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Radar, visual and thermal characteristics of Mars: Rough planar surfaces

Icarus

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Abstract

High-resolution Viking Orbiter images (10 to 15 m/pixel) contain significant information on Martian surface roughness at 25- to 100-m lateral scales, whereas Earth-based radar observations of Mars are sensitive to roughness at lateral scales of 1 to 30 m, or more. High-rms slopes predicted for the Tharsis-Memnonia-Amazonis volcanic plains from extremely weak radar returns (low peak radar cross section) are qualitatively confirmed by the Viking image data. Large-scale, curvilinear (but parallel) ridges on lava flows in the Memnonia Fossae region are interpreted as innate flow morphology caused by compressional foldover of moving lava sheets of possible rhyolite-dacite composition. The presence or absence of a recent mantle of fine-grained eolian material on the volcanic surfaces studied was determined by the visibility of fresh impact craters with diameters less than 50 m. Lava flows south and west of Arsia Mons, and within the large region of low thermal inertia centered on Tharsis Montes (H. H. Kieffer et al., 1977, J. Geophys. Res.82, 4249-4291), were found to possess such a recent mantle. At predawn residual temperatures ??? -10K (south boundary of this low-temperature region), lava flows are shown to have relatively old eolian mantles. Lava flows with surfaces modified by eolian erosion and deposition occur west-northwest of Apollinaris Patera at the border of the cratered equatorial uplands and southern Elysium Planitia. Nearby yardangs, for which radar observations indicate very high-rms slopes, are similar to terrestrial features of similar origin. ?? 1980.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Radar, visual and thermal characteristics of Mars: Rough planar surfaces
Series title:
Icarus
Volume
42
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1980
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Icarus
First page:
159
Last page:
184
Number of Pages:
26