the O travel time for individual passes, the slope of the line is consistent with the measured ionospheric convection speed across the polar cap. We conclude that O ions emanating principally from the cleft are transported across the polar cap, and these O ions have access to the ring current and plasma sheet.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Rapid wastage of the Hazen Plateau ice caps, northeastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serreze, Mark C.; Raup, Bruce; Braun, Carsten; Hardy, Douglas R.; Bradley, Raymond S.

    2017-01-01

    Two pairs of small stagnant ice bodies on the Hazen Plateau of northeastern Ellesmere Island, the St. Patrick Bay ice caps and the Murray and Simmons ice caps, are rapidly shrinking, and the remnants of the St. Patrick Bay ice caps are likely to disappear entirely within the next 5 years. Vertical aerial photographs of these Little Ice Age relics taken during August of 1959 show that the larger of the St. Patrick Bay ice caps had an area of 7.48 km2 and the smaller one 2.93 km2; the Murray and Simmons ice caps covered 4.37 and 7.45 km2 respectively. Outlines determined from ASTER satellite data for July 2016 show that, compared to 1959, the larger and the smaller of the St. Patrick Bay ice caps had both been reduced to only 5 % of their former area, with the Murray and Simmons ice caps faring better at 39 and 25 %, likely reflecting their higher elevation. Consistent with findings from other glaciological studies in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, ASTER imagery in conjunction with past GPS surveys documents a strikingly rapid wastage of the St. Patrick Bay ice caps over the last 15 years. These two ice caps shrank noticeably even between 2014 and 2015, apparently in direct response to the especially warm summer of 2015 over northeastern Ellesmere Island. The well-documented recession patterns of the Hazen Plateau ice caps over the last 55+ years offer an opportunity to examine the processes of plant recolonization of polar landscapes.

  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. Deformation of Polar Cap Patches During Substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, S.; Ridley, A. J.; Nicolls, M. J.; Coster, A. J.; Thomas, E. G.; Ruohoniemi, J. M.; Hampton, D.

    2015-12-01

    Polar cap patches refer to the islands of high F-region plasma density within the polar cap. Their formation on the dayside and deformation on the nightside are not well understood. The F-layer ionosphere density is strongly influenced by electric field, thermospheric wind as well as soft particle precipitation. This study combines observations from multiple instruments, including Poker Flat incoherent scatter radar, GPS TEC and optical instruments, as well as the Global Ionosphere and Thermosphere Model (GITM), to investigate the effects of highly structured electric fields and winds on the deformation of polar cap patches during substorms. We will also discuss variations of the auroral emissions associated with the patch evolution.

  10. Pluto Insolation and the South Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubincam, D. P.

    2009-05-01

    Pluto's south polar cap is a puzzle. The planet's southern cap may be brighter than the north, even though it was the south pole which faced the Sun on Pluto's recent approach to perihelion. One would think that the brighter pole would be the one which received less insolation: volatiles would be expected to sublimate from the sunny south and condense in the north, enlarging the north polar cap with fresh and bright frost. Thus the north pole should be brighter than the south. However, it may be the other way around, although the evidence is not entirely clear. One suggested explanation of the (possible) paradox is that the south polar cap has, over the last several million years, received less insolation than the north, accumulating a larger supply of volatiles. However, expressing the solar insolation in terms of Pluto's orbital elements clearly shows that both the north and south poles have received nearly the same amount of sunlight over the past several million years. Hence any difference between the polar caps cannot be ascribed to a difference in the amount of long-term insolation received at each pole. Thus any difference between the poles, if there is one, must invoke conditions peculiar to Pluto's climate system, rather than rely on insolation alone.

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

    PubMed

    Koerner, R M

    1977-04-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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.

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Constraints on the composition of the Martian south polar cap from gravity and topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieczorek, M. A.

    2007-12-01

    The polar caps of Mars have long been acknowledged to be composed of unknown proportions of water ice, solid CO2 (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 and the assumption that the polar cap is uncompensated (as attested by data obtained from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) experiment), the density of the volatile-rich south polar layered deposits is constrained to be 1175±55~kg~m-3. A maximum of about 40% 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 CO2, the dust content would be constrained to lie between about 10 and 20% 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 CO2 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 CO2 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 CO2 content of the south polar cap could be obtained, and if MARSIS 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.

  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. Preservation of landforms under ice sheets and ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleman, Johan

    1994-02-01

    This article addresses the question of whether or not distinct glacial and non-glacial landforms can survive beneath ice sheets and ice caps with little or no morphological alteration. A review of recent work documents the existence of pre-last stadial landforms and landscapes in areas covered by the Fennoscandian and Laurentide ice sheets. A substantial number of independent works indicate that landforms such as eskers, drainage channels and boulder fields have escaped destruction despite complete ice overriding during several tens of millenia. Full preservation of former ground surfaces or delicate landforms probably is linked to areas where the ice-sheet base was continuously frozen to its bed. Larger "robust" landforms, such as large drumlins, appear to have been preserved even under wet-based conditions. In glaciated areas, patches preserved under dry (cold)-based conditions provide important windows towards the past, showing landscapes that were destroyed in surrounding areas affected by wet-based and eroding ice. Some consequences for the research fields of non-glacial geomorphology, archaeology and botany include the possibility of subglacial museums and refugia. A time/ space model describes geomorphological access to information from older events in glaciated areas.

  1. 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.

  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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Carbon dioxide clathrate in the martian ice cap.

    PubMed

    Miller, S L; Smythe, W D

    1970-10-30

    Measurements of the dissociation pressure of carbon dioxide hydrate show that this hydrate (CO(2) . 6H(2)O) is stable relative to solid CO(2) and water ice at temperatures above about 121 degrees K. Since this hydrate forms from finely divided ice and gaseous CO(2) in several hours at 150 degrees K, it is likely to be present in the martian ice cap. The ice cap can consist of water ice, water ice + CO(2) hydrate, or CO(2) hydrate + solid CO(2), but not water ice + solid CO(2).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. A model for polar cap electric fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dangelo, N.

    1976-01-01

    A model is proposed relating polar cap ionospheric electric fields to the parameters of the solar wind near the orbit of the earth. The model ignores the notion of field line merging. An essential feature is the role played by velocity shear instabilities in regions of the outer magnetosphere, in which mapping of the magnetosheath electric field would produce sunward convection. The anomalous resistivity which arises from velocity shear turbulence, suffices to essentially disconnect the magnetosphere from the magnetosheath, at any place where that resistivity is large enough. The magnetosheath-magnetosphere system, as a consequence, acts as a kind of diode or rectifier for the magnetosheath electric fields. Predictions of the model are compared with several observations related to polar cap convection.

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

    PubMed

    Duxbury, N S; Brown, R H

    1993-08-06

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Climatic ice core records from the tropical quelccaya ice cap.

    PubMed

    Thompson, L G; Hastenrath, S; Arnao, B M

    1979-03-23

    The Quelccaya Ice Cap in the easternmost glaciated mountain chain of the Peruvian Andes has been studied in four recentfield seasons. Ice cores to a depth of 15 meters have been retrieved at the summit dome (elevation, 5650 meters) and two other locations and used for microparticle, isotope, and beta radioactivity measurements. A concurrent study of the present climate and the heat and mass budgets is being made to permit a paleoclimatic interpretation of deep core records. The results indicate the need for a revision of the isotope "thermometry" for application in the tropics. However, the seasonality of the beta radioactivity, microparticle content, and isotope ratios offers the prospect of a mass balance chronology. This is important in that precipitation is believed to be a more indicative paleoclimatic parameter than temperature in the tropics.

  15. Mars - Northern summer ice cap - Water vapor observations from Viking 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, C. B.; Davies, D. W.; Laporte, D. D.

    1976-01-01

    Observations of the latitude dependence of water vapor made from the Viking 2 orbiter show peak abundances in the latitude band 70 to 80 deg N in the northern midsummer season (planetocentric longitude about 108 deg). Total column abundances in the polar regions require near-surface atmospheric temperatures in excess of 200 K and are incompatible with the survival of a frozen carbon dioxide cap at Martian pressures. The remnant (or residual) north polar cap and the outlying patches of ice at lower latitudes are thus predominantly water ice, whose thickness can be estimated to be between 1 meter and 1 kilometer.

  16. Mars: northern summer ice cap--water vapor observations from viking 2.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C B; Davies, D W; Laporte, D D

    1976-12-11

    Observations of the latitude dependence of water vapor made from the Viking 2 orbiter show peak abundances in the latitude band 70 degrees to 80 degrees north in the northern midsummer season (planetocentric longitude approximately 108 degrees ). Total column abundances in the polar regions require near-surface atmospheric temperatures in excess of 200 degrees K, and are incompatible with the survival of a frozen carbon dioxide cap at martian pressures. The remnant (or residual) north polar cap, and the outlying patches of ice at lower latitudes, are thus predominantly water ice, whose thickness can be estimated to be between 1 meter and 1 kilometer.

  17. Mars - Northern summer ice cap - Water vapor observations from Viking 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, C. B.; Davies, D. W.; Laporte, D. D.

    1976-01-01

    Observations of the latitude dependence of water vapor made from the Viking 2 orbiter show peak abundances in the latitude band 70 to 80 deg N in the northern midsummer season (planetocentric longitude about 108 deg). Total column abundances in the polar regions require near-surface atmospheric temperatures in excess of 200 K and are incompatible with the survival of a frozen carbon dioxide cap at Martian pressures. The remnant (or residual) north polar cap and the outlying patches of ice at lower latitudes are thus predominantly water ice, whose thickness can be estimated to be between 1 meter and 1 kilometer.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  1. Mass Balance of Mars' South Polar Residual Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Peter C.; Calvin, Wendy; Haberle, Robert; James, Philip; Lee, Steven

    2014-11-01

    The mass balance of the CO2 ice south polar residual cap (SPRC) of Mars is thought to be an indicator of Mars’ climate stability. Observations of eroding pits combined with year-to-year fluctuations in extent of the cap have inspired attempts to detect any changes in Mars’ atmospheric pressure that might arise from loss or gain of cap CO2 ice [1,2 ]. The results have been ambiguous. Attempts to use imaging to measure mass balance have been limited in scope, and yielded large negative values, -20 to -34 km3/Mars yr [3,4]. We have greatly expanded the mapping of types of features in the SPRC, their erosion rates, and detection of limitations on the vertical changes in the RSPC over the last 7 - 22 Mars yr. We find a net volume balance of -7 to +3 km3 /Mars yr ( ~-0.05% to +0.02% of atmospheric mass/Mars yr). Combined with the apparent relative ages of different units within the cap, the climate fluctuations over the last 20 Mars years probably are different from changes recorded in thick unit deposition probably >100 Mars yr before present. Modest changes of dust loading for extended periods of time (Mars decades) might be important in the different ice depositional regimes. [1] Haberle, R.M., Kahre, M.A. (2010) Int. Jour. Mars Science and Exploration 5, 68-75. [2] Haberle, R.M. et al. (2013) AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, A1906. [3] Malin, M.C., et al. (2001) Science 294, 2146-2148. [4] Blackburn, D.G., et al. (2010) Planetary and Space Science 58, 780-791.

  2. 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.

  3. A sublimation model for martian south polar ice features.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Shane; Ingersoll, Andrew P

    2003-02-14

    In their pioneering work, Leighton and Murray argued that the Mars atmosphere, which at present is 95% carbon dioxide, is controlled by vapor equilibrium with a much larger polar reservoir of solid carbon dioxide. 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 of the circular depressions commonly found on the south polar cap. We argue that a carbon dioxide ice layer about 8 meters thick is being etched away to reveal water ice underneath. This is consistent with thermal infrared data from the Mars Odyssey mission.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veverka, J.; Goguen, J.

    1973-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effective polar cap area and multi-station basis for Polar Cap (PC) indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2017-04-01

    The Polar Cap (PC) indices are useful indices for Space Weather forecasts and analyses. The PC indices have been used to monitor the interplanetary geoeffective electric field and solar wind pressure pulses, to analyze cross polar cap voltages, polar cap diameter, and general polar cap dynamics. Furthermore, the PC indices have been used to monitor auroral electrojet intensities, ionospheric Joule heating, and global auroral power, and to predict ring current intensities. For specific Space Weather warning forecasts the PC indices can be used to predict substorm development and the associated risk of power line disturbances in the subauroral regions. The PC indices, PCN (North) and PCS (South), are derived from geomagnetic observations at Thule in Greenland and Vostok in Antarctica, respectively. In order to provide reliable forecast services based on PC indices, it would be advantageous to have available back-up suppliers of index values. The presentation provides an analysis of the effective area for useful PC index derivation and suggests observatories that could provide back-up data for PC index calculations should the primary sources fail due to instrument or communication problems.

  7. Polar Cap Area and Boundary Motion During Substorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M.; Germany, G. A.; Fillingim, M. O.; Parks, G. K.; Spann, James F., Jr.

    1998-01-01

    The area of the polar cap as a function of local time and substorm phase was measured using images from the Polar Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) for different interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientations during three substorms in January 1997. We measured changes in the polar cap area and motion of the poleward and equatorward boundary of the auroral oval as determined by UVI images. It was found that the polar cap boundary is strongly influenced by thinning of the oval, decrease in polar cap structures, the poleward expansion of the substorm at midnight and the fading of luminosity below the instrument sensitivity threshold. Generally these effects dominate over the latitudinal motion of the auroral oval at its equatorward edge. A new feature is that the polar cap region clears of precipitation during the substorm growth phase, which expands the size of the polar cap but may not necessarily be related to an expansion of the open flux. We present a new finding that the increase in polar cap area prior to onset and the decrease in the area following it are independent of the strength of the southward IMF component. For one case the polar cap area increased while the southward component of the IMF was no less than -0.5 nT. These observations have strong implications for models that use the polar cap area to estimate the magnitude of energy storage in the lobe magnetic field and loss during substorms.

  8. Simultaneous Two-Station Observation of Polar Cap Thermospheric Winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Q.; Ward, W. E.

    2015-12-01

    Over the years, three different ground based stations inside the northern polar cap observed thermospheric winds, however, they did not overlap with each others. Consequently, the polar cap observations had only one station observation at a time. A single station observation is far from ideal to represent the thermospheric wind in the polar cap. In Nov 2014, for the first time, two Fabry-Perot interferometers started simultaneous observations in the polar cap. The Eureka (80N, 86W) and Resolute (75N, 95W) FPIs made near continuous observation during the winter season of the 2014. The observational results from these two instruments are compared. NCAR TIEGCM simulations with different polar cap ion convection drivers are used to examine the similarities and differences between the two stations. The results can provide more insight of the polar cap thermospheric dynamics and better interpretation of historical data for long-term trend studies.

  9. Timescale Calculations for Ice Core Drilling Sites on the Temperate Ice Caps in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorsteinsson, T.; Einarsson, B.

    2005-12-01

    Modelling of age vs. depth profiles and annual-layer thickness changes with depth in ice sheets forms part of the investigations carried out prior to the selection of ice core drilling sites. The well known Nye model, which assumes a constant vertical strain rate with depth in an ice sheet of thickness H is generally applicable in the upper half of polar and temperate ice caps, but the assumption of a constant vertical strain rate is unrealistic near the bed in an ice sheet frozen to bedrock. Dansgaard-Johnsen (D-J) type models assume that the vertical strain rate is constant down to height h above bedrock and then decreases linearly with depth towards zero at the bed. The parameter h can be calibrated according to the way in which the horizontal velocity varies with depth. Here we introduce a new derivation of the D-J model that accounts for bottom melting due to the geothermal heat flux, which averages 200 mW/m2 in Iceland. The model is then applied to five different locations on the temperate ice caps in Iceland, with ice thicknesses varying between 220 m and 850 m and accumulation rates ranging between 2.0 and 3.6 m ice/year. Data from ice cores drilled at three of these sites are used to calibrate the model. For the summit location on the Hofsjokull ice cap (H = 300 m), we find that a D-J model with a relatively high h/H ratio reproduces the timescale from a 100 m ice core better than the Nye model. Results indicate that a continuous precipitation record covering the last 400-500 years could be retrieved at the Hofsjokull summit (1790 m a.s.l.), and the assumption of bottom melting has a large effect on the modelled timescale at this site, yielding 50% lower ages at 90% of the ice depth than model runs that neglect bottom melting. For deeper drillings in Iceland, the ice-filled caldera at Bardarbunga, NW-Vatnajokull (H = 850 m), where a 415 m core was drilled in 1972, is among the most promising sites. Selection of the h/H ratio in the D-J model for timescale

  10. Rapid Collapse of the Vavilov Ice Cap, Russian High Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, M. J.; Zheng, W.; Durkin, W. J., IV; Pritchard, M. E.; Ramage, J. M.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Benham, T. J.; Glazovsky, A.; Macheret, Y.; Porter, C. C.

