WorldWideScience

Sample records for current martian atmosphere

  1. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  2. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    A Martian pressure static charge elimination tool is currently in development in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. In standard Earth atmosphere conditions, static charge can be neutralized from an insulating surface using air ionizers. These air ionizers generate ions through corona breakdown. The Martian atmosphere is 7 Torr of mostly carbon dioxide, which makes it inherently difficult to use similar methods as those used for standard atmosphere static elimination tools. An initial prototype has been developed to show feasibility of static charge elimination at low pressure, using corona discharge. A needle point and thin wire loop are used as the corona generating electrodes. A photo of the test apparatus is shown below. Positive and negative high voltage pulses are sent to the needle point. This creates positive and negative ions that can be used for static charge neutralization. In a preliminary test, a floating metal plate was charged to approximately 600 volts under Martian atmospheric conditions. The static elimination tool was enabled and the voltage on the metal plate dropped rapidly to -100 volts. This test data is displayed below. Optimization is necessary to improve the electrostatic balance of the static elimination tool.

  3. the Martian atmospheric boundary layer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrosyan, A.; Galperin, B.; Larsen, Søren Ejling

    2011-01-01

    . This portion of the atmosphere is extremely important, both scientifically and operationally, because it is the region within which surface lander spacecraft must operate and also determines exchanges of heat, momentum, dust, water, and other tracers between surface and subsurface reservoirs and the free...

  4. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  5. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  6. Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (96 % CO2). In this process, CO2 is...

  7. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the descent phase starting shortly after separation from the spacecraft. MetNet Mission payload instruments are specially designed to operate under very low power conditions. MNL flexible solar panels provides a total of approximately 0.7-0.8 W of electric power during the daylight time. As the provided power output is insufficient to operate all instruments simultaneously they are activated sequentially according to a specially designed cyclogram table which adapts itself to the different environmental constraints. 3. Mission Status he eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. Even if the MetNet mission is focused on the atmospheric science, the mission payload will also include additional kinds of geophysical instrumentation. The next step is the MetNet Precursor Mission that will demonstrate the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The first MetNet Science Payload Precursors have already been successfully completed, e,g, the REMS/MSL and DREAMS/Exomars-2016. The next MetNet Payload Precursors will be METEO/Exomars-2018 and MEDA/Mars-2020. The baseline program development funding exists for the next seven years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has been defined. References [1] http://metnet.fmi.fi

  8. Ionization rates and profiles of electron concentration in Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komitov, B.; Spasov, S.; Gogoshev, M.

    1981-01-01

    The ionization and vertical profiles of electron concentration in the Martian atmosphere are calculated as functions of the solar zenith angles varying from O deg to 90 deg. A neutral atmospheric model based on direct mass-spectometric measurements from the Viking-1 landing modul is employed in the calculation. The Earth data of the ionization solar flux at the same level of the solar activity and for the month of the Viking-1 measurements reduced for the Mars orbit are used. The numerical result for the photoionization rates and quasi-equilibrium electron-concentration profiles in the upper Martian atmosphere at different solar zenith angles from 0 deg to 100 deg are presented. It is shown that the maxima of both quantities decrease and move towards the upper atmosphere regions. The calculated electron density at the zenith solar angle of 40 deg are compared to Viking-1 experimental data and a good agreement is achieved

  9. Magnetic Particles Are Found In The Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    The dark bullseye pattern seen at the top of Viking l's camera calibration chart indicates the presence of magnetic particles in the fine dust in the Martian atmosphere. A tiny magnet is mounted at that spot to catch wind-borne magnetic particles. The particles may have been tossed into the atmosphere surrounding the spacecraft at the time of landing and during the digging and delivery of the Mars soil sample by the surface sampler scoop. This picture was taken August 4.

  10. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.; Szunyogh, Istvan; Gyarmati, Gyorgyi; Wilson, R. John

    2013-01-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  11. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  12. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  13. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  14. Remote Sensing Studies Of The Current Martian Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, F. W.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Calcutt, S. B.; Moroz, V. I.

    A systematic and detailed experimental study of the Martian atmosphere remains to be carried out, despite many decades of intense interest in the nature of the Martian climate system, its interactions, variability and long-term stability. Such a study is planned by the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, using limb-scanning infrared radiometric techniques similar to those used to study trace species in the terrestrial stratosphere. For Mars, the objectives are temperature, humidity, dust and condensate abundances with high vertical resolution and global coverage in the 0 to 80 km height range. The paper will discuss the experiment and its methodology and expectations for the results.

  15. Ionization Efficiency in the Dayside Martian Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Wu, X.-S.; Xu, S.-S.; Wang, X.-D.; Wellbrock, A.; Nordheim, T. A.; Cao, Y.-T.; Wang, W.-R.; Sun, W.-Q.; Wu, S.-Q.; Wei, Y.

    2018-04-01

    Combining the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution measurements of neutral atmospheric density, solar EUV/X-ray flux, and differential photoelectron intensity made during 240 nominal orbits, we calculate the ionization efficiency, defined as the ratio of the secondary (photoelectron impact) ionization rate to the primary (photon impact) ionization rate, in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere under a range of solar illumination conditions. Both the CO2 and O ionization efficiencies tend to be constant from 160 km up to 250 km, with respective median values of 0.19 ± 0.03 and 0.27 ± 0.04. These values are useful for fast calculation of the ionization rate in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, without the need to construct photoelectron transport models. No substantial diurnal and solar cycle variations can be identified, except for a marginal trend of reduced ionization efficiency approaching the terminator. These observations are favorably interpreted by a simple scenario with ionization efficiencies, as a first approximation, determined by a comparison between relevant cross sections. Our analysis further reveals a connection between regions with strong crustal magnetic fields and regions with high ionization efficiencies, which are likely indicative of more efficient vertical transport of photoelectrons near magnetic anomalies.

  16. The development of a Martian atmospheric Sample collection canister

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczycki, E.; Galey, C.; Kennedy, B.; Budney, C.; Bame, D.; Van Schilfgaarde, R.; Aisen, N.; Townsend, J.; Younse, P.; Piacentine, J.

    The collection of an atmospheric sample from Mars would provide significant insight to the understanding of the elemental composition and sub-surface out-gassing rates of noble gases. A team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology have developed an atmospheric sample collection canister for Martian application. The engineering strategy has two basic elements: first, to collect two separately sealed 50 cubic centimeter unpressurized atmospheric samples with minimal sensing and actuation in a self contained pressure vessel; and second, to package this atmospheric sample canister in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the orbiting sample capsule for collection and return to Earth. Sample collection and integrity are demonstrated by emulating the atmospheric collection portion of the Mars Sample Return mission on a compressed timeline. The test results achieved by varying the pressure inside of a thermal vacuum chamber while opening and closing the valve on the sample canister at Mars ambient pressure. A commercial off-the-shelf medical grade micro-valve is utilized in the first iteration of this design to enable rapid testing of the system. The valve has been independently leak tested at JPL to quantify and separate the leak rates associated with the canister. The results are factored in to an overall system design that quantifies mass, power, and sensing requirements for a Martian atmospheric Sample Collection (MASC) canister as outlined in the Mars Sample Return mission profile. Qualitative results include the selection of materials to minimize sample contamination, preliminary science requirements, priorities in sample composition, flight valve selection criteria, a storyboard from sample collection to loading in the orbiting sample capsule, and contributions to maintaining “ Earth” clean exterior surfaces on the orbiting sample capsule.

  17. Eddy transport of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, J. R.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1993-01-01

    Viking orbiter measurements of the Martian atmosphere suggest that the residual north polar water-ice cap is the primary source of atmospheric water vapor, which appears at successively lower northern latitudes as the summer season progresses. Zonally symmetric studies of water vapor transport indicate that the zonal mean meridional circulation is incapable of transporting from north polar regions to low latitudes the quantity of water vapor observed. This result has been interpreted as implying the presence of nonpolar sources of water. Another possibility is the ability of atmospheric wave motions, which are not accounted for in a zonally symmetric framework, to efficiently accomplish the transport from a north polar source to the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere. The ability or inability of the full range of atmospheric motions to accomplish this transport has important implications regarding the questions of water sources and sinks on Mars: if the full spectrum of atmospheric motions proves to be incapable of accomplishing the transport, it strengthens arguments in favor of additional water sources. Preliminary results from a three dimensional atmospheric dynamical/water vapor transport numerical model are presented. The model accounts for the physics of a subliming water-ice cap, but does not yet incorporate recondensation of this sublimed water. Transport of vapor away from this water-ice cap in this three dimensional framework is compared with previously obtained zonally symmetric (two dimensional) results to quantify effects of water vapor transport by atmospheric eddies.

