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Cassini radar images show a variety of fluvial channels on Titan's surface, often several hundreds of kilometers in length. Some (predominantly at low- and mid-latitude) are radar-bright and braided, resembling desert washes where fines have been removed by energetic surface liquid flow, presumably from methane rainstorms. Others (predominantly at high latitudes) are radar-dark and meandering and drain into or connect polar lakes, suggesting slower-moving flow depositing fine-grained sediments. A third type, seen predominantly at mid- and high latitudes, have radar brightness patterns indicating topographic incision, with valley widths of up to 3 km across and depth of several hundred meters. These observations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The global population of lunar craters >20 km in diameter was analyzed by Head et al., (2010) to correlate crater distribution with resurfacing events and multiple impactor populations. The work presented here extends the global crater distribution analysis to smaller craters (5–20 km diameters, n = 22,746). Smaller craters form at a higher rate than larger craters and thus add granularity to age estimates of larger units and can reveal smaller and younger areas of resurfacing. An areal density difference map generated by comparing the new dataset with that of Head et al., (2010) shows local deficiencies of 5–20 km diameter craters, which we interpret to be caused by a combination of resurfacing by the Orientale...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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We photogeologically mapped the SP Mountain region of the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, USA to evaluate and improve the fidelity of approaches used in geologic mapping of Mars. This test site, which was previously mapped in the field, is chiefly composed of Late Cenozoic cinder cones, lava flows, and alluvium perched on Permian limestone of the Kaibab Formation. Faulting and folding has deformed the older rocks and some of the volcanic materials, and fluvial erosion has carved drainage systems and deposited alluvium. These geologic materials and their formational and modificational histories are similar to those for regions of the Martian surface. We independently prepared four geologic maps...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Large flood channels, valley networks, and a variety of features attributed to the action of ground ice indicate that Mars emerged from heavy bombardment around 3.8Gyr ago, with an inventory of water at the surface equivalent to at least a few hundred meters spread over the whole planet, as compared with 3 km for the Earth. The surface water resided primarily in a porous, kilometers thick, megaregolith created by the high impact rates. At the end of heavy bombardment a rapid decline in erosion rates by a factor of 1000 suggests a major change in the global climate. It is proposed that at this time the climate became similar to today's and that this climate has been maintained throughout the rest of Mars' history....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the CASSINI spacecraft obtained new spectral data of the icy satellites of Saturn after its arrival at Saturn in June 2004. VIMS operates in a spectral range from 0.35 to 5.2 ??m, generating image cubes in which each pixel represents a spectrum consisting of 352 contiguous wavebands. As an imaging spectrometer VIMS combines the characteristics of both a spectrometer and an imaging instrument. This makes it possible to analyze the spectrum of each pixel separately and to map the spectral characteristics spatially, which is important to study the relationships between spectral information and geological and geomorphologic surface features. The spatial analysis...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been used to observe Phobos and Deimos at spatial scales of around 6 and 20 m/px, respectively. HiRISE (McEwen et al.; JGR, 112, CiteID E05S02, DOI: 10.1029/2005JE002605, 2007) has provided, for the first time, high-resolution colour images of the surfaces of the Martian moons. When processed, by the production of colour ratio images for example, the data show considerable small-scale heterogeneity, which might be attributable to fresh impacts exposing different materials otherwise largely hidden by a homogenous regolith. The bluer material that is draped over the south-eastern rim of the largest crater on Phobos,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Titan's vast equatorial fields of RADAR-dark longitudinal dunes seen in Cassini RADAR synthetic aperture images correlate with one of two dark surface units discriminated as “brown” and “blue” in Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) color composites of short-wavelength infrared spectral cubes (RGB as 2.0, 1.6, 1.3 μm). In such composites bluer materials exhibit higher reflectance at 1.3 μm and lower at 1.6 and 2.0 μm. The dark brown unit is highly correlated with the RADAR-dark dunes. The dark brown unit shows less evidence of water ice suggesting that the saltating grains of the dunes are largely composed of hydrocarbons and/or nitriles. In general, the bright units also show less evidence of absorption...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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This paper reports on the analysis of the highest spatial resolution hyperspectral images acquired by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft during its prime mission. A bright area matches a flow-like feature coming out of a caldera-like feature observed in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data recorded by the Cassini radar experiment [Lopes et al., 2007. Cryovolcanic features on Titan's surface as revealed by the Cassini Titan Radar Mapper. Icarus 186, 395-412, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.09.006]. In this SAR image, the flow extends about 160 km east of the caldera. The contrast in brightness between the flow and the surroundings progressively vanishes, suggesting alteration...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Pingos are massive ice-cored mounds that develop through pressurized groundwater flow mechanisms. Pingos and their collapsed forms are found in periglacial and paleoperiglacial terrains on Earth, and have been hypothesized for a wide variety of locations on Mars. This literature review of pingos on Earth and Mars first summarizes the morphology of terrestrial pingos and their geologic contexts. That information is then used to asses hypothesized pingos on Mars. Pingo-like forms (PLFs) in Utopia Planitia are the most viable candidates for pingos or collapsed pingos. Other PLFs hypothesized in the literature to be pingos may be better explained with other mechanisms than those associated with terrestrial-style pingos....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The Planetary Data System Imaging Node maintains and distributes the archives of planetary image data acquired from NASA's flight projects with the primary goal of enabling the science community to perform image processing and analysis on the data. The Node provides direct and easy access to the digital image archives through wide distribution of the data on CD-ROM media and on-line remote-access tools by way of Internet services. The Node provides digital image processing tools and the expertise and guidance necessary to understand the image collections. The data collections, now approaching one terabyte in volume, provide a foundation for remote sensing studies for virtually all the planetary systems in our solar...