    2016-12-01

    Cold based ice caps and glaciers are thought to respond slowly to environmental changes. As sea ice cover evolves in the Arctic, a feedback process alters air-temperatures and precipitation patterns across the region. During the last decades of the 20th century the land-terminating western margin of the Vavilov Ice Cap, on October Revolution Island of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, advanced slowly westwards. The advance was driven by precipitation changes that occurred about half a millennia ago. InSAR shows that in 1996 the margin sustained ice speeds of around 20 m/yr. By 2000 the ice front had moved a short distance into the Kara Sea and had transitioned to a marine-terminating front, although an ice apron around the ice margin indicates the ice there was still frozen to the bed and there is no evidence of calving in satellite imagery. In 2013 ice motions near the terminus had accelerated to around 1 m/day. By late 2015 the main trunk of the newly activated outlet glacier attained speeds of 25 m/day and the inland portion of the ice cap thinned at rates of more than 0.3 m/day. The acceleration of the outlet glacier occurred due to its advance over weak, water-saturated marine sediments that provide little resistance to ice flow, and to the removal of lateral resistive stresses as the glacier advanced out into an open embayment. Longitudinal stretching at the front forces an increase in the surface slope upstream. Rapid rates of motion inland generate frictional melt at the bed, possibly aided by cryohydrological warming. Large areas of the interior of the Vavilov ice cap are now below the equilibrium line and the grounded portion of the ice cap is losing mass at a rate of 4.5 km3 w.e./year. The changes at the Vavilov are likely irrecoverable in a warming climate due to a reduction in the accumulation area of the ice cap. Increased precipitation drove the advance, which accelerated due to the presence of soft sediments. The acceleration lowered the elevation

  11. "Cottage Cheese" Texture on the Martian North Polar Cap in Summer

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-04-24

    This image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. Martian Dairy Products? If parts of the south polar cap can look like swiss cheese (see "Martian "Swiss Cheese""), then parts of the north polar cap might as well look like some kind of cheese, too. This picture shows a cottage cheese-like texture on the surface of a part of the residual--summertime--north polar cap. The north polar cap surface is mostly covered by pits, cracks, small bumps and knobs. In this image, the cap surface appears bright and the floors of pits look dark. Based upon observations made by the Mariner 9 and Viking orbiters in the 1970s, the north polar residual cap is thought to contain mostly water ice because its summertime temperature is usually near the freezing point of water and water vapor was observed by the Vikings to be coming off the cap during summer. The south residual cap is different--its temperatures in summer remain cold enough to freeze carbon dioxide, and very little to no water vapor has been observed to come off the south cap in summer. The pits that have developed on the north polar cap surface are closely-spaced relative to the very different depressions in the south polar cap. The pits are estimated from the length of shadows cast in them to be less than about 2 meters (5.5 feet) deep. These pits probably develop slowly over thousands of years of successive spring and summer seasons. This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during northern summer on April 5, 1999. The picture is located near 82.1°N, 329.6°W and covers an area 1.5 km wide by 3 km long (0.9 x 1.8 miles) at a resolution of 3 meters (10 ft) per pixel. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02369

  12. Ozone depletion over the polar caps caused by solar protons

    SciTech Connect

    Stephenson, J.A.E.; Scourfield, M.W.J. )

    1992-12-24

    Energetic solar protons are a natural source of ozone depletion due to nitric oxides they produce in the earth's atmosphere. In March 1989, following a period of intense solar activity, the TOMS instrument aboard the Nimbus 7 satellite recorded very similar ozone losses over both polar caps for areas extending from 90[degrees] to 70[degrees]. Ozone depletions of 7.4 [times] 10[sup 9] kg for the south polar cap and 8.0 [times] 10[sup 9] kg for the north polar cap indicate the degree of symmetry over the polar caps. 11 refs., 6 figs.

  13. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Flow Regimes of the Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, M.; Burgess, D. O.; Mair, D.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2004-05-01

    Flow regimes of the Devon ice cap were investigated using a combination of SAR Interferometry (InSAR) and airborne radio echo sounding (RES). The surface velocity field was mapped by InSAR using ascending ERS 1/2 tandem mode data for the western and southeast sectors of the ice cap and 3-day repeat pass ERS 1 imagery for the north-east sector. Over the terminus of the Belcher glacier (a major calving front), where decorrelation between ERS data occurred, surface velocities were obtained from Radarsat 1 imagery using speckle tracking procedures. Airborne RES at 100MHz was used to map the distribution of ice thickness and bed topography across the ice cap. There is a significant contrast in ice flow dynamics between the east and west sides of the ice cap. West of the main north-south divide ice flow is dominantly by relatively uniform `sheet' flow. East of the divide, several outlet glaciers that extend up to 60km inland from the eastern margin drain the ice cap. Four distinct ice flow regimes were recognized from analysis of the patterns of along-flow co-variation between the ratio of surface velocity to ice thickness (V/H) and the driving stress computed using a surface slope averaging length scale of ten ice thicknesses. These regimes are characterized by (i) a positive relationship between V/H and driving stress, (ii) and (iii) a generally inverse relationship between V/H and driving stress, and (iv) high but variable V/H and low driving stress. For a given driving stress, V/H is generally higher in regime (iii) than in regime (ii). Regime (i) is characteristic of the interior and much of the western half of the ice cap, and also of near stagnant, surge-emplaced ice in the south-east of the ice cap. It is inferred to involve flow primarily by ice deformation. Regimes (ii) and (iii) occur in sections of outlet glaciers where flow stripes are actively formed and where the ice surface topography clearly reflects the presence of topographic obstacles on the glacier

  17. 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.

  18. Pulsar gamma rays from polar cap regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiang, James; Romani, Roger W.

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Stability of Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Barnes Ice Cap is a modern remnant of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered much of North America during the Last Glacial Maximum. Moraine chronology shows that Barnes reached a quasi-equilibrium state about 1000 years ago and has been relatively stable since. The flat and low-elevation bedrock topography under Barnes implies that the accumulation area owes its existence to the ice cap itself. As a "self-sustaining" ice mass, Barnes is expected to be sensitive to climate and/or dynamical changes given the surface-elevation / mass-balance feedback. In this study, we combine historical observations (1960-1980) with new satellite and air-borne data (1995-2010) to drive a mass-balance model coupled to a transient full-Stokes thermo-mechanical 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 internal ice dynamics. Thermo-mechanically coupled simulations show zones of locally enhanced ice flow that imprint themselves on the shape of the ice-cap. These simulations suggest that an additional heat source, such as refreezing of water at the base of the ice cap, is required to maintain temperate conditions where sliding is known to occur. Modelled dynamics highlight the influence of contrasting viscosities between Pleistocene and Holocene ice that affect the form and flow of the ice cap. On millennial timescales, the internal dynamics of the ice cap may lead to divergent evolution pathways even for a constant climate. Sensitivity experiments reveal that Barnes was in a delicate equilibrium with pre-industrial climate. An increase in air temperature of less than 0.2K or a decrease precipitation of less than 15%, relative to this climate, is enough to push the ice cap into an unstable regime. Based on recent observations of the equilibrium line altitude, Barnes is expected to disappear even with no additional warming.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans

    2015-03-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  3. Floating glacial ice caps in the arctic ocean.

    PubMed

    Broecker, W S

    1975-06-13

    Two arguments are presented, one in favor of the existence of thicker ice in the Arctic Ocean during glacial time, and the other in favor of a full-fledged Arctic ice cap. The first is based on the Greenland air temperature record obtained from isotopic studies of the Camp Century ice core. The second is based on the oxygen isotope record of benthic foraminifera from a deep Pacific Ocean core.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2000-03-09

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Abnormal Winter Melting of the Arctic Sea Ice Cap Observed by the Spaceborne Passive Microwave Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seongsuk; Yi, Yu

    2016-12-01

    The spatial size and variation of Arctic sea ice play an important role in Earth’s climate system. These are affected by conditions in the polar atmosphere and Arctic sea temperatures. The Arctic sea ice concentration is calculated from brightness temperature data derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite program (DMSP) F13 Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSMI) and the DMSP F17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) sensors. Many previous studies point to significant reductions in sea ice and their causes. We investigated the variability of Arctic sea ice using the daily sea ice concentration data from passive microwave observations to identify the sea ice melting regions near the Arctic polar ice cap. We discovered the abnormal melting of the Arctic sea ice near the North Pole during the summer and the winter. This phenomenon is hard to explain only surface air temperature or solar heating as suggested by recent studies. We propose a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon. The heat from the deep sea in Arctic Ocean ridges and/ or the hydrothermal vents might be contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice. This hypothesis could be verified by the observation of warm water column structure below the melting or thinning arctic sea ice through the project such as Coriolis dataset for reanalysis (CORA).

  14. An examination of Mars' north seasonal polar cap using MGS: Composition and infrared radiation balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Gary B.

    2013-08-01

    A detailed analysis of data from one revolution of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) is presented. Approximately 80% of this revolution observes the mid-winter northern seasonal polar cap, which covers the surface to <60°N, and which is predominantly within polar night. The surface composition and temperature are determined through analysis of 6-50 μm infrared spectra from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The infrared radiative balance, which is the entire heat balance in the polar night except for small subsurface and atmospheric advection terms, is calculated for the surface and atmospheric column. The primary constituent, CO2 ice, also dominates the infrared spectral properties by variations in its grain size and by admixtures of dust and water ice, which cause large variations in the 20-50 μm emissivity. This is modified by incomplete areal coverage, and clouds or hazes. This quantitative analysis reveals CO2 grain radii ranging from ˜100 μm in isolated areas, to 1-5 mm in more widespread regions. The water ice content varies from none to about one part per thousand by mass, with a clear increase towards the periphery of the polar cap. The dust content is typically a few parts per thousand by mass, but is as much as an order of magnitude less abundant in "cold spot" regions, where the low emissivity of pure CO2 ice is revealed. This is the first quantitative analysis of thermal spectra of the seasonal polar cap and the first to estimate water ice content. Our models show that the cold spots represent cleaner, dust-free ice rather than finer grained ice than the background. Our guess is that the dust in cold spots is hidden in the center of the CO2 frost particles rather than not present. The fringes of the cap have more dust and water ice, and become patchy, with warmer water snow filling the gaps on the night side, and warmer bare soil on the day side. A low optical depth (<1 in the visible) water ice atmospheric haze is apparent on the night side

  15. 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…

  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. Holocene history of North Ice Cap, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  18. Solar wind control of the polar-cap voltage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reiff, Patricia H.; Luhmann, Janet G.

    1986-01-01

    The results of using various models to predict polar-cap potentials are reviewed. Quantitative predictions of merging rate, and hence of polar-cap voltage, based on subsolar merging models are reviewed, and tests of dayside merging models and their results are reexamined. Predictions and tests of cusp merging models are discussed. Two new empirical formulas for the dependence of the asymptotic polar-cap potential on the IMF are presented, and predictions of the dependence of dayside and lobe merging voltages on the IMF are derived from the antiparallel merging hypothesis.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Response of polar cap to solar wind conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liou, K.; Sotirelis, T.

    2014-12-01

    The ionospheric polar cap is an optically dark area encircled by the luminous auroral oval. It is created by solar wind-magnetospheric coupling, and its size is proportional to the open magnetic flux available for nightside reconnection. One of the difficulties in the study of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling is the large spatial domain it involves. Systematic studies of the polar cap dynamics are still rare. This study addresses this issue by utilizing global auroral images, from which the polar cap area can be extracted, acquired with the Ultraviolet Imager on board the Polar satellite. In particular, we quantify the area of polar cap and correlate it with solar wind parameters. Our preliminary results clearly demonstrate, as expected, a clear relationship between the dayside polar cap area and the north-south component of the interplanetary magnetic field. Other solar wind parameters also affect the polar cap size but with a lesser degree. We will present a detailed analysis and discuss the resulting implications.

  2. POLAR ICE: Integrating, Distributing and Visualising Ice Information Products for Operators in Polar Waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Nick; Fleming, Andrew; Cziferszky, Andreas; Toudal Pedersen, Leif; Rasmussen, Till; Makynen, Marko; Berglund, Robin; Seitsonen, Lauri; Rudjord, Oystein; Solberg, Rune; Tangen, Helge; Axell, Lars; Saldo, Roberto; Melsheimer, Christian; Larsen, Hans Eilif; Puestow, Thomas; Arhturs, David; Flach, Dominie

    2016-08-01

    The POLAR ICE project has developed a system for integrating and delivering satellite derived ice information products to operators working in the economically and environmentally important Arctic and Antarctic regions. POLAR ICE has been supported by the European Commission's FP7 programme and undertaken by European and Canadian companies and institutes, who are all partners in the Polar View Earth Observation Limited (PVEO) company. It is the aim of PVEO to commercialise the service that has been developed and demonstrated as a part of POLAR ICE.Access to sea ice information derived from satellite earth observation data is critical to support the increasing numbers of Arctic and Antarctic shipping and off-shore operations and to protect the rapidly changing polar environment.To-date the development of sea ice information capabilities has addressed separate elements of complete service chains. In contrast POLAR ICE has linked these separate elements together, filled in known gaps and built a robust integrated service chain.

  3. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The future of the Devon Ice cap: results from climate and ice dynamics modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Rodehacke, Christian; Boberg, Fredrik

    2017-04-01

    The Devon Ice Cap is an example of a relatively well monitored small ice cap in the Canadian Arctic. Close to Greenland, it shows a similar surface mass balance signal to glaciers in western Greenland. Here we use high resolution (5km) simulations from HIRHAM5 to drive the PISM glacier model in order to model the present day and future prospects of this small Arctic ice cap. Observational data from the Devon Ice Cap in Arctic Canada is used to evaluate the surface mass balance (SMB) data output from the HIRHAM5 model for simulations forced with the ERA-Interim climate reanalysis data and the historical emissions scenario run by the EC-Earth global climate model. The RCP8.5 scenario simulated by EC-Earth is also downscaled by HIRHAM5 and this output is used to force the PISM model to simulate the likely future evolution of the Devon Ice Cap under a warming climate. We find that the Devon Ice Cap is likely to continue its present day retreat, though in the future increased precipitation partly offsets the enhanced melt rates caused by climate change.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. North Polar Cap Margin (natural color (top) and enhanced color (bottom))

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Water ice mixed with dust form the residual north polar ice cap (brown color). Seasonal frost of relatively pure ice (white color) partly blankets the polar deposits. A large trough, which is occupied by linear sand dunes (dark band), exposes polar layered deposits. The layered deposits hold a partial record of the history of atmospheric activity and climate of Mars. Center of picture is at latitude 82 degrees N., longitude 84 degrees W. Viking Orbiter Picture Numbers 82B11-12 (violet), 82B15-16 (green), and 82B17-18 (red) at 53 m/pixel resolution. Picture width is 106 km. North is 6 degrees counter-clockwise from top.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. Mass balance of polar ice sheets.

    PubMed

    Rignot, Eric; Thomas, Robert H

    2002-08-30

    Recent advances in the determination of the mass balance of polar ice sheets show that the Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass by near-coastal thinning, and that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with thickening in the west and thinning in the north, is probably thinning overall. The mass imbalance of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely to be small, but even its sign cannot yet be determined. Large sectors of ice in southeast Greenland, the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula are changing quite rapidly as a result of processes not yet understood.

