Search for Traces of Chemically Bound Water in the Martian Surface Layer Based on Hend Measurements Onboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft

A. T. Basilevsky, M. L. Litvak, I. G. Mitrofanov, William V. Boynton, R. S. Saunders, J. W. Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analysis of the distribution of the epithermal and fast neutron fluxes from the Martian surface within the ±60° latitude zone measured by the High-Energy Neutron Detector (HEND) from mid-February through mid-June 2002 has revealed regional neutron-flux variations outside the zones of climatic effects, which appear to be attributable to the presence of chemically bound water. With the exception of the epithermal neutron fluxes in Arabia and southwest of Olympus Mons (Medusae Fossae), these variations show no correlation with the geologic structure of the terrain at the level of global geologic maps. The lack of such a correlation probably implies that to the formation depth of the epithermal neutron flux (1-2 m), let alone the fast neutron flux (20-30 cm), much of Mars is covered by a surface material that bears little relation in composition to local bedrocks. Clearly, this is an aeolian cover whose fine-grain component was mixed by dust storms in the geologic time on the scale of large regions. The decrease in the flux of epithermal neutrons in Arabia and southwest of Olympus Mons (Medusae Fossae) appears to be attributable to an enhanced concentration of materials containing chemically bound water (clay minerals, palagonite, hydroxides, and hydrosalts) in the surface layers of these regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalSolar System Research
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003

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2001 Mars Odyssey
flux (rate)
Mars
surface layer
surface layers
spacecraft
palagonite
dust storm
water
hydroxide
clay mineral
fast neutrons
bedrock
dust storms
neutrons
neutron counters
energy
bears
mars
clays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Search for Traces of Chemically Bound Water in the Martian Surface Layer Based on Hend Measurements Onboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft. / Basilevsky, A. T.; Litvak, M. L.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Boynton, William V.; Saunders, R. S.; Head, J. W.

In: Solar System Research, Vol. 37, No. 5, 09.2003, p. 387-396.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Basilevsky, A. T. ; Litvak, M. L. ; Mitrofanov, I. G. ; Boynton, William V. ; Saunders, R. S. ; Head, J. W. / Search for Traces of Chemically Bound Water in the Martian Surface Layer Based on Hend Measurements Onboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft. In: Solar System Research. 2003 ; Vol. 37, No. 5. pp. 387-396.
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