  18. Martian dust storms as a possible sink of atmospheric methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Delory, G. T.; Atreya, S. K.

    2006-11-01

    Recent laboratory tests, analog studies and numerical simulations all suggest that Martian dust devils and larger dusty convective storms generate and maintain large-scale electric fields. Such expected E-fields will have the capability to create significant electron drift motion in the collisional gas and to form an extended high energy (u $\\gg$ kT) electron tail in the distribution. We demonstrate herein that these energetic electrons are capable of dissociating any trace CH4 in the ambient atmosphere thereby acting as an atmospheric sink of this important gas. We demonstrate that the methane destruction rate increases by a factor of 1012 as the dust storm E-fields, E, increase from 5 to 25 kV/m, resulting in an apparent decrease in methane stability from ~ 1010 sec to a value of ~1000 seconds. While destruction in dust storms is severe, the overall methane lifetime is expected to decrease only moderately due to recycling of products, heterogeneous effects from localized sinks, etc. We show further evidence that the electrical activity anticipated in Martian dust storms creates a new harsh electro-chemical environment.

  19. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  20. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.

  1. Waves in the Martian Atmosphere: Results from MGS Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. M.; Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.

    1999-01-01

    Temperatures retrieved from Mars Global Surveyor radio occultations have been searched for evidence of waves. Emphasis has been on the initial series of occultations between 29 deg N and 64 deg S, obtained during the early martian southern summer, L(sub s) = 264 deg - 308 deg. The profiles exhibit an undulatory behavior that is suggestive of vertically propagating waves. wavelengths approximately 10 km are often dominant, but structure on smaller scales is evident. The undulatory structure is most pronounced between latitudes 29 deg N and 10 deg S, usually in regions of "interesting" topography, e.g., in the Tharsis region and near the edge of Syrtis Major. Several temperature profiles, particularly within 30 deg of the equator, exhibit lapse rates that locally become superadiabatic near the 0.4-mbar level or at higher altitudes. This implies that the waves are "breaking" and depositing horizontal momentum into the atmosphere. Such a deposition may play an important role in modulating the atmospheric winds, and characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of these momentum transfers can provide important clues to understanding how the global circulation is maintained.

  2. Paloma-radon: Atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian subsoil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabroux, J.-C.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Le Roulley, J.-C.; Chassefière, E.

    2003-04-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES-supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m^3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO_2). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option (already on board the Mars Pathfinder Rover and other platforms). In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a

  3. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.

    2003-01-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO 2 ). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer, a

  4. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V

    2003-07-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO{sub 2}). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer

  5. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  6. Propagation of stationary Rossby waves in the Martian lower atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Priyanka; Thokuluwa, Ramkumar

    The Martian lower atmospheric (-1.5 km to 29.3 km) temperature, measured by radio occultation technique during the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission launched by US in November 1996, at the Northern winter hemispheric latitude of about 63(°) N clearly shows a statistically significant (above 95 percent confidential level white noise) and strong 3.5-day oscillation during 1-10 January 2006. This strong signal occurs in the longitudinal sectors of 0-30(°) E and 190-230(°) E but statistically insignificant in almost all the other longitudes. This 180 degree separation between the two peaks of occurrence of strong 3.5 day oscillation indicates that this may be associated with zonal wave number 2 structure global scale wave. At the lowest height of -1.5 km, the power observed in the longitude of 0-30(°) E is 50 K (2) and it increased gradually to the maximum power of 130 K (2) at the height of 0.8 - 1.7 km. Above this height, the power decreased monotonously and gradually to insignificant level at the height of 3.7 km (20 K (2) ). This gradual decrease of power above the height of 1.7 km indicates that radiative damping (infra red cooling due to large abundance of CO _{2} molecules and dust particles) would have played an important role in the dissipation of waves. The height and longitudinal profiles of phase of the 3.5-day wave indicate that this wave is a vertically standing and eastward propagating planetary wave respectively. Since the statistically significant spectral amplitude occurs near the high topography structures, it seems that the wave is generated by flows over the topography. In the Northern winter, it is possible that the large gradient of temperature between the low and high latitudes would lead to flow of winds from the tropical to polar latitudes. Due to the Coriolis effect, this flow would in turn move towards the right and incite wave generation when the air flows over the high topographic structures. This lead to speculate that the observed 3

  7. Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    Particulate component of the Mars atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds strongly affects the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with τ ≈ 0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data (τ = 0.05-0.2) and measurements from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give the typical “clear” optical depth of τ ≈ 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range showing much more transparent atmosphere, on the other side. Also the relationship between τ9 and the visible optical depth is not well constrained experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  8. Viking orbiter imaging observations of dust in the Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Baum, W.A.; Barnes, J.

    1979-01-01

    More than 20 local Martian dust clouds and two global dust storms were observed with the Viking orbiter camera. Sixteen of the local clouds were imaged in two colors or were observed with other instruments confirming their identification as dust clouds. These Viking results are compared with earth-based observations of Martian dust storms and with Mariner 9 data. Most of the dust activity seen by Viking occurred during southern hemisphere spring and early summer, when Mars was near perihelion and isolation was near maximum. About half the local clouds occurred near the edge of the southern polar cap, where winds are presumably enhanced by a strong regional temperature gradient. The other half occurred mainly in the southern hemisphere near regions where circulation models incorporating topography predict positive vertical velocities. Although dust clouds observed from earth show a similar partial correlation with models, some ambiguity exists concerning interpretation of regions near Hellespontus that have spawned the most spectacular Martian dust storms on record

  9. Open questions on optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V.; Petrova, E.; Rodin, A.

    Particulate component of the atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds that strongly affect the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data and measurem ents from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give in the quiet seasons the typical optical depth of? 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range that frequently infer <0.2, on the other side. Also the relationship between9 and the visible optical depth is not well established experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  10. Describing the Components of the Water Transport in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montmessin, F.; Haberle, R. M.; forget, F.; Rannou, P.; Cabane, M.

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we examine the meteorological components driving water transport in the Martian atmosphere. A particular emphasis is given to the role of residual mean circulation and water ice clouds in determining the geographical partitioning of water vapor and frost.

  11. The impact of radiatively active water-ice clouds on Martian mesoscale atmospheric circulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, A.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Hinson, D.; Navarro, T.; Forget, F.

    2014-04-01

    Background and Goals Water ice clouds are a key component of the Martian climate [1]. Understanding the properties of the Martian water ice clouds is crucial to constrain the Red Planet's climate and hydrological cycle both in the present and in the past [2]. In recent years, this statement have become all the more true as it was shown that the radiative effects of water ice clouds is far from being as negligible as hitherto believed; water ice clouds plays instead a key role in the large-scale thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere [3, 4, 5]. Nevertheless, the radiative effect of water ice clouds at lower scales than the large synoptic scale (the so-called meso-scales) is still left to be explored. Here we use for the first time mesoscale modeling with radiatively active water ice clouds to address this open question.