  13. Experimental investigation of insolation-driven dust ejection from Mars' CO2 ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufmann, E.; Hagermann, A.

    2017-01-01

    Mars' polar caps are - depending on hemisphere and season - partially or totally covered with CO2 ice. Icy surfaces such as the polar caps of Mars behave differently from surfaces covered with rock and soil when they are irradiated by solar light. The latter absorb and reflect incoming solar radiation within a thin layer beneath the surface. In contrast, ices are partially transparent in the visible spectral range and opaque in the infrared. Due to this fact, the solar radiation can penetrate to a certain depth and raise the temperature of the ice or dust below the surface. This may play an important role in the energy balance of icy surfaces in the solar system, as already noted in previous investigations. We investigated the temperature profiles inside CO2 ice samples including a dust layer under Martian conditions. We have been able to trigger dust eruptions, but also demonstrated that these require a very narrow range of temperature and ambient pressure. We discuss possible implications for the understanding of phenomena such as arachneiform patterns or fan shaped deposits as observed in Mars' southern polar region.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Physical processes in polar stratospheric ice clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, Owen B.; Ferry, G.; Turco, R. P.; Jordan, J.; Goodman, J.

    1989-01-01

    The formulation and evolution of polar stratospheric ice clouds are simulated using a one-dimensional model of cloud microphysics. It is found that the optical thickness and particle size of ice clouds depend on the cooling rate of the air in which the cloud formed. It is necessary that there be an energy barrier to ice nucleation upon the preexisting aerosols in order to account for the cooling rate dependence of the cloud properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. H2O grain size and the amount of dust in Mars' residual north polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kieffer, Hugh 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 microns or more. Ice of this granularity containing 30 percent 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. Polar Cap Precursor of Nightside Meso-scale Auroral Enhancements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Ying

    2015-10-01

    Although the large-scale auroral oval has been well examined, what controls the occurrence of meso-scale enhanced auroras remains ambiguous. The answer is critical for forecasting ionospheric scintillation and remote-sensing magnetospheric disturbances. One important meso-scale auroral enhancement is poleward boundary intensifications (PBIs), which are intensifications along the poleward boundary of the nightside auroral oval and are produced by magnetic reconnection, a fundamental energy conversion process in the magnetosphere. This thesis is dedicated to understand when and where PBIs and the associated magnetotail reconnection occur, spontaneously or driven by external forcing, based on coordinated observations of all-sky imagers (ASIs) and radars. We found that the occurrence of PBIs is consistently accompanied with narrow and fast flows near the auroral poleward boundary in the polar cap. They occur simultaneously with or 1--2 min before PBIs near the PBI longitude, and direct equatorward toward the auroral poleward boundary. They have a duration and width comparable to those of PBIs. Although the prior flow evolution could not be obtained based on the limited radar field-of-view, a polar cap ASI can substantially expand our observing area by enabling flow tracing using airglow patches and polar cap arcs. It shows that deep in the polar cap, localized fast flows typically propagate at ˜600 m/s, persist tens of minutes to hours, and are of a few hundred km width. They appear as channels of flow enhancements that are elongated in the noon-midnight meridian, and significantly contribute to magnetic flux convection across the polar cap. The mosaic ASI images further show that as these fast flow propagate equatorward from the magnetic pole and impinge on the nightside auroral poleward boundary, they are followed by intensifications within the auroral oval that are spatially connected to them and occur within a few minutes and <˜10° longitudes. Such

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Reverse Polar Cap convection and effects on PC indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2017-04-01

    The convection of magnetospheric and ionospheric plasma across the polar caps relates to properties of the solar wind, primarily the velocity (Vsw) and the sign and magnitude of the Z-component, Bz, of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF). When Bz is negative (southward) or just small in magnitude, then the convection across the polar cap is antisunward with return flows in the morning and evening sectors of the auroral oval. When IMF Bz is strong and positive (northward) then strong sunward convection may develop in the central polar cap with return flows poleward of the usual auroral oval (NBZ conditions). In addition to depending on the strength of IMF Bz, the magnitude of the reverse convection relates to the ionospheric conditions varying with local time, season and solar cycle, and also to the geomagnetic field configuration. The ionospheric convection creates oppositely directed currents that generate the magnetic variations reflected in the Polar Cap (PC) indices. The immediate effect of reverse convection is to give negative values of the PC index. However, inclusion of reverse convection events in the data base used to derive the index coefficients has adverse consequences for the quality of the PC index. The presentation shall illustrate the properties of reverse polar cap convection and discuss the differing effects on the Northern (PCN) and Southern (PCS) indices.

  17. 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'.

  18. 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'.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Statistical relationships between enhanced polar cap flows and PBIs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

    boundary intensifications (PBIs) are auroral intensifications along the poleward boundary of the auroral oval and occur during all levels of geomagnetic activity. However, little is known about the triggering of PBIs. Recent case studies have indicated the existence of longitudinally localized flow channels in the polar cap near, and directed toward, the nightside open-closed field line boundary just before PBIs. Motivated by these studies, we analyze 115 events of coordinated observations by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms all-sky imager and Super Dual Auroral Radar Network HF radar at Rankin Inlet to determine if this polar cap flow-PBI relationship is commonly observed. We start with isolated and intense PBIs and examine the probability of them being associated with equatorward directed polar cap flows. Our results show the association to be frequent (90%), with one-to-one correlations occurring in ~50% of events. Considering the limitations of the radar observations, this result indicates that PBIs are commonly correlated with polar cap flow channels directed toward, and then traversing, the open-closed field line boundary. The flows statistically occur ~1-2 min before the PBI initiations, and the duration and width of the flows are comparable to those of the PBIs. We also perform a reverse study by starting with isolated polar cap flows and obtain similar results. The remarkably high occurrence of association between enhanced polar cap flows and PBIs indicates that enhanced mesoscale flows within the open field line region that traverse the open-closed field line boundary are an important driver of PBI formation.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Solar illumination control of ionospheric outflow above polar cap arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maes, L.; Maggiolo, R.; De Keyser, J.; Dandouras, I.; Fear, R. C.; Fontaine, D.; Haaland, S.

    2015-03-01

    We measure the flux density, composition, and energy of outflowing ions above the polar cap, accelerated by quasi-static electric fields parallel to the magnetic field and associated with polar cap arcs, using Cluster. Mapping the spacecraft position to its ionospheric foot point, we analyze the dependence of these parameters on the solar zenith angle (SZA). We find a clear transition at SZA between ˜94° and ˜107°, with the O+ flux higher above the sunlit ionosphere. This dependence on the illumination of the local ionosphere indicates that significant O+ upflow occurs locally above the polar ionosphere. The same is found for H+, but to a lesser extent. This effect can result in a seasonal variation of the total ion upflow from the polar ionosphere. Furthermore, we show that low-magnitude field-aligned potential drops are preferentially observed above the sunlit ionosphere, suggesting a feedback effect of ionospheric conductivity.

  8. 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

  9. Modelling water isotopes in polar ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lhomme, Nicolas

    2005-07-01

    Concentrations of water isotopes in marine sediments and ice cores are a key indicator for estimating global and regional fluctuations of past temperatures. Interpreting these concentrations requires an understanding of the storage capacity and exchanges among the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere as well as an understanding of the dynamical behaviour of these reservoirs. The contribution of the latter remains poorly established because of the paucity of deep ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica and the difficulty of interpreting these cores. To obtain the water isotope composition of polar ice sheets and gain an understanding of their stratigraphy, I develop a tracer transport method first proposed by Clarke and Marshall (2002) and significantly improve it by introducing an interpolation technique that accounts for the particular age-depth relationship of ice sheets. I combine the tracers with numerical models of ice dynamics to predict the fine layering of polar ice masses such that it is locally validated at ice core sites, hence setting a new method to constrain reconstructions of ice sheets' climatic and dynamic histories. This framework is first applied and tested with the UBC Ice Sheet Model of Marshall and Clarke (1997). I predict the three-dimensional time-evolving stratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet and use the ice core records predicted at GRIP, Dye 3 and Camp Century to better determine the minimal ice extent during the Eemian, 127 kyr ago, when the Earth's climate was somewhat similar to the present. I suggest that 3.5--4.5 m of sea level rise could be attributed to melting in Greenland. Tracers are also applied to Antarctica with the LGGE Ice Sheet Model of Ritz et al. (2001). The three-dimensional model is compared to simple flow models at the deep ice core sites of Dome C, Vostok and Dome Fuji to test the hypotheses on depositional and dynamical conditions used for interpreting ice cores. These studies lead to a well-constrained stratigraphic

  10. Recent mass balance of Purogangri ice cap, central Tibetan Plateau, by means of differential X-band SAR interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neckel, N.; Braun, A.; Kropáček, J.; Hochschild, V.

    2013-03-01

    Due to their remoteness, altitude and harsh climatic conditions, little is known about the glaciological parameters of ice caps on the Tibetan Plateau (TP). This study presents an interferometrical approach aiming at surface elevation changes of Purogangri ice cap, located on the central TP. Purogangri ice cap covers an area of 397 ± 9.7 km2 and is the largest ice cap on the TP. Its behavior is determined by dry and cold continental climate suggesting a polar-type glacier regime. We employed data from the actual TerraSAR-X mission and its add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements (TanDEM-X) and compare it with elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). These datasets are ideal for this approach as both datasets feature the same wavelength of 3.1 cm and are available at a fine grid spacing. Similar snow conditions can be assumed since the data were acquired in early February 2000 and late January 2012. The trend in glacier extend was extracted using a time series of Landsat data. Our results show a balanced mass budget for the studied time period which is in agreement with previous studies. Additionally, we detected an exceptional fast advance of one glacier tongue in the eastern part of the ice cap between 1999 and 2011.

  11. 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.

  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. Interannual and seasonal behavior of Martian residual ice-cap albedo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M. T.; Neumann, G. A.

    2008-02-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), functioning as a high-resolution radiometer, has observed several appearances of the Martian residual ice caps. We examine these data to quantify both seasonal behavior and interannual differences. The northern residual cap (NRC) was found to be mostly stable with the exception of one, previously identified, region of strong variability. Interannual change in the extent of the NRC appears to be small and reversible on timescales of 1 or 2 years. The NRC has an elaborate seasonal evolution of albedo. Annuli of fine-grained CO 2 and water frost, which track the inner and outer edges of the seasonal CO 2 cap, cause large temporary brightenings. The NRC albedo is stable from just after solstice to Ls 150°, after which albedo decreases steadily. This late-summer darkening can be explained by shadowing within the rough topography of the NRC, leading to a lower limit on topographic relief of 80 cm. The southern residual cap (SRC) appears stable in extent. As has been previously discovered, its seasonal frost albedo behavior appears to be correlated with insolation. However, residual CO 2 appears not to share this characteristic; we use this behavioral difference to infer net deposition of CO 2 ice on the SRC during 1 out of 3 years. Uncharacteristically, the SRC abruptly darkens at Ls 320° in 1 Martian year (year beginning April 2002). Circumstantial evidence suggests atmospheric scattering by dust is responsible. The 2001 global dust-storm appears, either, to have had no effect on the polar cap albedos, or, resulted in slightly brighter ice deposits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M. T.

    2006-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Assessing Mine-Induced Changes in the Gruvfonna Ice Cap Using Remote Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, T. D.; Murray, T.; Abrahamsen, T.

    2005-12-01

    The Svalbard-based mining company, Store Norske (SNSK), currently produces about 1.2 million tonnes of coal annually. The most productive mine, Svea Nord, lies beneath the icecap Gruvfonna, which causes unique challenges. Typically, once a tunnel section has been successfully excavated the roof of the section is deliberately collapsed to reduce the load on the remaining coal seam. Since the mine's opening in late 2001, subsidence associated with large crevasses has been observed on the ice surface, which is believed to be caused by these collapses. However, many glaciers in Svalbard have been retreating and steepening in response to climate warming since the Little Ice Age, which can also be associated with increased crevassing. We use photogrammetry and airborne lidar data to quantify the vertical changes and appearance of crevassing on the ice cap and relate them to the mining activity. Data sources include: (i) SNSK mine survey data; (ii) Norwegian Polar Institute 1995 historical aerial photography; and (iii) lidar and aerial photograph data collected during a 2003 U.K. Natural Environment Research Council Airborne Remote Survey Facility campaign. An historical digital elevation model (DEM) is generated from the 1995 photos using ground control points extracted from the 2003 lidar DEM. By comparing changes in areas with and without mining activity we assess the impact of anthropogenic factors on the ice cap.

  18. Late-glacial and Holocene history of changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Schaefer, J. M.; Finkel, R. C.

    2008-12-01

    Quelccaya Ice Cap in the southeastern Peruvian Andes (~13-14° S latitude) is an icon for climate change. Its rapidly receding outlet, Qori Kalis Glacier, has been monitored since the 1970's. Cores from Quelccaya Ice Cap provide high-resolution information about temperature and precipitation during the past 1,500 years. We extend the understanding of past changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap based on mapping and dating of glacial moraines and associated deposits. Our results include fifty 10Be ages of moraines and bedrock as well as twenty-nine 14C ages of organic material associated with moraines. These results form the basis of a chronology of changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap from ~16,000 yr BP to late Holocene time. Results from 10Be and 14C dating indicate that Quelccaya Ice Cap experienced a significant advance at 12,700-11,400 yr BP. Subsequent to this advance, the ice margin deposited at least three recessional moraine sets. Quelccaya Ice Cap receded to near its present-day margin by ~10,000 yr BP. Neoglacial advances began by ~3,000 yr BP and culminated with a maximum advance during the Little Ice Age. This chronology fits well with prior work which indicates a restricted Quelccaya Ice Cap during middle Holocene time. Moreover, the overlap between moraine and ice core data for the last 1,500 years provides a unique opportunity to assess the influences of temperature and precipitation on past ice cap extents.

  19. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielhagen, R.; Thiede, J.

    2009-04-01

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

  1. Properties of electric turbulence in the polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golovchanskaya, I. V.; Kozelov, B. V.

    2010-10-01

    Small-scale (scales of ˜0.5-256 km) electric fields in the polar cap ionosphere are studied on the basis of measurements of the Dynamics Explorer 2 (DE-2) low-altitude satellite with a polar orbit. Nineteen DE-2 passes through the high-latitude ionosphere from the morning side to the evening side are considered when the IMF z component was southward. A rather extensive polar cap, which could be identified using the ɛ- t spectrograms of precipitating particles with auroral energies, was formed during the analyzed events. It is shown that the logarithmic diagrams (LDs), constructed using the discrete wavelet transform of electric fields in the polar cap, are power law (μ ˜ s α). Here, μ is the variance of the detail coefficients of the signal discrete wavelet transform, s is the wavelet scale, and index α characterizes the LD slope. The probability density functions P(δ E, s) of the electric field fluctuations δ E observed on different scales s are non-Gaussian and have intensified wings. When the probability density functions are renormalized, that is constructed of δ E/ s γ, where γ is the scaling exponent, they lie near a single curve, which indicates that the studied fields are statistically self-similar. In spite of the fact that the amplitude of electric fluctuations in the polar cap is much smaller than in the auroral zone, the quantitative characteristics of field scaling in the two regions are similar. Two possible causes of the observed turbulent structure of the electric field in the polar cap are considered: (1) the structure is transferred from the solar wind, which is known to have turbulent properties, and (2) the structure is generated by convection velocity shears in the region of open magnetic field lines. The detected dependence of the characteristic distribution of turbulent electric fields over the polar cap region on IMF B y and the correlation of the rms amplitudes of δ E fluctuations with IMF B z and the solar wind transfer

  2. Space weather challenges of the polar cap ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. F layer ionization patches in the polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, E. J.; Buchau, J.; Moore, J. G.; Sharber, J. R.; Livingston, R. C.; Winningham, J. D.; Reinisch, B. W.

