The GRS measurements of the peak mass loading of the north polar CO2 ice cap on Mars are about 60% lower than those calculated from MGS TES radiation data and those inferred from the MOLA cap thicknesses. However, the GRS data provide the most accurate measurement of the mass loading. We show that the TES and MOLA data can be reconciled with the GRS data if (1) subsurface heat conduction and atmospheric heat transport are included in the TES mass budget calculations, and (2) the density of the polar deposits is ???600 kg m-3. The latter is much less than that expected for slab ice (???1600 kg m-3) and suggests that processes unique to the north polar region are responsible for the low cap density. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Reconciling different observations of the CO2 ice mass loading of the Martian north polar cap