  12. Asymmetry of the Martian Current Sheet in a Multi-fluid MHD Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panoncillo, S. G.; Egan, H. L.; Dong, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Brain, D. A.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The solar wind carries interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines toward Mars, where they drape around the planet's conducting ionosphere, creating a current sheet behind the planet where the magnetic field has opposite polarity on either side. In its simplest form, the current sheet is often thought of as symmetric, extending behind the planet along the Mars-Sun line. Observations and model simulations, however, demonstrate that this idealized representation is only an approximation, and the actual scenario is much more complex. The current sheet can have 3D structure, move back and forth, and be situated dawnward or duskward of the Mars-Sun line. In this project, we utilized a library of global plasma model results for Mars consisting of a collection of multi-fluid MHD simulations where solar max/min, sub-solar longitude, and the orbital position of Mars are varied individually. The model includes Martian crustal fields, and was run for identical steady solar wind conditions. This library was created for the purpose of comparing model results to MAVEN data; we looked at the results of this model library to investigate current sheet asymmetries. By altering one variable at a time we were able to measure how these variables influence the location of the current sheet. We found that the current sheet is typically shifted toward the dusk side of the planet, and that modeled asymmetries are especially prevalent during solar min. Previous model studies that lack crustal fields have found that, for a Parker spiral IMF, the current sheet will shift dawnward, while our results typically show the opposite. This could expose certain limitations in the models used, or it could reveal an interaction between the solar wind and the plasma environment of Mars that has not yet been explored. MAVEN data may be compared to the model results to confirm the sense of the modeled asymmetry. These results help us to probe the physics controlling the Martian magnetotail and atmospheric

  13. Composition and structure of the martian upper atmosphere: analysis of results from viking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElroy, M B; Kong, T Y; Yung, Y L; Nier, A O

    1976-12-11

    Densities for carbon dioxide measured by the upper atmospheric mass spectrometers on Viking 1 and Viking 2 are analyzed to yield height profiles for the temperature of the martian atmosphere between 120 and 200 kilometers. Densities for nitrogen and argon are used to derive vertical profiles for the eddy diffusion coefficient over the same height range. The upper atmosphere of Mars is surprisingly cold with average temperatures for both Viking 1 and Viking 2 of less than 200 degrees K, and there is significant vertical structure. Model calculations are presented and shown to be in good agreement with measured concentrations of carbon monoxide, oxygen, and nitric oxide.

  14. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  15. The Zodiacal Cloud Model applied to the Martian atmosphere. Diurnal variations in meteoric ion layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D.; Plane, J. M. C.; Withers, P.; Fallows, K.; Nesvorny, D.; Pokorný, P.

    2016-12-01

    Sporadic metal layers have been detected in the Martian atmosphere by radio occultation measurements using the Mars Express Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. More recently, metallic ion layers produced by the meteor storm event following the close encounter between Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) and Mars were identified by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) and the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. Work is now in progress to detect the background metal layers produced by the influx of sporadic meteors. In this study we predict the likely appearance of these layers. The Zodiacal Dust Cloud (ZDC) model for particle populations released by asteroids (AST), and dust grains from Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) and Halley-Type Comets (HTCs) has been combined with a Monte Carlo sampling method and the Chemical ABlation MODel (CABMOD) to predict the ablation rates of Na, K, Fe, Si, Mg, Ca and Al above 40 km altitude in the Martian atmosphere. CABMOD considers the standard treatment of meteor physics, including the balance of frictional heating by radiative losses and the absorption of heat energy through temperature increases, melting phase transitions and vaporization, as well as sputtering by inelastic collisions with the air molecules. The vertical injection profiles are input into the Leeds 1-D Mars atmospheric model which includes photo-ionization, and gas-phase ion-molecule and neutral chemistry, in order to explore the evolution of the resulting metallic ions and atoms. We conclude that the dominant contributor in the Martian's atmosphere is the JFCs over other sources. Finally, we explore the changes of the neutral and ionized Na, Mg and Fe layers over a diurnal cycle.

  16. MGS Radio Science Electron Density Profiles: Interannual Variability and Implications for the Martian Neutral Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; Engel, S.; Hinson, D. P.; Murphy, J. R.

    2004-01-01

    Martian electron density profiles provided by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) experiment over the 95-200 km altitude range indicate what the height of the electron peak and the longitudinal structure of the peak height are sensitive indicators of the physical state of the Mars lower and upper atmospheres. The present analysis is carried out on five sets of occultation profiles, all at high solar zenith angles (SZA). Variations spanning 2 Martian years are investigated near aphelion conditions at high northern latitudes (64.7 - 77.6 N) making use of four of these data sets. A mean ionospheric peak height of 133.5 - 135 km is obtained near SZA = 78 - 82 deg.; a corresponding mean peak density of 7.3 - 8.5 x l0(exp 4)/ qu cm is also measured during solar moderate conditions at Mars. Strong wave number 2 - 3 oscillations in peak heights are consistently observed as a function of longitude over the 2 Martian years. These observed ionospheric features are remarkably similar during aphelion conditions 1 Martian year apart. This year-to-year repeatability in the thermosphere-ionosphere structure is consistent with that observed in multiyear aphelion temperature data of the Mars lower atmosphere. Coupled Mars general circulation model (MGCM) and Mars thermospheric general circulation model (MTGCM) codes are run for Mars aphelion conditions, yielding mean and longitude variable ionospheric peak heights that reasonably match RS observations. A tidal decomposition of MTGCM thermospheric densities shows that observed ionospheric wave number 3 features are linked to a non-migrating tidal mode with semidiurnal period (sigma = 2) and zonal wave number 1 (s = -1) characteristics. The height of this photochemically determined ionospheric peak should be monitored regularly.

  17. Composition and structure of the martian atmosphere: preliminary results from Viking 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nier, A.O.; Hanson, W.B.; Seiff, A.; McElroy, M.B.; Spencer, N.W.; Duckett, R.J.; Knight, T.C.D.; Cook, W.S.

    1976-01-01

    Results from the aeroshell-mounted neutral mass spectrometer on Viking 1 indicate that the upper atmosphere of Mars is composed mainly of CO 2 with trace quantities of N 2 , Ar, O, O 2 , and CO. The mixing ratios by volume relative to CO 2 for N 2 , Ar, and O 2 are about 0.06, 0.015, and 0.003, respectively, at an altitude near 135 kilometers. Molecular oxygen (O 2 + ) is a major component of the ionosphere according to results from the retarding potential analyzer. The atmosphere between 140 and 200 kilometers has an average temperature of about 180 0 +- 20 0 K. Atmospheric pressure at the landing site for Viking 1 was 7.3 millibars at an air temperature of 241 0 K. The descent data are consistent with the view that CO 2 should be the major constituent of the lower martian atmosphere

  18. Simulations of the general circulation of the Martian atmosphere. I - Polar processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Haberle, Robert M.; Schaeffer, James; Lee, Hilda

    1990-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the Martian atmosphere general circulation are carried out for 50 simulated days, using a three-dimensional model, based on the primitive equations of meteorology, which incorporated the radiative effects of atmospheric dust on solar and thermal radiation. A large number of numerical experiments were conducted for alternative choices of seasonal date and dust optical depth. It was found that, as the dust content of the winter polar region increased, the rate of atmospheric CO2 condensation increased sharply. It is shown that the strong seasonal variation in the atmospheric dust content observed might cause a number of hemispheric asymmetries. These asymmetries include the greater prevalence of polar hoods in the northern polar region during winter, the lower albedo of the northern polar cap during spring, and the total dissipation of the northern CO2 ice cap during the warmer seasons.

  19. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Flesch, Gregory J; Niles, Paul B; Jones, John H; Leshin, Laurie A; Atreya, Sushil K; Stern, Jennifer C; Christensen, Lance E; Owen, Tobias; Franz, Heather; Pepin, Robert O; Steele, Andrew; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F; Blanco Avalos, Juan J; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-07-19

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ratios of D/H and (18)O/(16)O in water and (13)C/(12)C, (18)O/(16)O, (17)O/(16)O, and (13)C(18)O/(12)C(16)O in carbon dioxide, made in the martian atmosphere at Gale Crater from the Curiosity rover using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)'s tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). Comparison between our measurements in the modern atmosphere and those of martian meteorites such as ALH 84001 implies that the martian reservoirs of CO2 and H2O were largely established ~4 billion years ago, but that atmospheric loss or surface interaction may be still ongoing.

  20. Gravity Waves in the Martian Atmosphere detected by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2013-09-01

    Gravity waves are an ubiquitous feature in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. They are known to play a significant role in the energy and momentum budget of the Earth, and they are assumed to be of importance for the redistribution of energy and momentum throughout the Martian atmosphere.

  1. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-07-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10-3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10-3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.