    1984-01-01

    Ground-based optical and digital ionosonde measurements were conducted at Thule, Greenland to measure ionospheric structure and dynamics in the nighttime polar cap F layer. These observations showed the existence of large-scale (800-1000 km) plasma patches drifting in the antisunward direction during a moderately disturbed (Kp greater than or equal to 4) period. Simultaneous Dynamics Explorer (DE-B) low-altitude plasma instrument (LAPI) measurements show that these patches with peak densities of about 10 to the 6th el per cu cm are not locally produced by structured particle precipitation. The LAPI measurements show a uniform precipitation of polar rain electrons over the polar cap. The combined measurements provide a comprehensive description of patch structure and dynamics. They are produced near or equatorward of the dayside auroral zone and convect across the polar cap in the antisunward direction. Gradients within the large scale, drifting patches are subject to structuring by convective instabilities. UHF scintillation and spaced receiver measurements are used to map the resulting irregularity distribution within the patches.

  11. Polar cap patch transportation beyond the classic scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qing-He; Moen, Jøran; Lockwood, Michael; McCrea, Ian; Zhang, Bei-Chen; McWilliams, Kathryn A.; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Zhang, Shun-Rong; Ruohoniemi, J. Michael; Thomas, Evan G.; Dunlop, Malcolm W.; Liu, Rui-Yuan; Yang, Hui-Gen; Hu, Hong-Qiao; Lester, Mark

    2016-09-01

    We report the continuous monitoring of a polar cap patch, encompassing its creation, and a subsequent evolution that differs from the classic behavior. The patch was formed from the storm-enhanced density plume, by segmentation associated with a subauroral polarization stream generated by a substorm. Its initial antisunward motion was halted due to a rapidly changing of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions from strong southward to strong eastward with weaker northward components, and the patch subsequently very slowly evolved behind the duskside of a lobe reverse convection cell in afternoon sectors, associated with high-latitude lobe reconnection, much of it fading rapidly due to an enhancement of the ionization recombination rate. This differs from the classic scenario where polar cap patches are transported across the polar cap along the streamlines of twin-cell convection pattern from day to night. This observation provides us new important insights into patch formation and control by the IMF, which has to be taken into account in F region transport models and space weather forecasts.

  12. 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.

  13. Polar Ice Characterization from Unmanned Aircraft Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crocker, R. I.; Maslanik, J. A.

    2010-12-01

    Dynamical changes in polar land and sea ice coverage are occurring at exceptional rates that implore the need for extensive observational monitoring to enhance our knowledge of these cryospheric processes. The CU LIDAR Profilometer and Imaging System (CULPIS) is a lightweight, inexpensive, miniaturized instrument package that has recently been developed and deployed on small unmanned aircraft (UA) to collect land and sea ice surface topography measurements and imagery. The accuracy, precision, and overall utility of the CULPIS data are assessed with respect to their ability to provide robust geophysical information that can augment existing measurements, such as those collected by NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) during the Ice-Bridge campaign, and by the follow-on Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite II (ICESat II). Additionally, ancillary information from various satellite- and aircraft-based measurements is analyzed in conjunction with the topographic data to identify relationships between Arctic sea ice age and other properties, such as ice thickness, surface roughness, melt-pond extent, and surface reflectance. The derived parametrizations will improve our understanding of the ice pack stability and its evolution.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Dependence of polar cap potential drop on interplanetary parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reiff, P. H.; Spiro, R. W.; Hill, T. W.

    1981-01-01

    The convection potential drop across the polar cap is computed from data obtained on high-inclination low-altitude satellites. Potential measurements are correlated with various combinations of parameters measured simultaneously in the upstream solar wind. Most of the potential drop is successfully predicted by merging theory, although a significant background potential drop of 35 kV does not depend on IMF parameters and is attributed to a process other than merging. Results indicate that small values of the IMF are amplified by a factor of 5-10 at the dayside magnetopause, which, when taken into account, improves correlations between IMF parameters and polar cap potential drop. Potential drop is better correlated with IMF parameters than with geomagnetic indices, due to nonlinear response of the magnetosphere affecting geomagnetic activity indices.

  18. Condensation phase of the Martian south polar cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. On magnetic pair production above fast pulsar polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    An, S.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. First simultaneous multistation observations of the polar cap thermospheric winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Qian; Jee, Geonhwa; Lee, Changsup; Kim, Jeong-Han; Kim, Yong Ha; Ward, William; Varney, Roger H.

    2017-01-01

    Based on two northern (Eureka 80.0°N, 85.9°W, magnetic latitude (MLAT) 88, and Resolute 74.7°N, 94.8°W, MLAT 83) and one southern (Jang Bogo 74.7°S, 164.2°E, MLAT 77) polar cap stations, simultaneous thermospheric wind data during the northern (December) and southern (June) winter months were obtained and compared with the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM) simulations driven by the Weimer ion convection model. The TIEGCM simulation overestimates the thermospheric wind by 30 to 60%. The thermospheric winds at Eureka were larger than those at Resolute probably because Eureka is at high-geomagnetic latitude. The observed ion drifts observed by Resolute Incoherent Scatter Radar North face at Resolute also show that the Weimer ion convection model overestimates the ion drift. The observation and simulation also appear to suggest that the ion convection pattern in the Weimer model may be too large. The observed thermospheric winds at Jang Bogo are smaller than the TIEGCM but mostly in the zonal component. The thermospheric winds are smaller at Jang Bogo than the two northern stations which are likely due to their lower magnetic latitude. The results indicate the presence of internal structure in the thermospheric winds inside the polar cap and call for more observations in the polar cap to be undertaken.

  4. A 1500-year record of tropical precipitation in ice cores from the quelccaya ice cap, peru.

    PubMed

    Thompson, L G; Mosley-Thompson, E; Bolzan, J F; Koci, B R

    1985-09-06

    Two ice cores, covering 1500 years of climatic information, from the summit (5670 meters) of the tropical Quelccaya ice cap, in the Andes of southern Peru, provide information on general environmental conditions including droughts, volcanic activity, moisture sources, temperature, and glacier net balance. The net balance record reconstructed from these cores reflects major precipitation trends for the southern Andes of Peru. These records indicate extended dry periods between 1720 and 1860, 1250 and 1310, and 570 and 610; wet conditions prevailed between 1500 and 1720. Establishing a tropical precipitation record may help explain climatic fluctuations since the tropical evaporation-precipitation cycle is a principal mechanism driving the atmospheric circulation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  6. Earthly and Otherworldly Glaciers on Mars: Expressed Subsurface Subpolar Ice and "Plate Tectonic" South Polar Ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    2003-12-01

    within the area of perennial CO2 ice. This part of the polar cap exhibits strong evidence for convergent flow tending to close the quasi-spiral structured troughs, as predicted by finite-element modelers. A rich phenomenology accompanies this closure. In some cases, good evidence exists for one icy sheet overriding another. Elastic plate flexural responses, with attendant small-scale tectonism, is quite common, as is evidence for ductile deformation. Analogs drawn from Earth's lithosphere provide compelling explanations for some of these features. Smooth, topographically enclosed flat areas in the south polar deposits may be the surface expressions of subglacial lakes or refrozen lakes.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution.

    PubMed

    Lecavalier, Benoit S; Fisher, David A; Milne, Glenn A; Vinther, Bo M; Tarasov, Lev; Huybrechts, Philippe; Lacelle, Denis; Main, Brittany; Zheng, James; Bourgeois, Jocelyne; Dyke, Arthur S

    2017-06-06

    We present a revised and extended high Arctic air temperature reconstruction from a single proxy that spans the past ∼12,000 y (up to 2009 CE). Our reconstruction from the Agassiz ice cap (Ellesmere Island, Canada) indicates an earlier and warmer Holocene thermal maximum with early Holocene temperatures that are 4-5 °C warmer compared with a previous reconstruction, and regularly exceed contemporary values for a period of ∼3,000 y. Our results show that air temperatures in this region are now at their warmest in the past 6,800-7,800 y, and that the recent rate of temperature change is unprecedented over the entire Holocene. The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction. The modeling results also demonstrate the broader significance of the enhanced warming, with a retreat of the northern ice margin behind its present position in the mid Holocene and a ∼25% increase in total Greenland ice sheet mass loss (∼1.4 m sea-level equivalent) during the last deglaciation, both of which have implications for interpreting geodetic measurements of land uplift and gravity changes in northern Greenland.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

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

  13. The Martian polar cap - Radiative effects of ozone, clouds, and airborne dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, B. L.

    1990-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Contrast Dye ICE Cap Embolization Using the Third-Generation Cryoballoon.

    PubMed

    Conti, Sergio; Moltrasio, Massimo; Tondo, Claudio; Fassini, Gaetano

    2017-02-01

    Cryoballoon ablation is a widely diffuse technology to perform paroxysmal atrial fibrillation ablation. The new generation cryoballoon catheters have been redesigned in order to improve the cooling capability. During cryoballoon ablation, it is not unusual to observe the formation of a contrast dye ice cap on top of the balloon itself. The automated balloon deflation before dissolution of the ice cap may increase the risk of embolization of large ice-mixed-contrast crystals in the systemic circulation. In the case hereby reported, we describe an uneventful embolization of this contrast dye ice cap in the systemic circulation. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Sensitivity, stability and future evolution of the world's northernmost ice cap, Hans Tausen Iskappe (Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zekollari, Harry; Huybrechts, Philippe; Noël, Brice; van de Berg, Willem Jan; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2017-03-01

    In this study the dynamics and sensitivity of Hans Tausen Iskappe (western Peary Land, Greenland) to climatic forcing is investigated with a coupled ice flow-mass balance model. The surface mass balance (SMB) is calculated from a precipitation field obtained from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2.3), while runoff is calculated from a positive-degree-day runoff-retention model. For the ice flow a 3-D higher-order thermomechanical model is used, which is run at a 250 m resolution. A higher-order solution is needed to accurately represent the ice flow in the outlet glaciers. Under 1961-1990 climatic conditions a steady-state ice cap is obtained that is overall similar in geometry to the present-day ice cap. Ice thickness, temperature and flow velocity in the interior agree well with observations. For the outlet glaciers a reasonable agreement with temperature and ice thickness measurements can be obtained with an additional heat source related to infiltrating meltwater. The simulations indicate that the SMB-elevation feedback has a major effect on the ice cap response time and stability. This causes the southern part of the ice cap to be extremely sensitive to a change in climatic conditions and leads to thresholds in the ice cap evolution. Under constant 2005-2014 climatic conditions the entire southern part of the ice cap cannot be sustained, and the ice cap loses about 80 % of its present-day volume. The projected loss of surrounding permanent sea ice and resultant precipitation increase may attenuate the future mass loss but will be insufficient to preserve the present-day ice cap for most scenarios. In a warmer and wetter climate the ice margin will retreat, while the interior is projected to thicken, leading to a steeper ice cap, in line with the present-day observed trends. For intermediate- (+4 °C) and high- warming scenarios (+8 °C) the ice cap is projected to disappear around AD 2400 and 2200 respectively, almost independent of the projected

  5. 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.

  6. Polar cap electron densities from DE 1 plasma wave observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Persoon, A. M.; Gurnett, D. A.; Shawhan, S. D.

    1983-01-01

    Electric-field-spectum measurements from the plasma-wave instrument on the Dynamics Explorer 1 spacecraft are used to study the local electron density at high altitudes in the northern polar-cap region. The electron density is determined from the upper cutoff of whistler-mode radiation at the electron plasma frequency. Median density values over the polar cap at L greater than 10 are found to vary from 35.2 + or - 8.5 cu cm at 2.1 earth radii to 0.99 + or - 0.51 cu cm at 4.66 earth radii. The steady-state radial-outflow model is examined for consistency with the observed density profile. A power-law fit to the radial variation of the electron density yields an exponent of - 3.85 + or - 0.32, which for the radial-outflow model implies a flow velocity increasing nearly linearly with incresing radial distance. Comparison of the observed electron densities with theoretical polar-wind densities yields consistent results up to 2.8 earth radii. A comparison of the observed electron densities with low-altitude density profiles from the Alouette II and ISIS 1 spacecraft illustrates transitions in the slope of the profile at 1.16 earth radii and between 1.55 and 2.0 earth radii. The changes in the density profile suggest that changes occur in the basic radial-transport processes at these altitudes.

  7. How dual-polarization radar observations can be used to verify model representation of secondary ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, Victoria A.; Moisseev, Dmitri; Lerber, Annakaisa

    2016-09-01

    In this paper it is discussed how dual-polarization radar observations can be used to verify model representations of secondary ice production. An event where enhanced specific differential phase, Kdp, signatures in snow occur at the altitudes where temperatures lie in the range between -8 and -3°C is investigated. By combining radar and surface-based precipitation observations it is shown that these dual-polarization radar signatures are most likely caused by ice with concentrations exceeding those expected from primary ice parameterizations. It is also shown that the newly formed ice particles readily aggregate, which may explain why Kdp values seem to be capped at 0.2-0.3°/km for a C band radar. For the event of interest, multiple high-resolution (1 km) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations are conducted. When the default versions of the Morrison microphysics schemes were used, the simulated number concentration of frozen hydrometeors is much lower than observed and the simulated ice particle concentrations are comparable with values expected from primary ice parameterizations. Higher ice concentrations, which exceed values expected from primary ice parameterizations, were simulated when ad hoc thresholds for rain and cloud water mixing ratio in the Hallett-Mossop part of the Morrison scheme were removed. These results suggest that the parameterization of secondary ice production in operational weather prediction models needs to be revisited and that dual-polarization radar observations, in conjunction with ancillary observations, can be used to verify them.

  8. Understanding the solvent polarity effects on surfactant-capped nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Leekumjorn, Sukit; Gullapalli, Sravani; Wong, Michael S

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the molecular interactions between suspended nanoparticles (NPs) and the suspending solvent fluid may provide a useful avenue to create and to study exotic NP ensembles. This study focused on using a coarse-grained computational model to investigate the molecular interactions between oleate-capped NPs in various solvents, and to relate the results to experimental features of solvent-suspended, oleate-capped CdSe quantum dots (QDs). The QDs were modeled as a closed-shell fullerene molecule with an oleate-like ligand attached to each vertex. Solvent polarity was found to correlate to the simulation and experimental results more strongly than either dielectric constant or dipole moment. Computational results showed that the nonpolar solvents of hexane, toluene, and benzene (polarity index E(T)(N) < 0.120) kept NPs in suspension and solvated the oleate chains such that the oleate layer swelled to full extension. In contrast, as the most polar solvent tested (E(T)(N) = 1.000), water caused NPs to aggregate and precipitate. It partially solvated the oleate chains and compressed the layer to 86% of full extension. For solvents of intermediate polarity like ethanol, acetone, and chloroform, the oleate layer swelled with decreasing polarity index values, with rapid swelling occurring close to E(T)(N) = 0.307 (~50:50 vol % chloroform/acetone) below which QDs were colloidally stable. This study represents the first attempt to delineate the solvent effect on surfactant-coated NP hydrodynamic size, colloidal stability, and aggregation behavior.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Reconstructing the late Holocene expansion of mountain ice caps in west-central Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briner, J. P.; Schweinsberg, A.; Miller, G. H.; Bennike, O.; Lifton, N. A.

