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Twenty-micrometer brightness temperatures are used to derive the thermal inertia for 81% of the Martian surface between latitudes ??60??. These data were acquired by the two Viking Infrared Thermal Mappers in 1977 and 1978 following the two global dust storms of 1977. The spatial resolution used is 2?? in latitude by 2?? in longitude and the total range in derived inertia is 1 to 15 ?? 10-3 cal cm-2 sec- 1 2??K-1. The distribution of thermal inertia is strongly bimodal with all values of thermal inertia less than 4 ?? 10-3 cal cm-2 sec- 1 2??K-1 being associated with three disjoint bright regions mostly in the northern hemisphere. Sufficient dust is raised in global storms to provide fine material adequate to produce these low-inertia areas but the specific deposition mechanism has not been defined. At the low resolution used, no complete exposures of clean rock were found. There is some tendency for darker material to be associated with higher thermal inertia, although the trend is far from one to one. The distribution of high- and low-inertia areas is sufficiently nonrandom to produce a variation in whole-disk brightness temperature with central meridian longitude. This variation and the change in surface kinetic temperature associated with dust storms are factors in establishing the whole-disk brightness temperature at radio and infrared wavelengths and will be important for those who use Mars as a calibration source. ?? 1981.
Additional Publication Details
Thermal inertia mapping of Mars from 60??S to 60??N