  2. A simplified model of the Martian atmosphere - Part 2: a POD-Galerkin analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Whitehouse

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In Part I of this study Whitehouse et al. (2005 performed a diagnostic analysis of a simplied model of the Martian atmosphere, in which topography was absent and in which heating was modelled as Newtonian relaxation towards a zonally symmetric equilibrium temperature field. There we derived a reduced-order approximation to the vertical and the horizonal structure of the baroclinically unstable Martian atmosphere, retaining only the barotropic mode and the leading order baroclinic modes. Our objectives in Part II of the study are to incorporate these approximations into a Proper Orthogonal Decomposition-Galerkin expansion of the spherical quasi-geostrophic model in order to derive hierarchies of nonlinear ordinary differential equations for the time-varying coefficients of the spatial structures. Two different vertical truncations are considered, as well as three different norms and 3 different Galerkin truncations. We investigate each in turn, using tools from bifurcation theory, to determine which of the systems most closely resembles the data for which the original diagnostics were performed.

  3. Some aspects of composition of the lower Martian atmosphere: input for MIRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Korablev, O.; Krasnopolsky, V.; Rorin, A.

    Recent spacecraft missions and high-resolution spectroscopic observations from the Earth-based, airborne and spaceborne observatories have justified the chemical contents of the Martian atmosphere at a new level of confidence. Both the lower and middle atmosphere of Mars reveal very limited chemical activity, while the variations of the abundance of minor constituents may be attributed to phase transitions of volatiles. Water vapor, which mixing ratio is controlled by complex hydrological cycle in the lower atmosphere and at the surface of the planet, affects seasonally varying depletion of ozone. Measured ratio of D/H can be explained with general models of the early evolution of the planet, though this estimate in the bulk atmosphere may not be ultimately representative due to altitude dependant fractionation of water isotopes. CO, as a chemically passive nonvolatile component, reveals increase of mixing ratio in the vicinity of winter polar caps during active condensation of the bulk CO2 atmosphere. No reliable evidence o any organicf matter in the atmosphere of Mars has been obtained.

  4. Global structure and composition of the martian atmosphere with SPICAM on Mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Korablev, O.; Fonteyn, D.; Guibert, S.; Chassefière, E.; Lefèvre, F.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quémerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, E.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) Light, a light-weight (4.7 kg) UV-IR instrument to be flown on Mars Express orbiter, is dedicated to the study of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar and solar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow studies of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO+, and CO2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. An IR spectrometer (1.0-1.7 μm, resolution 0.5-1.2 nm) is dedicated primarily to nadir measurements of H2O abundances simultaneously with ozone measured in the UV, and to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H2O, CO2, and aerosols. The SPICAM Light near-IR sensor employs a pioneering technology acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF), leading to a compact and light design. Overall, SPICAM Light is an ideal candidate for future orbiter studies of Mars, after Mars Express, in order to study the interannual variability of martian atmospheric processes. The potential contribution to a Mars International Reference Atmosphere is clear.

  5. Two-dimensional radiative transfer for the retrieval of limb emission measurements in the martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinböhl, Armin; Friedson, A. James; Schofield, John T.

    2017-01-01

    The remote sounding of infrared emission from planetary atmospheres using limb-viewing geometry is a powerful technique for deriving vertical profiles of structure and composition on a global scale. Compared with nadir viewing, limb geometry provides enhanced vertical resolution and greater sensitivity to atmospheric constituents. However, standard limb profile retrieval techniques assume spherical symmetry and are vulnerable to biases produced by horizontal gradients in atmospheric parameters. We present a scheme for the correction of horizontal gradients in profile retrievals from limb observations of the martian atmosphere. It characterizes horizontal gradients in temperature, pressure, and aerosol extinction along the line-of-sight of a limb view through neighboring measurements, and represents these gradients by means of two-dimensional radiative transfer in the forward model of the retrieval. The scheme is applied to limb emission measurements from the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Retrieval simulations using data from numerical models indicate that biases of up to 10 K in the winter polar region, obtained with standard retrievals using spherical symmetry, are reduced to about 2 K in most locations by the retrieval with two-dimensional radiative transfer. Retrievals from Mars atmospheric measurements suggest that the two-dimensional radiative transfer greatly reduces biases in temperature and aerosol opacity caused by observational geometry, predominantly in the polar winter regions.

  6. Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Chassefière, Eric; Karatekin, Özgür; Morschhauser, Achim; Niles, Paul B.; Mousis, Olivier; Odert, Petra; Möstl, Ute V.; Breuer, Doris; Dehant, Véronique; Grott, Matthias; Gröller, Hannes; Hauber, Ernst; Pham, Lê Binh San

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet's water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet's origin and lasted ˜500 Myr. Because of the high EUV flux of the young Sun and Mars' low gravity it was accompanied by hydrodynamic blow-off of hydrogen and strong thermal escape rates of dragged heavier species such as O and C atoms. After the main part of the protoatmosphere was lost, impact-related volatiles and mantle outgassing may have resulted in accumulation of a secondary CO2 atmosphere of a few tens to a few hundred mbar around ˜4-4.3 Gyr ago. The evolution of the atmospheric surface pressure and water inventory of such a secondary atmosphere during the second epoch which lasted from the end of the Noachian until today was most likely determined by a complex interplay of various nonthermal atmospheric escape processes, impacts, carbonate precipitation, and serpentinization during the Hesperian and Amazonian epochs which led to the present day surface pressure.

  7. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  8. Simulation of Martian surface-atmosphere interaction in a space-simulator: Technical considerations and feasibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Simulator of the German Aerospace Research Establishment at Cologne, formerly used for testing satellites, is now, since 1987, the central unit within the research sub-program 'Comet-Simulation' (KOSI). The KOSI team has investigated physical processes relevant to comets and their surfaces. As a byproduct we gained experience in sample-handling under simulated space conditions. In broadening the scope of the research activities of the DLR Institute of Space Simulation an extension to 'Laboratory-Planetology' is planned. Following the KOSI-experiments a Mars Surface-Simulation with realistic minerals and surface soil in a suited environment (temperature, pressure, and CO2-atmosphere) is foreseen as the next step. Here, our main interest is centered on thermophysical properties of the Martian surface and energy transport (and related gas transport) through the surface. These laboratory simulation activities can be related to space missions as typical pre-mission and during-the-mission support of the experiments design and operations (simulation in parallel). Post mission experiments for confirmation and interpretation of results are of great value. The physical dimensions of the Space Simulator (cylinder of about 2.5 m diameter and 5 m length) allows for testing and qualification of experimental hardware under realistic Martian conditions.

  9. The Martian climate and energy balance models with CO2/H2O atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffert, M. I.

    1986-01-01

    The analysis begins with a seasonal energy balance model (EBM) for Mars. This is used to compute surface temperature versus x = sin(latitude) and time over the seasonal cycle. The core model also computes the evolving boundaries of the CO2 icecaps, net sublimational/condensation rates, and the resulting seasonal pressure wave. Model results are compared with surface temperature and pressure history data at Viking lander sites, indicating fairly good agreement when meridional heat transport is represented by a thermal diffusion coefficient D approx. 0.015 W/sq. m/K. Condensational wind distributions are also computed. An analytic model of Martian wind circulation is then proposed, as an extension of the EMB, which incorporates vertical wind profiles containing an x-dependent function evaluated by substitution in the equation defining the diffusion coefficient. This leads to a parameterization of D(x) and of the meridional circulation which recovers the high surface winds predicted by dynamic Mars atmosphere models (approx. 10 m/sec). Peak diffusion coefficients, D approx. 0.6 w/sq m/K, are found over strong Hadley zones - some 40 times larger than those of high-latitude baroclinic eddies. When the wind parameterization is used to find streamline patterns over Martian seasons, the resulting picture shows overturning hemispheric Hadley cells crossing the equator during solstices, and attaining peak intensities during the south summer dust storm season, while condensational winds are most important near the polar caps.

  10. Effect of Shadowing on Survival of Bacteria under Conditions Simulating the Martian Atmosphere and UV Radiation▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-μm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-μm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (∼5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  11. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  12. Pressure Balance at Mars and Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krymskii, A. M.; Ness, N. F.; Crider, D. H.; Breus, T. K.; Acuna, M. H.; Hinson, D.