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) has been orbiting the planet Mars since January 2004 onboard the European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express mission and delivers imagery which is being used for topographic mapping of the planet. The HRSC team has conducted a systematic inter-comparison of different alternatives for the production of high resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) from the multi look HRSC push broom imagery. Based on carefully chosen test sites the test participants have produced DTMs which have been subsequently analysed in a quantitative and a qualitative manner. This paper reports on the results obtained in this test.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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We present a quantitative analysis of CO thermal emissions discovered on the nightside of Titan by Baines et al. [2005. The atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the near-infrared: First results of Cassini/VIMS. Earth, Moon, and Planets, 96, 119-147]. in Cassini/VIMS spectral imagery. We identify these emission features as the P and R branches of the 1-0 vibrational band of carbon monoxide (CO) near 4.65 ??m. For CH3D, the prominent Q branch of the ??2 fundamental band of CH3D near 4.55 ??m is apparent. CO2 emissions from the strong v3 vibrational band are virtually absent, indicating a CO2 abundance several orders of magnitude less than CO, in agreement with previous investigations. Analysis of CO emission spectra...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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We have constructed the complex geologic history of the Thaumasia region of Mars on the basis of detailed geologic mapping and relative-age dating of rock units and structure. The Thaumasia plateau dominates the region and consists of high lava plains partly surrounded by rugged highlands, mostly of Noachian and Hesperian age. Long-lived faulting centered near Syria Planum and at lesser sites produced radiating narrow grabens during the Noachian through Early Amazonian and concentric wrinkle ridges during the Late Noachian and Early Hesperian. Fault activity peaked during the Noachian and waned substantially during Late Hesperian and Amazonian time. Volcanism on the Thaumasia plateau was particularly active in comparison...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Previous observations have noted the change in albedo in a number of North Pole bright outliers and in the distribution of bright ice deposits between Mariner 9, Viking, and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data sets. Changes over the summer season as well as between regions at the same season (Ls) in different years have been observed. We used the bolometric albedo and brightness temperature channels of the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on the MGS spacecraft to monitor north polar residual ice cap variations between Mars years and within the summer season for three northern Martian summers between July 1999 and April 2003. Large-scale brightness variations are observed in four general areas: (1) the patchy outlying...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Cassini observations of the surface of Titan offer unprecedented views of its surface through atmospheric windows in the 1-5 ??m region. Images obtained in windows for which the haze opacity is low can be used to derive quantitative photometric parameters such as albedo and albedo distribution, and physical properties such as roughness and particle characteristics. Images from the early Titan flybys, particularly T0, Ta, and T5 have been analyzed to create albedo maps in the 2.01 and 2.73 ??m windows. We find the average normal reflectance at these two wavelengths to be 0.15??0.02 and 0.035??0.003, respectively. Titan's surface is bifurcated into two albedo regimes, particularly at 2.01 ??m. Analysis of these two...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The European SMART-1 mission to the Moon, primarily a testbed for innovative technologies, was launched in September 2003 and will reach the Moon in 2005. On board are several scientific instruments, including the point-spectrometer SMART-1 Infrared Spectrometer (SIR). Taking into account the capabilities of the SMART-1 mission and the SIR instrument in particular, as well as the open questions in lunar science, a selection of targets for SIR observations has been compiled. SIR can address at least five topics: (1) Surface/regolith processes; (2) Lunar volcanism; (3) Lunar crust structure; (4) Search for spectral signatures of ices at the lunar poles; and (5) Ground truth and study of geometric effects on the spectral...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Special techniques are described for the photogrammetric compilation of topographic maps and profiles from stereoscopic photographs taken by the two Viking Orbiter spacecraft. These techniques were developed because the extremely narrow field of view of the Viking cameras precludes compilation by conventional photogrammetric methods. The techniques adjust for internal consistency the Supplementary Experiment Data Record (SEDR-the record of spacecraft orientation when photographs were taken) and the computation of geometric orientation parameters of the stereo models. A series of contour maps of Mars is being compiled by these new methods using a wide variety of Viking Orbiter photographs, to provide the planetary...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The Mangala Valles is a 900-km long outflow channel system in the highlands adjacent to the south-eastern flank of the Tharsis bulge. This work was intended to answer the following two questions unresolved in previous studies: (1) Was there only one source of water (Mangala Fossa at the valley head which is one of the Medusae Fossae troughs or graben) or were other sources also involved in the valley-carving water supply, and (2) Was there only one episode of flooding (maybe with phases) or were there several episodes significantly separated in time. The geologic analysis of HRSC image 0286 and mapping supported by analysis of MOC and THEMIS images show that Mangala Valles was carved by water released from several...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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The Gamma Ray Spectrometer (Mars Odyssey spacecraft) has revealed elemental distributions of potassium (K), thorium (Th), and iron (Fe) on Mars that require fractionation of K (and possibly Th and Fe) consistent with aqueous activity. This includes weathering, evolution of soils, and transport, sorting, and deposition, as well as with the location of first-order geomorphological demarcations identified as possible paleoocean boundaries. The element abundances occur in patterns consistent with weathering in situ and possible presence of relict or exhumed paleosols, deposition of weathered materials (salts and clastic minerals), and weathering/transport under neutral to acidic brines. The abundances are explained...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science
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Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Planetary and Space Science