    2013-12-01

    The retreat of glaciers is one of the most profound visual manifestations of global warming. Yet without the longer-term context of glacier history, the magnitude of retreat observed today is less meaningful. We are reconstructing the late Holocene history of mountain ice caps in west-central Greenland to determine: 1) the precedence of their current size, 2) the pattern of Neoglaciation across the northwestern North Atlantic, and 3) how their record of Neoglaciation compares with that of the adjacent Greenland Ice Sheet. Our chronology is built on radiocarbon ages from in situ surface moss emerging from receding ice cap margins. We assert that the moss died during ice cap expansion across tundra surfaces, and has since been entombed beneath non-erosive ice cap sectors that we strategically target. Although this project is in its beginning stages, two initial radiocarbon ages from in situ moss that recently were exposed in front of Lyngmarksbræen, a plateau ice cap on southern Disko island, are 3580-3700 and 3450-3570 cal yr BP. The moss became ice free sometime during the summer in which they were collected, and historical imagery shows the sites are tens of meters behind the ice margin in August 23, 2004. The radiocarbon ages indicate that Lyngmarksbræen has not been as small as it is today since ~3500 yr ago. Other age constraints on Neoglaciation from the Disko Bugt region are similar to the ages we obtained here: reworked marine fauna in Greenland Ice Sheet moraines indicate ice sheet growth at this time, and relative sea level records indicate that landscape submergence (due to ice sheet growth) initiated around this time. Furthermore, ice cap melt records demonstrate that ice caps in this sector of the Arctic are melting more today than they have in the past 4000 years. Additional ages from multiple ice cap margins on Disko island, the Nuussuaq peninsula and various locations in the Uummannaq region will be presented. This dataset of ice cap expansion in

  13. Polar cap potential saturation: An energy conservation perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, W. William

    2007-07-01

    In the long run, energy entering the magnetosphere from the solar wind must be balanced by energy dissipation in or escape from the system. It then follows that the Joule heating rate in the ionosphere statistically should be bounded from the upside by the solar wind energy input function (e.g., the Perrault-Akasofu parameter). We show that this energy constraint, coupled with some observationally motivated assumptions about the behavior of the auroral oval under escalating solar wind conditions, leads to the prediction of polar cap potential saturation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  15. Surface mass balance at A.P. Olsen Ice Cap, NE Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillerup Larsen, Signe; Citterio, Michele; Hock, Regine; Ahlstrøm, Andreas Peter

    2015-04-01

    A.P. Olsen Ice Cap is located in Northeast Greenland (74.6° N, 21.5° W), close to the Zackenberg Research Station. Since 2008 the GlacioBasis project has been running a monitoring programme on the SE outlet of A.P. Olsen Ice Cap, the sector draining into the Zackenberg River. The remote location of A.P. Olsen ice cap makes field work limited to the period allowing snow scooter access and the ice cap is therefore visited once per year at the end of the accumulation season. The monitoring consists of a network of 14 ablation and accumulation stakes along with 3 automatic weather stations and annual snow depth profiles using snow radar. Monitoring shows a complex inter-annual and spatial variability in SMB and special care needs to be taken when extrapolating stake measurements to the entire ice cap. We use the distributed energy balance model by Hock and Holmgren (2005) calibrated to the large amount of data that exist for the ice cap, to obtain a SMB record (2008-2014) for the ice cap. We compare our modelling and observation results against river discharge at the mouth of Zackenberg River, and evaluate their relevance at the regional scale in the light of a sensitivity analysis to temperature and snow depth in the model.

  16. The projected demise of Barnes Ice Cap: Evidence of an unusually warm 21st century Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, A.; Flowers, G. E.; Miller, G. H.; Refsnider, K. A.; Young, N. E.; Radić, V.

    2017-03-01

    As a remnant of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, Barnes Ice Cap owes its existence and present form in part to the climate of the last glacial period. The ice cap has been sustained in the present interglacial climate by its own topography through the mass balance-elevation feedback. A coupled mass balance and ice-flow model, forced by Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 climate model output, projects that the current ice cap will likely disappear in the next 300 years. For greenhouse gas Representative Concentration Pathways of +2.6 to +8.5 Wm-2, the projected ice-cap survival times range from 150 to 530 years. Measured concentrations of cosmogenic radionuclides 10Be, 26Al, and 14C at sites exposed near the ice-cap margin suggest the pending disappearance of Barnes Ice Cap is very unusual in the last million years. The data and models together point to an exceptionally warm 21st century Arctic climate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2004-12-01

    The mass balance of high-latitude glaciers and ice sheets is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, but through a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements, some significant changes have been observed in recent years. 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 between the ice sheet and a warming climate. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in recent decades, with increased mass losses during the 1990s in parts of Canada and Alaska. The picture is more complicated in the southern hemisphere, where Antarctic ice is growing in some areas, shrinking dramatically in others, and is essentially in balance elsewhere. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) shows thinning along its northern margin, particularly in the glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea. The western portions of the WAIS, however, show thickening, but in the aggregate the mass loss is believed to exceed the gain. Changes in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet are small, but we don't know at this point whether it is growing or shrinking. On the Antarctic Peninsula, the rapid disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf has resulted in acceleration and thinning of a small number of glaciers that once fed the ice shelf. This behavior raises questions about relatively near-term consequences of climate change and the Antarctic Ice Sheet's contribution to sea level rise. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of their long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Combining ICESat and Aircraft Laser Altimetry Observations to Examine Recent Changes in Canadian Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Thomas, R.; Golder, J.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.

    2004-12-01

    Precise repeat airborne laser surveys were conducted over the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during the spring of 1995 and 2000 to measure elevation changes in the region. Our observations 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. The behavior of the ice caps in the north on the Queen Elizabeth Islands can be explained by recent temperature and precipitation anomalies, but this is not the case for the more southern ice caps on Baffin Island, which appear to be still shrinking in response to the Little Ice Age. The regional characteristics of elevation change as a function of elevation enables an assessment of the Canadian ice caps' contribution to sea level during the 1995-2000 time period. Our estimates place them among the more significant sources of eustatic sea level rise, though they are not as substantial as Greenland ice sheet, Alaskan glaciers, or the Patagonian ice fields. The spring 2004 campaign of the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission provides a means of examining the character of changes since 2000. Comparisons between the ICESat data and the earlier aircraft campaigns where the ICESat ground tracks intersect the aircraft flight lines reveal significant changes in ice cap behavior between the late 1990s and the last four years. The results of these comparisons will be discussed along with the differences in the 1995-2000 and 2000-2004 climate conditions that affect the mass balance and elevation characteristics in those time periods.

  1. 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.

  2. Mars secular obliquity change due to the seasonal polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David P.

    1992-01-01

    There is a weak positive feedback mechanism between the astronomy and meteorology of Mars. The mechanism is this: the seasonal waxing and waning polar caps cause small changes in Mars' dynamical flattening. Because the changes in flattening are out of phase with the sun, there is a net annual solar torque on the planet which increases the angle between the equatorial and orbital phanes. On the basis of Viking observations of the present climate and simple atmospheric models of past climates, these seasonal shifts of mass between the atmosphere and polar caps are capable of secularly increasing Mars' obliquity by about 1 or 2 deg since the origin of the solar system. Thus, the climate, driven largely by the axial tilt, reacts back on the planet and slightly enhances the seasons on Mars as time progresses. More sophisticated models will probably not change this result much; therefore this mechanism probably produced only minor changes in Mars' climate. It causes negligible changes in the axial tilt and climate of the earth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  4. Mars secular obliquity change due to the seasonal polar caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David P.

    1992-01-01

    There is a weak positive feedback mechanism between the astronomy and meteorology of Mars. The mechanism is this: the seasonal waxing and waning polar caps cause small changes in Mars' dynamical flattening. Because the changes in flattening are out of phase with the sun, there is a net annual solar torque on the planet which increases the angle between the equatorial and orbital phanes. On the basis of Viking observations of the present climate and simple atmospheric models of past climates, these seasonal shifts of mass between the atmosphere and polar caps are capable of secularly increasing Mars' obliquity by about 1 or 2 deg since the origin of the solar system. Thus, the climate, driven largely by the axial tilt, reacts back on the planet and slightly enhances the seasons on Mars as time progresses. More sophisticated models will probably not change this result much; therefore this mechanism probably produced only minor changes in Mars' climate. It causes negligible changes in the axial tilt and climate of the earth.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles observed in the Greenland ReCAP ice core project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Vallelonga, Paul; Vinther, Bo; Simonsen, Marius; Maffezzoli, Niccoló; Gkinis, Vasileios; Svensson, Anders; Jensen, Camilla Marie; Dallmayr, Remi; Spolaor, Andrea; Edwards, Ross

    2017-04-01

    The new REnland ice CAP (RECAP) ice core was drilled in summer 2015 in Greenland and measured by means of Continuous flow analysis (CFA) during the last 3 months of 2015. The Renland ice core was obtained as part of the ReCAP project, extending 584.11 meters to the bottom of the Renland ice cap located in east Greenland. The unique position on a mountain saddle above 2000 meters altitude, but close to the coast, ensures that the Renland ice core offers high accumulation, but also reaches far back in time. Results show that despite the short length the RECAP ice core holds ice all the way back to the past warm interglacial period, the Eemian. The glacial section is strongly thinned and covers on 20 meters of the ReCAP core, but nonetheless due to the high resolution of the measurements all 25 expected DO events could be identified. The record was analyzed for multiple elements including the water isotopes, forest fire tracers NH4+ and black carbon, insoluble dust particles by means of Abakus laser particle counter and the dust ion Ca2+, sea salt Na+, and sea ice proxies as well as acidity useful for finding volcanic layers to date the core. Below the glacial section another 20 meters of warm Eemian ice have been analysed. Here we present the chemistry results as obtained by continuous flow analysis (CFA) and compare the glacial section with the chemistry profile from other Greenland ice cores.

  8. Arecibo radar imagery of Mars: II. Chryse-Xanthe, polar caps, and other regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, John K.; Nolan, Michael C.

    2017-01-01

    other ice processes in the dichotomy boundary region. The first delay-Doppler images of the radar-bright features from the north and south polar icecaps are presented. Both poles show the circular polarization inversion and high reflectivity characteristic of coherent volume backscatter from relatively clean ice. The south polar feature is primarily backscatter from the residual CO2 icecap (with a lesser contribution from the polar layered deposits), whose finite optical depth probably accounts for the feature's strong S/X-band wavelength dependence. Conversely, the north polar radar feature appears to be mostly backscatter from the H2O-ice-rich polar layered deposits rather than from the thin residual H2O cap. The north polar region shows additional radar-bright features from Korolev Crater and a few other outlying circumpolar ice deposits.

  9. Improving the twilight model for polar cap absorption nowcasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, N. C.; Kero, A.; Honary, F.; Verronen, P. T.; Warrington, E. M.; Danskin, D. W.

    2016-11-01

    During solar proton events (SPE), energetic protons ionize the polar mesosphere causing HF radio wave attenuation, more strongly on the dayside where the effective recombination coefficient, αeff, is low. Polar cap absorption models predict the 30 MHz cosmic noise absorption, A, measured by riometers, based on real-time measurements of the integrated proton flux-energy spectrum, J. However, empirical models in common use cannot account for regional and day-to-day variations in the daytime and nighttime profiles of αeff(z) or the related sensitivity parameter, m=A>/&sqrt;J. Large prediction errors occur during twilight when m changes rapidly, and due to errors locating the rigidity cutoff latitude. Modeling the twilight change in m as a linear or Gauss error-function transition over a range of solar-zenith angles (χl < χ < χu) provides a better fit to measurements than selecting day or night αeff profiles based on the Earth-shadow height. Optimal model parameters were determined for several polar cap riometers for large SPEs in 1998-2005. The optimal χl parameter was found to be most variable, with smaller values (as low as 60°) postsunrise compared with presunset and with positive correlation between riometers over a wide area. Day and night values of m exhibited higher correlation for closely spaced riometers. A nowcast simulation is presented in which rigidity boundary latitude and twilight model parameters are optimized by assimilating age-weighted measurements from 25 riometers. The technique reduces model bias, and root-mean-square errors are reduced by up to 30% compared with a model employing no riometer data assimilation.

  10. Polar cap hot patches: Enhanced density structures different from the classical patches in the ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q.-H.; Ma, Y.-Z.; Jayachandran, P. T.; Moen, J.; Lockwood, M.; Zhang, Y.-L.; Foster, J. C.; Zhang, S.-R.; Wang, Y.; Themens, D. R.; Zhang, B.-C.; Xing, Z. Y.

    2017-08-01

    Based on in situ and ground-based observations, a new type of "polar cap hot patch" has been identified that is different from the classical polar cap enhanced density structure (cold patches). Comparing with the classical polar cap patches, which are transported from the dayside sunlit region with dense and cold plasma, the polar cap hot patches are associated with particle precipitations (therefore field-aligned currents), ion upflows, and flow shears. The hot patches may have the same order of density enhancement as classical patches in the topside ionosphere, suggesting that the hot patches may be produced by transported photoionization plasma into flow channels. Within the flow channels, the hot patches have low-energy particle precipitation and/or ion upflows associated with field-aligned currents and flow shears. Corresponding Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal scintillation measurements indicate that hot patches may produce slightly stronger radio signal scintillation in the polar cap region than classical patches. A new type of polar cap patches, "polar cap hot patches," is identified to differentiate enhanced density structures from classical patches. Hot patches are associated with particle precipitations, ion upflows, field-aligned currents, and shear flows in the polar cap. Hot patches may lead to slightly stronger ionospheric scintillations of GNSS signals in the polar cap region than classical patches.

  11. Simulating the climatic response of Hardangerjøkulen ice cap since the Little Ice Age with ISSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åkesson, Henning; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Giesen, Rianne H.; Morlighem, Mathieu

    2014-05-01

    Glaciers and small ice caps respond considerably faster to climate change than the large ice sheets Greenland and Antarctica. We use the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to model the dynamics and evolution of the maritime-continental Hardangerjøkulen ice cap (73 km^2, 60.55°N, 7.43°E) from the Little Ice Age (LIA) until today. ISSM is a finite element model with anisotropic mesh capabilities (resolution can be refined in regions of interest) and includes different approximations for the dynamics of ice flow, including the Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA) and Full-Stokes. The SIA neglects important stresses when topography is complex; however it has proved accurate in representing glacier volume fluctuations on decadal and longer timescales. As Hardangerjøkulen has relatively gentle slopes and lacks areas of very fast flow, we choose to use the SIA to study this ice cap on climatic time scales. As initial forcing for the ice flow model, we use a dynamically calibrated mass balance history corresponding to moraine evidence from the Little Ice Age maximum in 1750 AD, as well as later outlet glacier front positions from moraines, direct measurements and aerial photographs. For the 1900s, we use surface mass balance from a spatially distributed energy-balance model using data from meteorological stations as forcing. Glaciological mass balance records and front positions for the two main outlet glaciers, along with surface DEMs, are used for calibration. We investigate total ice volume and outlet glacier responses since the LIA. The sensitivity to surface mass balance as well as the applicability of the SIA to small ice caps is also discussed. Finally, our findings are compared and contrasted with previous model results for Hardangerjøkulen.

  12. Increased capture of magma in the crust promoted by ice-cap retreat in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Andrew; Ófeigsson, Benedikt; Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Lund, Björn; Einarsson, Páll; Geirsson, Halldór; Sturkell, Erik

    2011-11-01

    Climate warming at the end of the last glaciation caused ice caps on Icelandic volcanoes to retreat. Removal of surface ice load is thought to have decreased pressures in the underlying mantle, triggering decompression melting, enhanced magma generation and increased volcanic activity. Present-day climate change could have the same effect, although there may be a time lag of hundreds of years between magma generation and eruption. However, in addition to increased magma generation, pressure changes associated with ice retreat should also alter the capacity for storing magma within the crust. Here we use a numerical model to evaluate the effect of the current decrease in ice load on magma storage in the crust at the Kverkfjöll volcanic system, located partially beneath Iceland's largest ice cap. We compare the model results with radar and global positioning system measurements of surface displacement and changes in crustal stress between 2007 and 2008, during the intrusion of a deep dyke at Upptyppingar. We find that although the main component of stress recorded during dyke intrusion relates to plate extension, another component of stress is consistent with the stress field caused by the retreating ice cap. We conclude that the retreating ice cap led to enhanced capture of magma within the crust. We suggest that ice-cap retreat can promote magma storage, rather than eruption, at least in the short term.

  13. South Polar Residual Cap of Mars: Features Within, and Models of, MRO HiRISE Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    We report on observations by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) of the south polar residual CO2 cap of Mars and our related modeling efforts. HiRISE is currently acquiring continuous coverage of this deposit at spatial resolutions of up to 25 cm/px in three separate bands. Several previously undetected features in this CO2 landscape have been noted such as networks of linear ridges and some examples of mass wasting at the rims of pits within the ice. The thicker portions of the CO2 ice appear to be composed of roughly 10 layers. Previous MOC observations have shown that features within this landscape are evolving at meters per year. HiRISE observations will resolve the seasonal dependence of this expansion by the end of the Martian year. High resolution color data are currently showing that the seasonal frost is in the process of disappearing over exposures of the layers on the walls of the CO2 mesas. Although their ablation rates determine that they must be mostly composed of CO2 ice their color is much redder than expected which could possibly be due to dust contamination or grain-size effects. We have modeled the evolution of this CO2 landscape and reproduced its evolution as observed by previous spacecraft. These models have also successfully predicted some features visible at HiRISE resolution such as the linear ridges mentioned above. We report on these new observations and how they extend our current models. Model results have already suggested that the thick portions of this CO2 deposit are likely to be 50- 100 Martian year old, implying that the individual layers observed by HiRISE represent periods of time of order a few Martian years. Global dust storms occur with a similar frequency and may be modulating the behavior of the ice cap.