    2003-01-01

    The strongest crustal fields are located in certain regions in the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the crustal fields are rather weak and usually do not prevent direct interaction between the SW and the Martian ionosphere/atmosphere. Exceptions occur in the isolated mini-magnetospheres formed by the crustal anomalies. Electron density profiles of the ionosphere of Mars derived from radio occultation data obtained by the Radio Science Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) experiment have been compared with the crustal magnetic fields measured by the MGS Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) experiment. A study of 523 electron density profiles obtained at latitudes from +67 deg. to +77 deg. has been conducted. The effective scale-height of the electron density for two altitude ranges, 145-165 km and 165-185 km, and the effective scale-height of the neutral atmosphere density in the vicinity of the ionization peak have been derived for each of the profiles studied. For the regions outside of the potential mini-magnetospheres, the thermal pressure of the ionospheric plasma for the altitude range 145-185 km has been estimated. In the high latitude ionosphere at Mars, the total pressure at altitudes 160 and 180 km has been mapped. The solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Mars and origin of the sharp drop of the electron density at the altitudes 200-210 km will be discussed.

  13. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  14. MAVEN Observations of Escaping Planetary Ions from the Martian Atmosphere: Mass, Velocity, and Spatial Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yaxue; Fang, Xiaohua; Brain, D. A.; McFadden, James P.; Halekas, Jasper; Connerney, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars-solar wind interaction accelerates and transports planetary ions away from the Martian atmosphere through a number of processes, including ‘pick-up’ by electromagnetic fields. The MAVEN spacecraft has made routine observations of escaping planetary ions since its arrival at Mars in September 2014. The SupraThermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) instrument measures the ion energy, mass, and angular spectra. It has detected energetic planetary ions during most of the spacecraft orbits, which are attributed to the pick-up process. We found significant variations in the escaping ion mass and velocity distributions from the STATIC data, which can be explained by factors such as varying solar wind conditions, contributions of particles from different source locations and different phases during the pick-up process. We also study the spatial distributions of different planetary ion species, which can provide insight into the physics of ion escaping process and enhance our understanding of atmospheric erosion by the solar wind. Our results will be further interpreted within the context of the upstream solar wind conditions measured by the MAVEN Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA) instrument and the magnetic field environment measured by the Magnetometer (MAG) instrument. Our study shows that the ion spatial distribution in the Mars-Sun-Electric-Field (MSE) coordinate system and the velocity space distribution with respect to the local magnetic field line can be used to distinguish the ions escaping through the polar plume and those through the tail region. The contribution of the polar plume ion escape to the total escape rate will also be discussed.

  15. The study of the martian atmosphere from top to bottom with SPICAM light on mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Fonteyn, D.; Korablev, O.; Chassefière, E.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quemerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, B.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    2000-10-01

    into the long-term evolution of the atmosphere. The SPICAM Light IR sensor is inherited from the IR solar part of the SPICAM solar occultation instrument of Mars 96. Its main scientific objective is the global mapping of the vertical structure of H 2O, CO 2, CO, HDO, aerosols, atmospheric density, and temperature by the solar occultation. The wide spectral range of the IR spectrometer and its high spectral resolution allow an exploratory investigation addressing fundamental question of the possible presence of carbon compounds in the Martian atmosphere. Because of severe mass constraints this channel is still optional. An additional nadir near IR channel that employs a pioneering technology acousto-optical tuneable filter (AOTF) is dedicated to the measurement of water vapour column abundance in the IR simultaneously with ozone measured in the UV. It will be done at much lower telemetry budget compared to the other instrument of the mission, planetary fourier spectrometer (PFS).

  16. Modeling Martian Atmospheric Losses over Time: Implications for Exoplanetary Climate Evolution and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Lee, Yuni; Ma, Yingjuan; Lingam, Manasvi; Bougher, Stephen; Luhmann, Janet; Curry, Shannon; Toth, Gabor; Nagy, Andrew; Tenishev, Valeriy; Fang, Xiaohua; Mitchell, David; Brain, David; Jakosky, Bruce

    2018-05-01

    In this Letter, we make use of sophisticated 3D numerical simulations to assess the extent of atmospheric ion and photochemical losses from Mars over time. We demonstrate that the atmospheric ion escape rates were significantly higher (by more than two orders of magnitude) in the past at ∼4 Ga compared to the present-day value owing to the stronger solar wind and higher ultraviolet fluxes from the young Sun. We found that the photochemical loss of atomic hot oxygen dominates over the total ion loss at the current epoch, while the atmospheric ion loss is likely much more important at ancient times. We briefly discuss the ensuing implications of high atmospheric ion escape rates in the context of ancient Mars, and exoplanets with similar atmospheric compositions around young solar-type stars and M-dwarfs.

  17. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: CRISM EPF Coverage During the South Polar Spring Recession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; McGuire, P.; Wolff, M. J.

    2008-03-01

    We describe efforts to model dust and ice aerosols content and soils and icy surface reflectance in the Martian southern polar region during spring recession (Ls = 152-320) using CRISM emission phase function (EPF) observations.

  18. Experimental Investigation of Adsorption Kinetics: Implications for Diurnals Variations of Martian Atmospheric Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slank, R.; Farris, H. N.; Chevrier, V.

    2017-12-01

    Introduction: Ice at Mars' equatorial regions is unstable at geologically short timescales, due to factors like thermal properties of the regolith and depth [1]. The distribution of ice is governed by thermodynamics and kinetics, which largely depends on diffusive and adsorptive properties of the regolith [2] and are studied through simulation experiments on regolith analogs. Numerical models of water ice stability [3] often require kinetic parameters that are lacking for Mars relevant materials. Previous measurements were limited to clays [4] or did not account for temperature dependence [5]. Method: Measurements of input parameters are performed for different regoliths relevant to observations of the Martian surface: smectite, basalt, JSC-Mars 1, and nanophase ferric oxides [6]. While diffusive properties of some of these materials are well understood [7; 1; 8; 9], we seek to determine adsorption parameters, specifically the temperature dependencies for kinetics. Adsorption kinetic constants are derived from the change in mass of water adsorbed as a function of time on a thin layer ( 1mm thick) of regolith, resulting in minimum diffusion and maximum surface in contact with the atmosphere. The samples are baked for 24 hours at 100°C and then sealed in a desiccators placed in a freezer to cool the sample. All experiments are run in the Aries Mars Simulation Chamber. The chamber is evacuated to less that 1 mbar, filled with dry CO2 gas to atmospheric pressure, and chilled to the determined temperature. Once conditions are stable, the sample is measured and placed in the chamber. The sample is then exposed to a 6 mbar CO2 atmosphere at various temperatures (-12 to 3°C) and humidities (5 to 80%). Experiments are run for 4 to 8 hours, to allow the sample to reach steady state. During this time, mass, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and water vapor pressure are recorded. References: [1] Beck, P. et al. (2010) JGR 115. [2] Chevrier, V.F. et al. (2008) Icarus

  19. Pressurized Martian-Like Pure CO2 Atmosphere Supports Strong Growth of Cyanobacteria, and Causes Significant Changes in their Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murukesan, Gayathri; Leino, Hannu; Mäenpää, Pirkko; Ståhle, Kurt; Raksajit, Wuttinun; Lehto, Harry J.; Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, Yagut; Lehto, Kirsi

    2016-03-01

    Surviving of crews during future missions to Mars will depend on reliable and adequate supplies of essential life support materials, i.e. oxygen, food, clean water, and fuel. The most economical and sustainable (and in long term, the only viable) way to provide these supplies on Martian bases is via bio-regenerative systems, by using local resources to drive oxygenic photosynthesis. Selected cyanobacteria, grown in adequately protective containment could serve as pioneer species to produce life sustaining substrates for higher organisms. The very high (95.3 %) CO2 content in Martian atmosphere would provide an abundant carbon source for photo-assimilation, but nitrogen would be a strongly limiting substrate for bio-assimilation in this environment, and would need to be supplemented by nitrogen fertilizing. The very high supply of carbon, with rate-limiting supply of nitrogen strongly affects the growth and the metabolic pathways of the photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that modified, Martian-like atmospheric composition (nearly 100 % CO2) under various low pressure conditions (starting from 50 mbar to maintain liquid water, up to 200 mbars) supports strong cellular growth. Under high CO2 / low N2 ratio the filamentous cyanobacteria produce significant amount of H2 during light due to differentiation of high amount of heterocysts.

