Martian north polar cap summer water cycle

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalIcarus
Volume277
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Fingerprint

hydrological cycle
polar caps
summer
ice
water
poles
absorption spectra
reconnaissance
imaging spectrometers
caps
mars
climate
condensation
Mars
spectrometer
planet
signatures
cycles
estimates

Keywords

  • Ices
  • Ices, IR spectroscopy
  • Mars, climate
  • Mars, polar caps
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Martian north polar cap summer water cycle. / Brown, Adrian J.; Calvin, Wendy M.; Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane.

In: Icarus, Vol. 277, 01.10.2016, p. 401-415.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, AJ, Calvin, WM, Becerra, P & Byrne, S 2016, 'Martian north polar cap summer water cycle', Icarus, vol. 277, pp. 401-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2016.05.007
Brown, Adrian J. ; Calvin, Wendy M. ; Becerra, Patricio ; Byrne, Shane. / Martian north polar cap summer water cycle. In: Icarus. 2016 ; Vol. 277. pp. 401-415.
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