  14. Simultaneous polar cap and magnetotail observations of intense polar rain. [precipitation of low-energy electrons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenspan, M. E.; Meng, C.-I.; Fairfield, D. H.

    1986-01-01

    The significance of acceleration processes in accounting for the energies and temperatures of the electrons seen during periods of intense polar rain is investigated along with the role of the IMF and solar wind in controlling the polar rain. Evidence for an acceleration region is sought by comparing DMSP observations of the precipitating electrons over the polar cap with simultaneous ISEE 1 electron measurements in the conjugate tail lobe at distances between 10 and 22.6 earth radii. The second question is explored by examining the solar wind and IMF conditions during which the intense polar rain events occur. It is found that intense polar rain can pass through the tail lobes without undergoing acceleration between 22.6 earth radii and 800 km altitude.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Mapping TES Aerobreaking Data of The Martian Polar Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altunaiji, E. S.; Edwards, C. S.; Smith, M. D.; AlShamsi, M. R.; AlJanaahi, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this paper is to create maps of the north and south Mars polar caps using Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aerobreaking surface temperature data in south and north as well as Lambert albedo data in the south. TES is an instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. It has six detectors arranged in a 2x3 array with a nominal spot size of 3 × 6 km; however, given the elliptical nature of the orbit during aerobreaking the footprint can be significantly larger (10s of km), especially over the southern hemisphere. TES is a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer designed to study the Martian surface and atmosphere using thermal infrared emission spectroscopy. It is composed of 2 separate channels, a broadband visible/near-infrared bolometer and hyperspectral thermal infrared spectrometer with a broadband thermal infrared bolometer. TES aerobraking spectra were taken between Mars Year 23, Ls=180° and Mars Year 24, Ls=30°. To determine the footprint location on the surface, geometry is calculated using the Spacecraft Planet Instrument Camera Matrix and Event (SPICE) Toolkit. These data were then binned and mapped to surface in polar stereographic projection. While some early studies focused on these data, we have expanded upon the ranges, generated time-/seasonally-binned data, and re-examined this largely underutilized set of data from TES ultimately extending the record of polar science on Mars.

  18. 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, Jérôme; Berthier, Etienne; Bernard, Marc; Rémy, Frédérique; Thouvenot, Eric

    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. Unfortunately, the precision and/or spatial coverage of current satellite missions (radar altimetry, ICESat) or field surveys are generally insufficient. 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) international polar year (IPY) project. SPIRIT will allow (1) the acquisition of a large archive of SPOT 5 stereoscopic images covering most polar ice masses and, (2) the 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 April 2008). We also provide the first accuracy assessments of the SPIRIT DTMs. Over Jakobshavn Isbrae (West Greenland), SPIRIT elevations are within ±6 m of ICESat elevations for 90% of the data. 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 then 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 30-40 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. An unusual strolling motion of polar cap patches: an implication of the influence of tail reconnection on the nightside polar cap convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, K.; Moen, J. I.; Jayachandran, P. T.; Shiokawa, K.; Otsuka, Y.

    2012-04-01

    On January 12, 2005, a successive appearance of polar cap patches on the nightside was observed in the image captured by an all-sky imager (ASI) at Resolute Bay, Canada (74.73°N, 265.07°E). During the interval, the patches showed an unusual strolling motion in which their moving direction was very drastically changed twice (antisunward-dawnward-duskward). One may suspect that such changes in motion were caused by the reconfiguration of the polar cap convection due to a change in the IMF By. However, there were no remarkable variations in the sign of the IMF By in the solar wind data, which indicates that the unusual behavior of the patches was independent of the IMF-driven polar cap convection changes. Before the first change in the motion occurred, a transient bright aurora appeared in the equatorward part of the field-of-view in the dawn side. Immediately after the appearance of the transient auroral feature, the direction of the motion of the patches changed from anti-sunward to dawnward as if the patches were drawn into the aurora. After the disappearance of the aurora, the patches once almost stagnated but subsequently started to move duskward and anti-sunward. We interpret the bright auroral feature as a signature of the poleward boundary intensification (PBI), which is an ionospheric manifestation of an enhanced reconnection in the magnetotail. Accordingly, we speculate that an excited flow across the open-closed field line boundary redirected the anti-sunward polar cap convection towards the PBI and then allowed the patches to be drawn into the aurora near the polar cap boundary. This study indicates the importance of the tail reconnection as a driver of the nightside polar cap convection, resulting in the dynamical characteristics of polar cap patches; this relation may enable us to monitor the activity of the tail reconnection by using the motion of polar cap patches as an indicator.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. Pitting within the Martian South Polar Residual Cap: Evidence for Pressurized Subsurface Carbon Dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

    We present observations of small-scale pitting within the Swiss cheese terrain of the carbon dioxide South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC) and consider the implications of their rapid cascade-like evolution. We show that such pitting cascades: (1) only occur near the walls of thick Swiss cheese mesas; (2) rarely occur in polygonally-cracked mesas; and (3) occur far more often in Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Years 2 and 3 than in MGS Year 1. We propose that pitting results from depressurization of a sealed layer, which requires subsurface heating that cannot be presently maintained by lateral heat conduction. Instead, we attribute the pressurization and heating implied by pitting to a solid state greenhouse initiated by the recent formation of slab CO2 ice during the southern spring and summer of MGS Year 1, which we show is consistent with Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) 25-micron band depth measurements of the SPRC over the last three Mars years.

  10. 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.

  11. An Introduction to Ice in the Polar Oceans.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-01

    climate over the polar oceans that is more char- acteristic of the continental ice sheets than of a marine environment. By area, sea ice accounts for...toward Fram Strait in the Eurasian Basin. Average displacements are approximately 7 km/day. Ice movement in the Greenland and Bering seas tends to be...Strait, this is small compared to the export through Fram Strait. On an annual basis roughly 10% of the ice in the basin drifts into the Greenland Sea

  12. Modis LST as an Index of Summer Melt Conditions over Arctic Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geai, M. E.; Sharp, M. J.

    2011-12-01

    Despite the large area of glacier ice in the Arctic, very few in situ mass balance and air temperature measurements exist over Arctic ice caps. There is therefore a need to develop proxy records of summer melt conditions on these ice caps in order to identify spatial patterns and temporal trends in surface mass balance across the region. Analysis of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived land surface temperatures (LST) may provide a method to evaluate melt and climate trends over Arctic ice caps for the last decade. MODIS LST data were used to derive the seasonal mean of 8-day average values of daytime clear-sky surface temperature over 30 Arctic ice caps for each melt season from 2000 to 2010. LST was retrieved for a specified area within each individual ice cap, defined as the largest contiguous area of ice and snow within that ice cap. The melt season was defined as the period between the 10-year mean of melt onset and freeze-up dates derived from QuikScat. Given the potential biases introduced by the facts that a) LST data are available only for clear sky days and b) cloudiness likely varies substantially across the Arctic glaciated regions, there is a need to verify LST measurements against known changes in air temperature across all these regions. NCEP/NCAR R1 Reanalysis temperatures provide a single consistent dataset with which to evaluate air temperature trends. Ice caps in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) and Greenland display a common shift toward strong positive anomalies in the 2000's (0.45 to 1.2°C). The Iceland and Svalbard ice caps show weaker positive air temperature anomalies in the same period (0.38 to 0.4°C), while the Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land ice caps (Russia) display negative anomalies (-0.10 to -0.25°C). LST track the NCEP air temperature records at 700 hPa in the CAA (r2 0.6 to 0.96) and northern Svalbard (r2 0.6 to 0.76) only. This talk will explore whether the observed

  13. Residual south polar cap of Mars: Stratigraphy, history, and implications of recent changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, P. C.; James, P. B.; Calvin, W. M.; Haberle, R.; Malin, M. C.

    2009-10-01

    The residual south polar cap (RSPC) of Mars includes a group of different depositional units of CO 2 ice undergoing a variety of erosional processes. Complete summer coverage of the RSPC by ˜6-m/pixel data of the Context Imager (CTX) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has allowed mapping and inventory of the units in the RSPC. Unit maps and estimated thicknesses indicate the total volume of the RSPC is currently <380 km 3, and represents less than 3% of the total mass of the current Mars atmosphere. Scarp retreat rates in the CO 2 ice derived from comparison of High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) data with earlier images are comparable to those obtained for periods up to 3 Mars years earlier. These rates, combined with sizes of depressions suggest that the oldest materials were deposited more than 125 Mars years ago. Most current erosion is by backwasting of scarps 1-12 m in height. This backwasting is initiated by a series of scarp-parallel fractures. In the older, thicker unit these fractures form about every Mars year; in thinner, younger materials they form less frequently. Some areas of the older, thicker unit are lost by downwasting rather than by the scarp retreat. A surprising finding from the HiRISE data is the scarcity of visible layering of RSPC materials, a result quite distinct from previous interpretations of layers in lower resolution images. Layers ˜0.1 m thick are exposed on the upper surfaces of some areas, but their timescale of deposition is not known. Late summer albedo changes mapped by the CTX images indicate local recycling of ice, although the amounts may be morphologically insignificant. Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) data show that the primary material of all the different forms of the RSPC is CO 2 ice with only small admixtures of water ice and dust.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. Two-dimensional prognostic experiments for fast-flowing ice streams from the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konovalov, Yuri V.; Nagornov, Oleg V.

    2017-04-01

    Prognostic experiments for fast-flowing ice streams on the southern side of the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap on Komsomolets Island, Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, were undertaken in this study. The experiments were based on inversions of basal friction coefficients using a two-dimensional flow-line thermocoupled model and Tikhonov's regularization method. The modeled ice temperature distributions in the cross sections were obtained using ice surface temperature histories that were inverted previously from borehole temperature profiles derived at the summit of the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap and the elevational gradient of ice surface temperature changes (about 6.5 °C km-1). Input data included interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) ice surface velocities, ice surface elevations, and ice thicknesses obtained from airborne measurements, while the surface mass balance was adopted from previous investigations for the implementation of both the forward and inverse problems. The prognostic experiments revealed that both ice mass and ice stream extent declined for the reference time-independent surface mass balance. Specifically, the grounding line retreated: (a) along the B-B' flow line from ˜ 40 to ˜ 30 km (the distance from the summit), (b) along the C-C' flow line from ˜ 43 to ˜ 37 km, and (c) along the D-D' flow line from ˜ 41 to ˜ 32 km, when considering a time period of 500 years and assuming a time-independent surface mass balance. Ice flow velocities in the ice streams decreased with time and this trend resulted in the overall decline of the outgoing ice flux. Generally, the modeled glacial evolution was in agreement with observations of deglaciation of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.

  18. Two-dimensional prognostic experiments for fast-flowing ice streams from the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konovalov, Y. V.; Nagornov, O. V.

    2017-01-01

    The prognostic experiments for fast-flowing ice streams on the southern side of the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap in the Komsomolets Island, Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, are implemented in this study. These experiments are based on inversions of basal friction coefficients using a two-dimensional flow-line thermo-coupled model and the Tikhonov’s regularization method. The modeled ice temperature distributions in the cross-sections were obtained using the ice surface temperature histories that were inverted previously from the borehole temperature profile derived at the summit of the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap and employing elevational gradient of ice surface temperature changes, which is equal to about 6.5 °C km-1. Input data included InSAR ice surface velocities, ice surface elevations, and ice thicknesses obtained from airborne measurements and the surface mass balance, were adopted from previous investigations for the implementation of both the forward and inverse problems. The prognostic experiments reveal that both ice mass and ice stream extents decline for the reference time-independent surface mass balance. Specifically, the grounding line retreats (a) along the B–B‧ flow line from ∼40 km to ∼30 km (the distance from the summit), (b) along the C–C‧ flow line from ∼43 km to ∼37 km, and (c) along the D–D‧ flow line from ∼41 km to ∼32 km considering a time period of 500 years and assuming time-independent surface mass balance. Ice flow velocities in the ice streams decrease with time and this trend results in the overall decline of the outgoing ice flux. Generally, the modeled evolution is in agreement with observations of deglaciation of Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, E. J.

    1981-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. How well is firn densification represented by a physically-based multilayer model? Model evaluation for the Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gascon, G.; Sharp, M. J.; Burgess, D. O.; Bezeau, P. L.; Bush, A. B.; Morin, S.; Lafaysse, M.

    2013-12-01

    Mass loss from polar ice sheets and ice caps contributes significantly to eustatic sea level rise and has been increasing since the beginning of the 21st century. Refreezing and retention of meltwater in firn currently limit the amount of surface runoff from polar ice sheets and ice caps that reaches the oceans. Evaluation of how accurately snowpack models can capture the hydrological processes that govern refreezing and retention is critical to determining how well they are likely to simulate future glacier mass balance changes and their implications for global sea level. Here, we compare simulations with the Crocus snowpack model with the evolving firn stratigraphy recorded in 14 firn cores drilled at 4 elevations in the accumulation zone of the Devon Ice Cap, Canada during a period of rapid summer warming between 2004 and 2012. Simulations were forced with a combination of surface meteorological observations and NCEP's NARR reanalysis data. Crocus performs relatively well at all sites, with modeled mass bias in the upper 15 m of the firn ranging between -2 and +16% relative to observations. Model over-estimation of mass retention is caused by a combination of excess refreezing of meltwater in the upper 4 m of the firn, and underestimation of the preservation of residual firn beneath thick ice layers due to overestimation of vertical flow of meltwater through such layers.

  2. Current-use and legacy pesticide history in the Austfonna Ice Cap, Svalbard, Norway.

    PubMed

    Hermanson, Mark H; Isaksson, Elisabeth; Teixeira, Camilla; Muir, Derek C G; Compher, Kevin M; Li, Y F; Igarashi, Makoto; Kamiyama, Kokichi

    2005-11-01

    The Svalbard archipelago in arctic Norway receives considerable semivolatile organic contaminant (SOC) inputs from the atmosphere. To measure the history of net SOC accumulation there, we analyzed the upper 40 m of an ice core from Austfonna, the largest ice cap in Eurasia, for several legacy organochlorine (OC) compounds and current-use pesticides (CUPs) including organophosphorus (OP), triazine, dinitroaniline, and chloroacetamide compounds. Five OP compounds (chlorpyrifos, terbufos, diazinon, methyl parathion, and fenitrothion), two OCs (methoxychlor and dieldrin), and metolachlor--an herbicide--had historical profiles in the core. The highest OC concentration observed was aldrin (69.0 ng L(-1)) in the surface sample (1992-1998). The most concentrated OP was dimethoate (87.0 ng L(-1)) between 1986 and 1992. The surface sample also had highest concentrations of pendimethalin (herbicide, 18.6 ng L(-1)) and flutriafol, the lone observed fungicide (9.6 ng L(-1)). The apparent atmospheric persistence of CUPs likely results from little or no oxidation by OH* during the dark polar winter and in spring. Long-range atmospheric pesticide transport to Svalbard from Eurasia is influenced by the positive state of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index since 1980 and also by occasional fast-moving summer air masses from northern Eurasian croplands.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  4. Geodetic glacier mass balancing on ice caps - inseparably connected to firn modelling?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saß, Björn L.; Sauter, Tobias; Seehaus, Thorsten; Braun, Matthias H.