  20. Predicting Ionization Rates from SEP and Solar Wind Proton Precipitation into the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolitz, R.; Dong, C.; Lee, C. O.; Curry, S.; Lillis, R. J.; Brain, D.; Halekas, J. S.; Larson, D. E.; Bougher, S. W.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitating energetic particles ionize planetary atmospheres and increase total electron content. At Mars, the solar wind and solar energetic particles (SEPs) can precipitate directly into the atmosphere because solar wind protons can charge exchange to become neutrals and pass through the magnetosheath, while SEPs are sufficiently energetic to cross the magnetosheath unchanged. In this study we will present predicted ionization rates and resulting electron densities produced by solar wind and SEP proton ionization during nominal solar activity and a CME shock front impact event on May 16 2016. We will use the Atmospheric Scattering of Protons and Energetic Neutrals (ASPEN) model to compare ionization by SEP and solar wind protons currently measured by the SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer) and SEP instruments aboard the MAVEN spacecraft. Results will help to quantify how the ionosphere responds to extreme solar events during solar minimum.

  1. Atmospheric Signature of the Agulhas Current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkwinkwa Njouodo, Arielle Stela; Koseki, Shunya; Keenlyside, Noel; Rouault, Mathieu

    2018-05-01

    Western boundary currents play an important role in the climate system by transporting heat poleward and releasing it to the atmosphere. While their influence on extratropical storms and oceanic rainfall is becoming appreciated, their coastal influence is less known. Using satellite and climate reanalysis data sets and a regional atmospheric model, we show that the Agulhas Current is a driver of the observed band of rainfall along the southeastern African coast and above the Agulhas Current. The Agulhas current's warm core is associated with sharp gradients in sea surface temperature and sea level pressure, a convergence of low-level winds, and a co-located band of precipitation. Correlations among wind convergence, sea level pressure, and sea surface temperature indicate that these features show high degree of similarity to those in the Gulf Stream region. Model experiments further indicate that the Agulhas Current mostly impacts convective rainfall.

  2. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  3. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  4. Physical Properties of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Analysis of Contradictions and Possible Ways of Their Resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlugach, Zh. M.; Korablev, O. I.; Morozhenko, A. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in forming the Martian climate. However, the basic physical properties of the Martian aerosols are still poorly known; there are many contradictions in their estimates. We present an analytical overview of the published results and potentialities of various methods. We consider mineral dust. Zonally averaged data obtained from mapping IR instruments (TES and IRTM) give the optical thickness of mineral aerosols τ9 = 0.05-0.1 in the 9-μm band for quite atmospheric conditions. There is a problem of comparing these estimates with those obtained in the visible spectral range. We suggest that the commonly used ratio τvis/τ9 >2 depends on the interpretation and it may actually be smaller. The ratio τvis/τ9 ~ 1 is in better agreement with the IRIS data (materials like montmorillonite). If we assume that τvis/τ9 = 1 and take into account the nonspherical particle shape, then the interpretation of ground-based integrated polarimetric observations (τ < 0.04) can be reconciled with IR measurements from the orbit. However, for thin layers, the sensitivity of both methods to the optical thickness is poorly understood: on the one hand, polarimetry depends on the cloud cover and, on the other hand, the interpretation of IR measurements requires that the atmospheric temperature profile and the surface temperature and emissivity be precisely known. For quite atmospheric conditions, the local optical-thickness estimates obtained by the Bouguer-Lambert-Beer method and from the sky brightness measured from Viking 1 and 2 and Mars Pathfinder landers are much larger: τ = 0.3-0.6. Estimates of the contrasts in images from the Viking orbiters yield the same values. Thus, there is still a factor of 3 to 10 difference between different groups of optical-thickness estimates for the quiet atmosphere. This difference is probably explained by the contribution of condensation clouds and/or by local/time variations.

  5. Thermal infrared properties of the Martian atmosphere 4. Predictions of the presence of dust and ice clouds from Viking IRTM spectral measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the response of the Martian atmosphere at the wavelengths measured by the Viking infrared thermal mapper instrument (IRTM) to the presence of varying amounts of dust and water ice clouds. A detailed radiative transfer study is represented to show that these IRTM measurements at channels centered at 7, 9, 11, and 20 μm may be used to differentiate between the presence of dust and water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. They show further that these measurements may also be used to provide some information on the structure of the lower atmosphere. The use of the IRTM measurements in the manner we describe can provide information associated with the thermal characteristics of Martian dust storms

  6. Hydrogen Isotopes Record the History of the Martian Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Kurokawa, H.; Sato, M.; Alexander, C. M. O'D; Wang, J.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. This study presents insights from hydrogen isotopes for the origin and evolution of Martian water reservoirs.

  7. Evaporation Rates for Liquid Water and Ice Under Current Martian Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.; Meier, A.; Chittenden, J.; Kareev, M.; Farmer, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    A number of studies have been concerned with the evaporation rates under martian conditions in order to place limits on the possible survival time of both liquid water and ice exposed on the surface of Mars. Such studies also aid in assessing the efficacy of an overlying layer of dust or loose regolith material in providing a barrier to free evaporation and thus prolong the lifetime of water in locations where its availability to putative living organisms would be significant. A better quantitative understanding of the effects of phase changes of water in the near surface environment would also aid the evaluation of the possible role of water in the formation of currently observed features, such as gullies in cliff walls and relatively short-term changes in the albedo of small surface areas ('dark stains'). Laboratory measurements aimed at refinement of our knowledge of these values are described here. The establishment of accurate values for evaporation rates and their dependence on the physical conditions of temperature, pressure and energy input, is an important benchmark for the further investigation of the efficacy of barriers to free evaporation in providing a prolonged period of survival of the water, particularly as a liquid.

  8. Measurements in interplanetary space and in the Martian upper atmosphere with a hydrogen absorption-cell spectrophotometer for Lα-radiation on-board Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babichenko, S.I.; Deregusov, E.V.; Kurt, V.G.; Romanova, N.N.; Skljankin, V.A.; Smirnov, A.S.; Bertaux, J.J.; Blamont, J.

    1977-01-01

    An ultraviolet spectrophotometer UFS-2, designed to measure radiation of atomic hydrogen in the Lα-line, was installed onboard the interplanetary Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes launched in August 1973. The absorption cell which was used for the first time outside the hydrogen geocorona allowed direct temperature measurements of neutral interstellar hydrogen near the Sun and in the upper Martian atmosphere. (Auth.)

  9. A thin-shock-layer solution for nonequilibrium, inviscid hypersonic flows in earth, Martian, and Venusian atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grose, W. L.

    1971-01-01

    An approximate inverse solution is presented for the nonequilibrium flow in the inviscid shock layer about a vehicle in hypersonic flight. The method is based upon a thin-shock-layer approximation and has the advantage of being applicable to both subsonic and supersonic regions of the shock layer. The relative simplicity of the method makes it ideally suited for programming on a digital computer with a significant reduction in storage capacity and computing time required by other more exact methods. Comparison of nonequilibrium solutions for an air mixture obtained by the present method is made with solutions obtained by two other methods. Additional cases are presented for entry of spherical nose cones into representative Venusian and Martian atmospheres. A digital computer program written in FORTRAN language is presented that permits an arbitrary gas mixture to be employed in the solution. The effects of vibration, dissociation, recombination, electronic excitation, and ionization are included in the program.

  10. SPICAM: studying the global structure and composition of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, J.-L.; Fonteyn, D.; Korablev, O.; Chassefre, E.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Lefèvre, F.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quemerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, E.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    2004-08-01

    The SPICAM (SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars) instrument consists of two spectrometers. The UV spectrometer addresses key issues about ozone and its H2O coupling, aerosols, the atmospheric vertical temperature structure and the ionosphere. The IR spectrometer is aimed primarily at H2O and abundances and vertical profiling of H2O and aerosols. SPICAM's density/temperature profiles will aid the development of meteorological and dynamical atmospheric models from the surface up to 160 km altitude. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will study the ionosphere and its direct interaction with the solar wind. They will also allow a better understanding of escape mechanisms, crucial for insight into the long-term evolution of the atmosphere.

  11. A unique airborne observation. [Martian atmospheric temperature and abundances from occultation of Epsilon Geminorum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, J. L.; Dunham, E.; Church, C.

