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Global color variations on the Martian surface

Icarus

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Abstract

Surface materials exposed throughout the equatorial region of Mars have been classified and mapped on the basis of spectral reflectance properties determined by the Viking II Orbiter vidicon cameras. Frames acquired at each of three wavelengths (0.45 ?? 0.03 ??m, 0.53 ?? 0.05 ??m, and 0.59 ?? 0.05 ??m) during the approach of Viking Orbiter II in Martian summer (Ls = 105??) were mosaicked by computer. The mosaics cover latitudes 30??N to 63??S for 360?? of longitude and have resolutions between 10 and 20 km per line pair. Image processing included Mercator transformation and removal of an average Martian photometric function to produce albedo maps at three wavelengths. The classical dark region between the equator and ???30??S in the Martian highlands is composed of two units: (i) and ancient unit consisting of topographic highs (ridges, crater rims, and rugged plateaus riddled with small dendritic channels) which is among the reddest on the planet (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 3); and (ii) intermediate age, smooth, intercrater volcanic plains displaying numerous mare ridges which are among the least red on Mars (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 2). The relatively young shield volcanoes are, like the oldest unit, dark and very red. Two probable eolian deposits are recognized in the intermediate and high albedo regions. The stratigraphically lower unit is intermediate in both color (0.59/ 0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 2.5) and albedo. The upper unit has the highest albedo, is very red (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 3), and is apparently the major constituent of the annual dust storms as its areal extent changes from year to year. The south polar ice cap and condensate clouds dominate the southernmost part of the mosaics. ?? 1978.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Global color variations on the Martian surface
Series title:
Icarus
Volume
34
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1978
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
446
Last page:
464
Number of Pages:
19