    2017-04-01

    Observed melting of glaciers and ice caps in the polar regions contribute to the ongoing global sea level rise (SLR). A rising sea level and its consequences are one of the major challenges for coastal societies in the next decades to centuries. Gaining knowledge about the main drivers of SLR and bringing it together is one recent key-challenge for environmental science. The high arctic Svalbard archipelago faced a strong climatic change in the last decades, associated with a change in the cryosphere. Vestfonna, a major Arctic ice cap in the north east of Svalbard, harbors land and marine terminating glaciers, which expose a variability of behavior. We use high resolution remote sensing data from space-borne radar (TanDEM-X, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1a), acquired between 2009 and 2015, to estimate glacier velocity and high accurate surface elevation changes. For DEM registration we use space-borne laser altimetry (ICESat) and an existing in-situ data archive (IPY Kinnvika). In order to separate individual glacier basin changes for a detailed mass balance study and for further SLR contribution estimates, we use glacier outlines from the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) project. Remaining challenges of space-borne observations are the reduction of measurement uncertainties, in the case of Synthetic Aperture Radar most notably signal penetration into the glacier surface. Furthermore, in order to convert volume to mass change one has to use the density of the changed mass (conversion factor) and one has to account for the mass conservation processes in the firn package (firn compaction). Both, the conversion factor and the firn compaction are not (yet) measurable for extensive ice bodies. They have to be modelled by coupling point measurements and regional gridded climate data. Results indicate a slight interior thickening contrasted with wide spread thinning in the ablation zone of the marine terminating outlets. While one glacier system draining to the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Global Observation of Substorm Growth Phase Processes in the Polar Caps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M.; OFillingim, M. O.; Chua, D.; Wilber, M.; Parks, G. K.; Germany, G. A.; Spann, J. F.

    1998-01-01

    Global images of the polar cap region during the substorm growth phase by the Polar Ultraviolet Imager reveals evidence of the processes which are not completely explained by current models. In particular, it was found that size of the polar cap region increases during the growth phase even if the interplanetary magnetic field has no southward component. Three phenomena were observed to produce an increase in the size of the polar cap: (1) motion of the auroral oval to lower latitude, (2) thinning of the auroral oval, and (3) reduction of intense aurora[ precipitation in the polar region. Correlation of image intensities with in situ particle measurements from the FAST satellite are being conducted to study the three growth phase phenomena; and to help identify the source regions of the particles, the mechanisms involved in producing the auroral structures and what may be reducing the polar cap precipitation during the substorm growth phase.

  9. Modeling the Stability of the Large CO2 Deposits on Mars South Polar Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomason, C.; Phillips, R. J.; Mellon, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Shallow Radar instrument (SHARAD) revealed that the geologic unit AA3 (Tanaka et al. 2007) in Mars' South Polar Layered Deposits is composed of CO2 ice (Phillips et al. 2011). This deposit is estimated to contain ~10,000 km3 of CO2 ice, making its stability an important consideration in understanding recent climate change, as the deposit mass approaches that of the present atmosphere. Such a large mass would likely be deposited during a period of low obliquity, however different values for the emissivity and albedo of the CO2 frost can dramatically change age estimates (Armstrong et al. 2004). Previous models have focused on the stability of the South Pole Residual Cap (SPRC) where the CO2 ice is exposed to the atmosphere. AA3 however, is largely covered by the SPRC and other thinner deposits. In this research we evaluate the age and long-term stability of the AA3 deposit using standard thermal and sublimation modeling techniques. Our model incorporates diurnal and annual thermal variations that are allowed to propagate into the subsurface. In order to address the effect of the overlying layers on AA3 we take account for both surface and subsurface sublimation. Any gas produced in the subsurface is then allowed to diffuse through the overlying material. Results are compared to a variety of spacecraft observations including visible imagery and thermal measurements. Additionally, these results should help guide interpretation of SHARAD data in the AA3 region and point to locales for new observations. References: Tanaka et al. 2007, 'Recent advances in the stratigraphy of the polar regions of Mars.' Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Mars, Pasadena, CA, 9 to 13 July 2007, 3276. Phillips et al. 2011, Massive CO2 Ice Deposits Sequestered in the South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars, Science 332: 838-841. Armstrong et al. 2004, A 1 Gyr climate model for Mars: new orbital statistics and the importance of seasonally

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Duke, Michael B

    2002-03-01

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

  13. Three decades of elevation change of the Geikie Plateau ice cap, East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahlstrom, A. P.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg, L.; Citterio, M.; Kjaer, K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, S. A.; Andersen, S. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Geikie Plateau is a major marine-terminating local ice cap located in central East Greenland just south of Scoresby Sund, covering approx. 7,500 sqkm. South of this region, the Greenland ice sheet has experienced dramatic ice loss over the recent decade, whereas the response has been less prominent north of the region. For the Geikie Plateau itself, ICESat elevation measurements show a thinning of the ice margin and a slight thickening of the interior over the period 2002-2009 (Bolch et al., 2013). However, a longer time span is required to evaluate volume change in the context of climate change. In this work we will compare remotely sensed elevation data collected over more than three decades from the Geikie Ice Cap to evaluate volume change. Elevation data was obtained from aerial stereophotogrammetry based on orthophotos from 1981, spaceborne laser altimetry from ICESat over the period 2002-2009, aerial laser altimetry by the NASA IceBridge campaign 2010-2012 and aerial laser altimetry by the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Geodata Agency covering 1996-2012. The comparison will facilitate an enhanced understanding of recent mass loss from ice caps and glaciers in East Greenland which is home to nearly half the local ice masses in Greenland.

  14. Dynamics of the Auroral Luminosity Boundary of the Polar Cap During Substorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M. J.; Chua, D.; Fillingim, M. O.; Parks, G. K.; Spann, James F., Jr.; Germany, G. A.

    1999-01-01

    The area of the polar cap during substorms has been measured using images from the Polar Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) for different interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. Changes in the poleward boundary of auroral luminosity have been analyzed in relation to substorm phase and IMF orientation. Reconnection models of flux transport into the polar cap during the substorm growth phase, and loss from the polar cap during the expansion phase, provide a framework by which these UVI observations can be analyzed. By comparison of the observations with the model predictions we can determine to what extent these models accurately predict the polar cap dynamics, and also where anomalous behavior calls for a new understanding of the dynamics beyond what these models provide. It was found that the polar cap boundary near noon and midnight usually shifted down in latitude by 1-2 degrees and 3-4 degrees respectively, increasing the area of the polar cap during the substorm growth phase as predicted. However, this growth phase phenomenon also unexpectedly occurs independently of the IMF Bz component, as shown for a substorm on January 9, 1997. The polar cap area also increased due to motion of the dawn and dusk aurora to lower latitudes, although the latitudinal shifts were asymmetric, not always concurrent, and continued well into the substorm expansion phase. The polar cap area decreased immediately following the expansion phase due to the poleward motion of the aurora on the nightside, consistent with the model prediction. What is not explained by the models is that the poleward auroral boundary in the nightside region sometimes reached very high latitudes (greater than 80 degrees MLat) greatly decreasing the polar cap area, independent of the magnitude of the substorm.

  15. 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.

  16. Pulsar bi-drifting: implications for polar cap geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Geoff; Weltevrede, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    For many years it has been considered puzzling how pulsar radio emission, supposedly created by a circulating carousel of sub-beams, can produce the drift bands demonstrated by PSR J0815+0939, and more recently PSR B1839-04, which simultaneously drifts in opposing directions. Here, we suggest that the carousels of these pulsars, and hence their beams, are not circular but elliptical with axes tilted with respect to the fiducial plane. We show that certain relatively unusual lines of sight can cause bi-drifting to be observed, and a simulation of the two known exemplars is presented. Although bi-drifting is rare, non-circular beams may be common among pulsars and reveal themselves by having profile centroids displaced from the fiducial plane identified by polarization position angle swings. They may also result in profiles with asymmetric- and frequency-dependent component evolution. It is further suggested that the carousels may change their tilt by specific amounts and later reverse them. This may occur suddenly, accompanying a mode change (e.g. PSR B0943+10), or more gradually and short lived as in `flare' pulsars (e.g. PSR B1859+07). A range of pulsar behaviour (e.g. the shifting drift patterns of PSRs B0818-41 and B0826-34) may also be the result of non-circular carousels with varying orientation. The underlying nature of these carousels - whether they are exclusively generated by polar cap physics or driven by magnetospheric effects - is briefly discussed.

  17. Correlation of solar energetic protons and polar cap absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, J. D.; Armstrong, T. P.; Laird, C. M.; Detrick, D. L.; Weatherwax, A. T.

    2001-01-01

    This study shows the results of a model of polar cap absorption events (PCAs) using solar energetic proton flux as an input. The proton data are recorded by the Charged Particle Measurement Experiment (CPME) on board the IMP 8 satellite and are collected by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. The IMP 8 satellite orbits the Earth at distances between 30 and 35 Earth radii, which places it in the solar energetic particle environment throughout most of its orbit. It has been shown in previous studies that these solar energetic particles have direct and immediate access to the polar atmosphere [Reid, 1970]. Our model shows that the majority of the ionization resulting from the influx of solar energetic protons occurs in the altitude range from ~50-90 km. Excess ionization at these altitudes causes enhanced absorption of cosmic HF radio waves. The levels of absorption used for comparison in this study were measured directly by the riometer at South Pole station, Antarctica. The results show a very strong correlation between the incident proton flux and measured path-integrated cosmic HF radio noise absorption for significant events, involving absorptions greater than 1.0 dB. For absorption levels lower than this it is obvious that other phenomena dominate. For HF radio waves the primary contributors to PCA are protons with energies near 20 MeV. This study extends the correlated observations of interplanetary particles and PCA throughout a 9-year period. The close quantitative agreement between the measured and calculated values of absorption supports the validity of the assumptions and suppositions made by this model. The data also suggest a method by which the path-integrated cosmic noise absorption may be used to probe the E and D layers of the ionosphere to determine the effective ion-electron recombination coefficients within these regions.

  18. 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

  19. Advance of Western Margin of the Vavilov Ice Cap Assessed by Remote Sensing Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bushueva, Irina; Glazovsky, Andrey; Nosenko, Gennady

    2017-04-01

    The Vavilov ice cap (79.30˚ N, 95.47˚ E) is situated on October Revolution Island of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. The purpose of this work is to reconstruct the position of the western margin of Vavilov ice cap using remote sensing data covering the period 1963-2016. The images from Landsat-1, 5, 7, 8, Terra (ASTER) and Corona were applied. The main criteria for image selection were minimal cloudiness, minimal quantity of sea ice near the ice cap front, sufficient illumination, and preferably the end of ablation period. As a result, 27 images were selected. All of them were pansharpened and their georeference was corrected using images from Landsat-8. Then the ice cap margin was digitized manually and main metrical parameters were calculated. As a result, we found out that from 1963 to 2016 the ice cap margin advanced seaward more than by 11 km, and its area increased by 125.6 km2. The accelerated advance started in 2010, and from 2010 to 2015 the margin advanced by 5.5 km. In summer 2016 the marginal front terminated in sea began to disintegrate. To evaluate the volume changes of western part of Vavilov ice cap digital elevation models (DEM) were used. We used ASTER DEMs of 2000 and 2015, which were applied to estimate changes above sea level, and radar data obtained during fieldwork in 2014 and topographic maps of scale 1:200 000 to estimate changes below sea level. Above the contour line of 100 m (2015) the main trunk of the newly formed outlet glacier thinned by at least 1.918 km3, and at the same time its snout increased by 4.101 km3. This study is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant 16-35-00333.

  20. Interannual and seasonal changes in the south seasonal polar cap of Mars: Observations from MY 28-31 using MARCI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvin, W. M.; Cantor, B. A.; James, P. B.

    2017-08-01

    The Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides daily synoptic coverage that allows monitoring of seasonal cap retreat and interannual changes that occur between Mars Years (MY) and over the southern summer. We present the first analysis of this data for the southern seasonal cap evolution observed in MY 28, 29, 30 and 31 (2/2007 to 07/2013). Observation over multiple Mars years allows us to compare changes between years as well as longer-term evolution of the high albedo deposits at the poles. Seasonal cap retreat is similar in all years and to retreats observed in other years by both optical and thermal instruments. The cryptic terrain has a fairly consistent boundary in each year, but numerous small-scale variations occur in each MY observed. Additionally, numerous small dark deposits are identified outside the classically identified cyptic region, including Inca City and other locations not previously noted. The large water ice outlier is observed to retain seasonal frost the longest (outside the polar dome) and is also highly variable in each MY. The development of the cryptic/anti-cryptic hemispheres is inferred to occur due to albedo variations that develop after dust venting starts and may be caused by recondensation of CO2 ice on the brightest and coldest regions controlled by topographic winds. Ground ice may play a role in which regions develop cryptic terrain, as there is no elevation control on either cryptic terrain or the late season brightest deposits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, Peter

    2013-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Sea ice classification using dual polarization SAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huiying, Liu; Huadong, Guo; Lu, Zhang

    2014-03-01

    Sea ice is an indicator of climate change and also a threat to the navigation security of ships. Polarimetric SAR images are useful in the sea ice detection and classification. In this paper, backscattering coefficients and texture features derived from dual polarization SAR images are used for sea ice classification. Firstly, the HH image is recalculated based on the angular dependences of sea ice types. Then the effective gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) texture features are selected for the support vector machine (SVM) classification. In the end, because sea ice concentration can provide a better separation of pancake ice from old ice, it is used to improve the SVM result. This method provides a good classification result, compared with the sea ice chart from CIS.

  4. Flow dynamics and iceberg calving rates of Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, David O.; Sharp, Martin J.; Mair, Douglas W. F.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Benham, Toby J.

    The surface velocity field of Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada, was mapped using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Ascending European Remote-sensing Satellite 1 and 2 (ERS-1/-2) tandem mode data were used for the western and southeast sectors, and 3 day repeat pass ERS-1 imagery for the northeast sector. Speckle-tracking procedures were used with RADARSAT 1 imagery to obtain surface velocities over the terminus of Belcher Glacier (a major calving front) where decorrelation between ERS data occurred. The InSAR data highlight a significant contrast in ice-flow dynamics between the east and west sides of the ice cap. Ice movement west of the main north south divide is dominated by relatively uniform 'sheet' flow, but three fast-flowing outlet glaciers that extend 14 23 km beyond the ice-cap margin also drain this region. Several outlet glaciers that extend up to 60 km inland from the eastern margin drain the eastern side of the ice cap. The dominant ice-flow regimes were classified based on the relationship between the driving stress (averaged over a length scale of ten ice thicknesses) and the ratio of surface velocity to ice thickness. The mapped distribution of flow regimes appears to depict the spatial extent of basal sliding across the ice cap. This is supported by a close relationship between the occurrence of flow stripes on the ice surface and flow regimes where basal sliding was found to be an important component of the glacier motion. Iceberg calving rates were computed using measured surface velocities and ice thicknesses derived from airborne radio-echo sounding. The volume of ice calved between 1960 and 1999 was estimated to be 20.5 ± 4.7 km3 (or 0.57 km3 a-1). Approximately 89% of this loss occurred along the eastern margin. The largest single source is Belcher Glacier, which accounts for ˜50% of the total amount of ice calved.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. Prediction filters for the Dst index and the polar cap potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fay, R. A.; Garrity, C. R.; Mcpherron, R. L.; Bargatze, L. F.

    1986-01-01

    The technique of linear prediction filtering is used to create filters relating solar wind parameters to the Dst index and to the polar cap potential. The square root of solar wind dynamic pressure and the solar wind electric field together are found to account for nearly 70 percent of the Dst variance. The prediction filter for the polar cap potential requires the square of the solar wind velocity and the solar wind electric field as inputs. The results suggest that both polar cap potential and ring current injection are primarily controlled by the solar wind, and that substorm expansions do not play a major role in ring current injection.

  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. How the martian residual south polar cap develops quasi-circular and heart-shaped pits, troughs, and moats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buhler, Peter B.; Ingersoll, Andrew P.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Head, James W.