    1976-01-01

    The occultation of 3rd magnitude Epsilon Geminorum by Mars was observed using a 36-inch telescope equipped with a photoelectric photometer at the bent Cassegrain focus, carried aboard the Kuiper Airborne Observatory at altitudes up to 45,000 feet. Scintillation from the earth's atmosphere was greatly reduced in comparison with ground observations. The observations clearly show the central flash, caused by the symmetrical refraction of light by the atmosphere of Mars. The data are being analyzed to obtain temperature profiles and to assess the relative abundance of argon and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the planet.

  12. Escape of O(3P), O(1D), and O(1S) from the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jane L.; Hać, Aleksander B.

    2018-01-01

    We have computed here the escape probabilities, fluxes and rates for hot O atoms that are initially produced in the ground state and the first two excited metastable states, O(1D)and O(1S), in the Martian thermosphere by dissociative recombination of O2+. In order to compare our results with those of our previous calculations and with those of others, we have employed here the pre-MAVEN models that we have used previously. To compute the escape probabilities, we have employed the Monte Carlo escape code that has been described previously, but we here use for the first time energy-dependent elastic cross sections for collisions of the energetic O atoms with each of the twelve background species in our model. We also incorporate three mechanisms that interchange identities of the O(3P) and O(1D) atoms, including collisional excitation of O(3P) to O(1D), quenching of O(1D) to O(3P), and excitation exchange of O(1D) with O(3P). We find that the escape probabilities of O atoms that are produced initially as O(1D) are reduced compared to those in which these processes are not included, but the escape probabilities of O atoms that are initially produced as O(3P) are not significantly reduced. As a guide for our future research and those of other investigators, we review here what is known about the interactions of O atoms with other species in which the energies of the O atoms are altered, and several other sources of hot and escaping O, many of which have been suggested by other investigators. We will incorporate these data in a future MAVEN-like model.

  13. The Martian atmospheric water cycle as viewed from a terrestrial perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurek, Richard W.

    1988-01-01

    It is noted that the conditions of temperature and pressure that characterize the atmosphere of Mars are similar to those found in the Earth's stratosphere. Of particular significance is the fact that liquid water is unstable in both environments. Thus, it is expected that terrestrial studies of the dynamical behavior of stratospheric water should benefit the understanding of water transport on Mars as well.

  14. Atmospheric Structure and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, David P.; Spiga, A.; Lewis, S.; Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Asmar, S.; Häusler, B.

    2013-10-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements from Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Global Surveyor to characterize the diurnal cycle in the lowest scale height above the surface. We focus on northern spring and summer, using observations from 4 Martian years at local times of 4-5 and 15-17 h. We supplement the observations with results obtained from large-eddy simulations and through data assimilation by the UK spectral version of the LMD Mars Global Circulation Model. We previously investigated the depth of the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) and its variations with surface elevation and surface properties. We are now examining unusual aspects of the temperature structure observed at night. Most important, predawn profiles in the Tharsis region contain an unexpected layer of neutral static stability at pressures of 200-300 Pa with a depth of 4-5 km. The mixed layer is bounded above by a midlevel temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. The narrow temperature minimum at the base of the midlevel inversion suggests the presence of a water ice cloud layer, with the further implication that radiative cooling at cloud level can induce convective activity at lower altitudes. Conversely, nighttime profiles in Amazonis show no sign of a midlevel inversion or a detached mixed layer. These regional variations in the nighttime temperature structure appear to arise in part from large-scale variations in topography, which have several notable effects. First, the CBL is much deeper in the Tharsis region than in Amazonis, owing to a roughly 6-km difference in surface elevation. Second, large-eddy simulations show that daytime convection is not only deeper above Tharsis but also considerably more intense than it is in Amazonis. Finally, the daytime surface temperatures are comparable in the two regions, so that Tharsis acts as an elevated heat source throughout the CBL. These topographic effects are expected to

  15. Thermal infrared properties of the Martian atmosphere 2. The 15-μm band measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, T.Z.; Kieffer, H.H.

    1979-01-01

    Viking infrared thermal mapper observations of Mars in the 15-μm CO 2 band reveal global atmospheric thermal behavior at the 0.3- to 0.6-mbar level. Dust entrained by storms produces major modification of diurnal and latitudinal structure in the brightness temperature T 15 . In the dust-laden atmosphere of southern spring and summer 1977, T 15 was a maximum in late afternoon at a latitude well south of the subsolar latitude. Diurnal amplitude was as great as 30 K, while diurnal mean temperatures exceeded 220 K. Over the northern winter polar cap, T 15 increased dramatically following the second global dust storm of 1977; even in regions of polar night the change was up to 80 K. Inversions of similar magnitude resulted, and the change in downward radiance was sufficient to modify substantially the rate of CO 2 condensation at the surface

  16. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  17. Zonal Wave Number 2 Rossby Wave (3.5-day oscillation) Over The Martian Lower Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, P.; Thokuluwa, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    Over the Mars, height (800-50 Pascal pressure coordinate) profiles of temperature (K), measured by radio occultation technique during the MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) mission, obtained for the period of 1-10 January 2006 at the Martian latitude of ~63N in almost all the longitudes are analyzed to study the characteristics of the 3.5-day oscillation. To avoid significant data gaps in a particular longitude sector, we selected a set of 7 Mars longitude regions with ranges of 0-30E, 35-60E, 65-95E, 190-230E, 250-280E, 290-320E, and 325-360E to study the global characteristics of the 3.5-day oscillation. The 3.5-day oscillation is not selected as a-priori but observed as a most significant oscillation during this period of 1-10 January 2006. It is observed that in the longitude of 0-30E, the 3.5-day oscillation shows statistically significant power (above the 95% confidence level white noise) from the lowest height (800 Pascal, 8 hPa) itself and up to the height of 450 Pascal level with the maximum power of ~130 K^2 at the 600 & 650 Pascal levels. It started to grow from the power of ~ 50 K^2 at the lowest height of 800 Pascal level and reached the maximum power in the height of 600-650 Pascal level and then it started to get lessened monotonously up to the height of 450 Pascal level where its power is ~ 20 K^2. Beyond this height and up to the height of 50 Pascal level, the wave amplitude is below the white noise level. As the phase of the wave is almost constant at all the height levels, it seems that the observed 3.5-day oscillation is a stationary wave with respect to the height. In the 35-60 E longitude sector, the vertical structure of the 3.5-day oscillation is similar to what observed for the 0-30 E longitude region but the power is statistically insignificant at all the heights. However in the 65-95E longitude sector, the wave grows from the lowest level (70 K^2) of 800 Pascal to its maximum power of 280 K^2 in the height of 700 Pascal level and then it started

  18. Infrared radiation and inversion population of CO2 laser levels in Venusian and Martian atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordiyets, B. F.; Panchenko, V. Y.

    1983-01-01

    Formation mechanisms of nonequilibrium 10 micron CO2 molecule radiation and the possible existence of a natural laser effect in the upper atmospheres of Venus and Mars are theoretically studied. An analysis is made of the excitation process of CO2 molecule vibrational-band levels (with natural isotropic content) induced by direct solar radiation in bands 10.6, 9.4, 4.3, 2.7 and 2.0 microns. The model of partial vibrational-band temperatures was used in the case. The problem of IR radiation transfer in vibrational-rotational bands was solved in the radiation escape approximation.

  19. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure...... of periapsis 170 km), and in a lesser extent 2a, offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate by in situ probing the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, and therefore the present atmospheric escape rate...

  20. Water Ice Clouds and Dust in the Martian Atmosphere Observed by Mars Climate Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Jennifer L.; Kass, David; Heavens, Nicholas; Kleinbohl, Armin

    2011-01-01

    The water ice clouds are primarily controlled by the temperature structure and form at the water condensation level. Clouds in all regions presented show day/night differences. Cloud altitude varies between night and day in the SPH and tropics: (1) NPH water ice opacity is greater at night than day at some seasons (2) The diurnal thermal tide controls the daily variability. (3) Strong day/night changes indicate that the amount of gas in the atmosphere varies significantly. See significant mixtures of dust and ice at the same altitude planet-wide (1) Points to a complex radiative and thermal balance between dust heating (in the visible) and ice heating or cooling in the infrared. Aerosol layering: (1) Early seasons reveal a zonally banded spatial distribution (2) Some localized longitudinal structure of aerosol layers (3) Later seasons show no consistent large scale organization

  1. Properties and effects of dust particles suspended in the martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.; Colburn, D.S.; Flasar, M.; Kahn, R.; Carlston, C.E.; Pidek, D.

