What is it about?
Mars has seasons just like Earth. Each Martian year, up to one third of the atmosphere's carbon dioxide is transported from pole to pole, being deposited during fall and winter and sublimated during spring and summer. In this study, we align the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) profiles, an instrument onboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), to spatially and temporally resolve the snow/ice level at the south pole. An animation has been made to visualize this dynamic process.
Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Accurate measurements of snow level and volume variations of the resulting seasonal polar caps can serve as crucial constraints on the Martian volatile cycles. In addition, the thickness measurements can be combined with laboratory modeling to gain insights into the cold-jetting mechanism, which is responsible for the generation of various geological features, e.g., the troughs in the polar surface known as "spiders" or araneiform terrain.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Spatio‐temporal level variations of the Martian Seasonal South Polar Cap from co‐registration of MOLA profiles, Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, July 2022, American Geophysical Union (AGU), DOI: 10.1029/2022je007196.
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