    2017-04-01

    The martian Residual South Polar Cap (RSPC) is a 1-10 m thick deposit of permanent CO2 ice perched on the much larger H2O ice cap. The CO2 ice is dissected into mesas by erosional landforms that can be broadly classified as (i) quasi-circular pits, (ii) heart-shaped pits, (iii) linear troughs, and (iv) moats. We use HiRISE (25-50 cm/px) images taken at a cadence of days to months to track meter-scale changes in the RSPC in order to investigate the mechanisms that lead to the development of these four distinct morphologies. For the first time, we report the development of dark fans on the sides of the CO2 mesas and the fracturing and deterioration of the initially smooth upper surface of CO2 mesas. We interpret these features as indicating the sublimation and subsequent escape of CO2 from the interiors of mesas, which undermines structural support of mesa tops, causing them to collapse. The collapse of mesa tops, along with uneven deposition of CO2 ice, creates steep scarps that erode during the summer due to preferential sunlight absorption. During the winter, CO2 deposition acts to smooth topography, creating gently sloping ramps. We propose that the interplay between the steep scarps and gentle slopes leads to either quasi-circular pits, heart-shaped pits, linear troughs, or moats, depending on local conditions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Zuber, M.

    2006-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Towards multi-decadal to multi-millennial ice core records from coastal west Greenland ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Sarah B.; Osman, Matthew B.; Trusel, Luke D.; McConnell, Joseph R.; Smith, Ben E.; Evans, Matthew J.; Frey, Karen E.; Arienzo, Monica; Chellman, Nathan

    2017-04-01

    The Arctic region, and Greenland in particular, is undergoing dramatic change as characterized by atmospheric warming, decreasing sea ice, shifting ocean circulation patterns, and rapid ice sheet mass loss, but longer records are needed to put these changes into context. Ice core records from the Greenland ice sheet have yielded invaluable insight into past climate change both regionally and globally, and provided important constraints on past surface mass balance more directly, but these ice cores are most often from the interior ice sheet accumulation zone, at high altitude and hundreds of kilometers from the coast. Coastal ice caps, situated around the margins of Greenland, have the potential to provide novel high-resolution records of local and regional maritime climate and sea surface conditions, as well as contemporaneous glaciological changes (such as accumulation and surface melt history). But obtaining these records is extremely challenging. Most of these ice caps are unexplored, and thus their thickness, age, stratigraphy, and utility as sites of new and unique paleoclimate records is largely unknown. Access is severely limited due to their high altitude, steep relief, small surface area, and inclement weather. Furthermore, their relatively low elevation and marine moderated climate can contribute to significant surface melting and degradation of the ice stratigraphy. We recently targeted areas near the Disko Bay region of central west Greenland where maritime ice caps are prevalent but unsampled, as potential sites for new multi-decadal to multi-millennial ice core records. In 2014 & 2015 we identified two promising ice caps, one on Disko Island (1250 m. asl) and one on Nuussuaq Peninsula (1980 m. asl) based on airborne and ground-based geophysical observations and physical and glaciochemical stratigraphy from shallow firn cores. In spring 2015 we collected ice cores at both sites using the Badger-Eclipse electromechanical drill, transported by a medley

  13. On the Polar Caps of the Three Musketeers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Luca, A.; Caraveo, P. A.; Mereghetti, S.; Negroni, M.; Bignami, G. F.

    2005-04-01

    XMM-Newton EPIC observations of PSR B0656+14, PSR B1055-52, and Geminga have substantially increased the collection of statistics available for these three isolated neutron stars, so apparently similar to deserve the nickname of the Three Musketeers, given to them by Becker & Trümper. Here we take advantage of the EPIC statistics to perform phase-resolved spectroscopy for all three objects. The phase-averaged spectrum of the Three Musketeers is best described by a three-component model. This includes two blackbody components-a cooler one, possibly originating from the bulk of the star surface, and a hotter one, coming from a smaller portion of the star surface (a ``hot spot'')-plus a power law. The relative contributions of the three components are seen to vary as a function of phase, as the stars' rotation brings into view different emitting regions. The hot spots, which have very different apparent dimensions (in spite of the similarity of the three neutron stars polar cap radii) are responsible for the bulk of the phase variation. The amplitude of the observed phase modulation is also markedly different for the three sources. Another striking aspect of our phase-resolved phenomenology is the apparent lack of any common phase alignment between the observed modulation patterns for the two blackbody components. They are seen to vary in phase in the case of PSR B1055-52 but in antiphase in the case of PSR B0656+14. These findings do not support standard and simplistic models of neutron star magnetic field configuration and surface temperature distribution. Based on observations with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA member states and the US (NASA).

  14. 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.

  15. PULSAR PAIR CASCADES IN MAGNETIC FIELDS WITH OFFSET POLAR CAPS

    SciTech Connect

    Harding, Alice K.; Muslimov, Alex G.

    2011-12-20

    Neutron star magnetic fields may have polar caps (PCs) 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} {approx} 10{sup -3} L{sub sd} for normal pulsars and L{sub pair} {approx} 10{sup -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.

  16. Multi-instrument observation of simultaneous polar cap auroras on open and closed magnetic field lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reidy, J. A.; Fear, R. C.; Whiter, D. K.; Lanchester, B. S.; Kavanagh, A. J.; Paxton, L. J.; Zhang, Y.; Lester, M.

    2017-04-01

    This paper presents observations of polar cap auroral features on 19 January 2008, evaluated using multiple instruments with near-simultaneous observations in both hemispheres. Analysis of the features indicates that there are at least two formation mechanisms/types of polar cap aurora occurring simultaneously on different magnetic field topologies (one on open and the other on closed magnetospheric field lines). Two high-latitude structures were observed on opposing sides of the northern hemisphere polar cap in the same time interval. The structure on the duskside was formed on closed field lines that protruded into the polar cap and was generated by the precipitation of electrons with energies varying between 2 and 11 keV consistent with an identified mechanism for the formation of transpolar arcs. However, the structure did not extend fully across to the dayside of the auroral oval but rather stayed at ˜80° magnetic latitude for a minimum duration of 40 min. Thus, this structure is an example of a "failed" transpolar arc. The structure on the dawnside of the polar cap was associated with low-energy electron precipitation (less than 1 keV) and no associated ion signatures, which is consistent with it being a common low-intensity arc formed by accelerated polar rain on open field lines. The two separate types of polar cap auroras formed during the same interval, demonstrating the complexity of the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling during the interval.

  17. What the Polar Cap Tells Us about the Substorm Growth Phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M. J.; Fillingim, M. O.; Chua, D.; Wilber, M.; Parks, G. K.; Germany, G. A.; Spann, James F., Jr.

    1998-01-01

    The polar cap region in the 30 to 60 minute period prior to the onset of the auroral substorm has been examined using global images from the Polar Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) to look for observational evidence of processes related to the substorm growth phase. In particular, the area of the polar cap has been measured to determine changes in its size in relation to the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). It was found that the size of the polar cap region increases during the growth phase even if the IMF has no southward component. Three phenomena have been observed to produce the increase in the size of the polar cap: (1) motion of the auroral oval to lower latitude, (2) thinning of the auroral oval, and (3) reduction of intense auroral precipitation in the polar cap region. The first phenomenon has been considered to be a result of the growth of the tail lobe magnetic field and the second is related to the thinning of the plasma sheet. Both of these have been supported by in situ observational evidence and are consistent with current models of substorm development. However, the third phenomenon appears to be unrelated to the first two and does not appear to be the result of opening of the polar cap flux tubes to the solar wind IMF. This reduction of auroral precipitation provides evidence of a growth phase process, or change in auroral precipitation processes, that is not explained by current substorm models.

  18. Active seismic profile in east-central Greenland. Seismic explosion sources on an ice cap.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans

    2017-04-01

    Controlled source seismic investigation of crustal structure below ice covers is an emerging technique. We have recently conducted an explosive refraction/wide-angle reflection seismic experiment on the ice cap in east-central Greenland. The data quality is high for all shot points and a full crustal model is modelled. A crucial challenge for applying the technique is to control the sources. Here, we present data that describe the efficiency of explosive sources in the ice cover. Analysis of the data shows, that the ice cap traps a significant amount of energy, which is observed as a strong ice wave. The ice cap leads to low transmission of energy into the crust such that charges need be larger than in conventional onshore experiments to obtain reliable seismic signals. The strong reflection coefficient at the base of the ice generates strong multiples which may mask for secondary phases. This effect may be crucial for acquisition of reflection seismic profiles on ice caps. Our experience shows that it is essential to use optimum depth for the charges and to seal the boreholes carefully. We also present the crustal structure model in the continental part of Greenland along the profile based on the joint reflection/refraction tomographic inversion. The model shows strong lateral variations in the crustal thickness. The modeled Moho depth is changing from 39 to 47 km. The large volume of the lower most crust is observed in the central region of Greenland, while been absent in the costal region. The observed crustal structure corresponds to the transition from the younger terrane affected by the Caledonian orogeny to the stable cratonic region. Furthermore, the presence of the Icelandic plume ca. 60-40 Ma in the study area may also have a significant effect on the crustal evolution of the Greenland Caledonides and its transition to the Greenland Craton.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. CryoSat swath altimetry to measure ice cap and glacier surface elevation change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tepes, P.; Gourmelen, N.; Escorihuela, M. J.; Wuite, J.; Nagler, T.; Foresta, L.; Brockley, D.; Baker, S.; Roca, M.; Shepherd, A.; Plummer, S.

    2016-12-01

    Satellite altimetry has been used extensively in the past few decades to observe changes affecting large and remote regions covered by land ice such as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Glaciers and ice caps have been studied less extensively due to limitation of altimetry over complex topography. However their role in current sea-level budgets is significant and is expected to continue over the next century and beyond (Gardner et al., 2011), particularly in the Arctic where mean annual surface temperatures have recently been increasing twice as fast as the global average (Screen and Simmonds, 2010). Radar altimetry is well suited to monitor elevation changes over land ice due to its all-weather year-round capability of observing ice surfaces. Since 2010, the Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) on board the European Space Agency (ESA) radar altimetry CryoSat (CS) mission has been collecting ice elevation measurements over glaciers and ice caps. Its Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric (SARIn) processing feature reduces the size of the footprint along-track and locates the across-track origin of a surface reflector in the presence of a slope. This offers new perspectives for the measurement of regions marked by complex topography. More recently, data from the CS-SARIn mode have been used to infer elevation beyond the point of closest approach (POCA) with a novel approach known as "swath processing" (Hawley et al., 2009; Gray et al., 2013; Christie et al., 2016; Smith et al., 2016). Together with a denser ground track interspacing of the CS mission, the swath processing technique provides unprecedented spatial coverage and resolution for space borne altimetry, enabling the study of key processes that underlie current changes of ice caps and glaciers. In this study, we use CS swath observations to generate maps of ice elevation change for selected ice caps and glaciers. We present a validation exercise and discuss the benefit of swath

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. Recent volume and mass changes of Penny Ice Cap (Baffin Island, Nunavut) determined from repeat airborne laser altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffer, N.; Zdanowicz, C.; Copland, L.; Burgess, D. O.

    2011-12-01

    Recent observations of accelerated glacier wastage in Greenland and Alaska have prompted reassessments of mass balance trends and volume changes on Canadian Arctic glaciers and ice caps. While long surface mass balance measurements are available from ice caps of the Queen Elizabeth Islands (e.g., Axel Heiberg and Devon islands), no such records exist for Baffin Island glaciers. In the absence of such data, air- and space-borne measurements can be used in combination with ice core data and in-situ ground penetrating radar surveys to evaluate historical and recent trends in ice cover changes. Here, we use repeat laser airborne altimetry surveys conducted in 2000 and 2005 to estimate current volume and mass reduction rates of Penny Ice Cap, the southernmost large ice cap on Baffin Island (~66°N). This work builds on previous surveys for the period 1995-2000 [Abdalati et al. (2004) JGR 109: F04007.] Surface elevation changes along altimetry lines are extrapolated to the entire ice cap using a digital elevation model (DEM). Changes in areal extent of the ice cap are constrained using satellite imagery (e.g. Landsat). From these data and using firn density profiles measured in cores, we estimate the total mass wastage of the ice cap and its contribution to sea level rise.

  9. 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.

  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. Interhemispheric study of polar cap patch occurrence based on Swarm in situ data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spicher, A.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Miloch, W. J.; Lofstad, V.; Jin, Y.; Moen, J. I.

    2017-03-01

    The Swarm satellites offer an unprecedented opportunity for improving our knowledge about polar cap patches, which are regarded as the main space weather issue in the polar caps. We present a new robust algorithm that automatically detects polar cap patches using in situ plasma density data from Swarm. For both hemispheres, we compute the spatial and seasonal distributions of the patches identified separately by Swarm A and Swarm B between December 2013 and August 2016. We show a clear seasonal dependency of patch occurrence. In the Northern Hemisphere (NH), patches are essentially a winter phenomenon, as their occurrence rate is enhanced during local winter and very low during local summer. Although not as pronounced as in the NH, the same pattern is seen for the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Furthermore, the rate of polar cap patch detection is generally higher in the SH than in the NH, especially on the dayside at about 77° magnetic latitude. Additionally, we show that in the NH the number of patches is higher in the postnoon and prenoon sectors for interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) By<0 and IMF By>0, respectively, and that this trend is mirrored in the SH, consistent with the ionospheric flow convection. Overall, our results confirm previous studies in the NH, shed more light regarding the SH, and provide further insight into polar cap patch climatology. Along with this algorithm, we provide a large data set of patches automatically detected with in situ measurements, which opens new horizons in studies of polar cap phenomena.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Stochastic sea ice parameterizations and impacts on polar predictability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juricke, Stephan; Goessling, Helge; Jung, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Stochastic sea ice parameterizations are implemented in a global coupled model to include first estimates of model uncertainty in the assessment of sea ice predictability. The impact of incorporating estimates of model uncertainty in the sea ice dynamics is compared to the impact of atmospheric initial condition uncertainty. In this context a set of ensembles with stochastic sea ice strength perturbations and a set of ensembles with atmospheric initial condition perturbations are investigated. Seasonal integrations show that especially during the first weeks the incorporation of model uncertainty estimates in the sea ice dynamics leads to a significant increase in ensemble spread of sea ice thickness in the central Arctic and along coastlines when compared to the ensembles with atmospheric initial perturbations. The latter, in contrast, produce significantly larger variability along the ice edge. During the first weeks of the integration, applying the combined perturbations leads to an accumulation of spread from both uncertainties pointing at the importance of including estimates of model uncertainty for subseasonal sea ice predictions. After the first few weeks, however, the differences between ensemble spreads become mostly insignificant so that estimates of seasonal potential sea ice predictability for the Arctic remain largely unaffected by uncertainty estimates in the sea ice dynamics. For the Antarctic sea ice, differences in sea ice thickness spread between the different ensemble configurations are less pronounced throughout the year. Stochastic perturbations are also applied to the sea ice thermodynamics, namely the sea ice albedo parameterization, to investigate the diverse impacts of the incorporation of uncertainty estimates in different parts of the sea ice model, affecting different regions of the polar regions and at different times during the annual cycle.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Surface elevation change on ice caps in the Qaanaaq region, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Jun; Sugiyama, Shin; Tsutaki, Shun; Sawagaki, Takanobu

    2016-09-01

    A large number of glaciers and ice caps (GICs) are distributed along the Greenland coast, physically separated from the ice sheet. The total area of these GICs accounts for 5% of Greenland's ice cover. Melt water input from the GICs to the ocean substantially contributed to sea-level rise over the last century. Here, we report surface elevation changes of six ice caps near Qaanaaq (77°28‧N, 69°13‧W) in northwestern Greenland based on photogrammetric analysis of stereo pair satellite images. We processed the images with a digital map plotting instrument to generate digital elevation models (DEMs) in 2006 and 2010 with a grid resolution of 500 m. Generated DEMs were compared to measure surface elevation changes between 2006 and 2010. Over the study area of the six ice caps, covering 1215 km2, the mean rate of elevation change was -1.1 ± 0.1 m a-1. This rate is significantly greater than that previously reported for the 2003-2008 period (-0.6 ± 0.1 m a-1) for GICs all of northwestern Greenland. This increased mass loss is consistent with the rise in summer temperatures in this region at a rate of 0.12 °C a-1 for the 1997-2013 period.

  1. 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