    1979-01-01

    Direct measurements of the optical depth above the two Viking landers are reported for a period of covering the summer, fall, and winter seasons in the northern hemisphere, a time period during which two global dust storms occurred. The optical depth had a value of about 1 just before the onset of each storm; it increased very rapidly, on a time scale of a few days, to peak values of about 3 and 6 with the arrival of the first and second storms, respectively; and its steadily decreased shortly thereafter (> or approx. = few days to few weeks) for both storms, with the decay occurring more rapidly during the initial period of decay. We have also carried out further analyses of observations of the sky brightness made with the lander cameras during the summer season to obtain improved estimates of other dust particle parameters, including the cross section weighted mean particle radius, several shape factors, and the imaginary indices of refraction. These results have been used to define the radiative properties of the suspended dust particles at solar wavelenths. The derived radiative properties of the dust were incorporated into a 1D radiative convective model. Satisfactory agreement with the temperature structure determined during the descent of the landers to the surface. Is achieved when allowance is made for the effects of vertical motions induced by large scale atmospheric dynamics. The diurnal temperature variations predicted by the 1D calculations for the observed optical depths are also in crude agreement with values inferred from orbiter and lander measurements. The 1D model predicts that the diurnal temperature change and daily mean temperature, averaged over the entire atmospheric vertical column, steadily increase as the optical depth of the dust increases to a value of several, and then subsequently change little

  2. Thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere retrieved from the IR- spectrometry in the 15 mkm CO2 band

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Igantiev, N.; Moroz, V.

    Thermal IR spectrometry is one of the methods of the Martian atmosphere investigation below 55 km. The temperature profiles retrieved from the 15 μm CO2 band may be used for MIRA database. This approach gives the vertical resolution of several kilometers and accuracy of several Kelvins. An aerosol abundance, which influences the temperature profiles, is obtained from the continuum of the same spectrum. It is taken into account in the temperature retrieval procedure in a self- consistent way. Although this method has limited vertical resolution it possesses some advantages. For example, the radio occultation method gives the temperature profiles with higher spectral resolution, but the radio observations are sparse in space and local time. Direct measurements, which give the most accurate results, enable to obtain the temperature profiles only for some chosen points (landing places). Actually, the thermal IR-spectrometry is the only method, which allows to monitor the temperature profiles with good coverage both in space and local time. The first measurements of this kind were fulfilled by IRIS, installed on board of Mariner 9. This spectrometer was characterized by rather high spectral resolution (2.4 cm-1). The temperature profiles vs. local time dependencies for different latitudes and seasons were retrieved, including dust storm conditions, North polar night, Tharsis volcanoes. The obtained temperature profiles have been compared with the temperature profiles for the same conditions, taken from Climate Data Base (European GCM). The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express (which is planned to be launched in 2003) has the spectral range 1.2-45 μm and spectral resolution of 1.5 cm- 1. Temperature retrieval is one of the main scientific goals of the experiment. It opens a possibility to get a series of temperature profiles taken for different conditions, which can later be used in MIRA producing.

  3. Thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere retrieved from the IR spectrometry in the 15 μm CO2 band: input to MIRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Igantiev, N. I.; Moroz, V. I.

    This paper describes one of the sources of the data concerning the thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere, based on the thermal IR spectrometry method. It allows to investigate the Martian atmosphere below 55 km by retrieving the temperature profiles from the 15 μm CO2 band. This approach enables to reach the vertical resolution of several kilometers and the temperature accuracy of several Kelvins. An aerosol abundance, which influences the temperature profile, is obtained from the continuum of the same spectrum parallel with the temperature profile and is taken into account in the temperature retrieval procedure in a self consistent way. Although this method has the limited vertical resolution, it possesses a significant advantage: the thermal IR spectrometry allows to monitor the temperature profiles with a good coverage both in space and local time. The Planetary Fourier spectrometer on board of Mars Express has the spectral range from 250 to 8000 cm-1 and a high spectral resolution of about 2 cm-1. Vertical temperature profiles retrieval is one of the main scientific goals of the experiment. The important data are expected to be obtained on the vertical thermal structure of the atmosphere, and its dependence on latitude, longitude, season, local time, clouds and dust loadings. These results should give a significant input in the future MIRA, being included in the Chapter “Structure of the atmosphere from the surface to 100 km”.

  4. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  5. Current status of quantitative rotational spectroscopy for atmospheric research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drouin, Brian J.; Wlodarczak, Georges; Colmont, Jean-Marcel; Rohart, Francois

    2004-01-01

    Remote sensing of rotational transitions in the Earth's atmosphere has become an important method for the retrieval of geophysical temperatures, pressures and chemical composition profiles that requires accurate spectral information. This paper highlights the current status of rotational data that are useful for atmospheric measurements, with a discussion of the types the rotational lineshape measurements that are not generally available in either online repository.

  6. In Situ Atmospheric Pressure Measurements in the Martian Southern Polar Region: Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor Meteorology Package on the Mars Polar Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Siili, T.; Crisp, D.

    1998-01-01

    Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Meteorology (MET) package onboard the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), due for launch early next year. The spacecraft is expected to land in December 1999 (L(sub s) = 256 degrees) at a high southern latitude (74 degrees - 78 degrees S). The nominal period of operation is 90 sols but may last up to 210 sols. The MVACS/MET experiment will provide the first in situ observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, and humidity in the southern hemisphere of Mars and in the polar regions. The martian atmosphere goes through a large-scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation/sublimation of the atmospheric CO2. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides, and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence provide us with information on the large-scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere, including the CO2 and dust cycles as well as local weather phenomena. The measurements can also shed light on the shorter time scale phenomena (e.g., passage of dust devils) and hence be important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust, and water vapor.

  7. A tentative detection of the 183-GHz water vapor line in the martian atmosphere: Constraints upon the H2O abundance and vertical distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encrenaz, TH.; Lellouch, E.; Cernicharo, J.; Paubert, G.; Gulkis, S.

    1995-01-01

    The 183-GHz water vapor line was tentatively detected on Mars in January 1991, with the IRAM 30-m millimeter antenna, under extremely dry atmospheric conditions. The measurement refers to the whole disk. The spectral line, although marginally detected, can be fit with a constant H2O mixing ratio of 1.0 x 10(exp -5), which corresponds to a water abundance of 1 pr-microns; in any case, an upper limit of 3 pr-microns is inferred. This value is comparable to the very small abundances measured by Clancy (1992) 5 weeks before our observation and seems to imply both seasonal and long-term variations in the martian water cycle.

  8. SNC meteorites: Clues to martian petrologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The shergottites, nakhlites, and Chassigny (SNC meteorites) are apparently cumulate mafic and ultramafic rocks that crystallized at shallow levels in the crust of their parent body. The mineralogy and chemistry of these meteorites are remarkably like equivalent terrestrial rocks, although their ratios of Fe/(Fe+Mg) and certain incompatible elements and their oxygen isotopic compositions are distinctive. All have crystallization ages of 1.3 b.y. or younger and formed from magmas produced by partial melting of previously fractionated source regions. Isotope systematics suggest that the SNC parent body had a complex and protracted thermal history spanning most of geologic time. Some meteorites have been severely shock metamorphosed, and all were ejected from their parent body at relatively recent times, possibly in several impact events. Late crystallization ages, complex petrogenesis, and possible evidence for a large gravitational field suggest that these meteorites are derived from a large planet. Trapped gases in shergottite shock melts have compositions similar to the composition measured in the Martian atmosphere. Ejection of Martian meteorites may have been accomplished by acceleration of near-surface spalls or other mechanisms not fully understood. If SNC meteorites are of Martian origin, they provide important information on planetary composition and evolution. The bulk composition and redox state of the Martian mantle, as constrained by shergottite phase equilibria, must be more earthlike than most current models. Planetary thermal models should benefit from data on the abundances of radioactive heat sources, the melting behavior of the mantle, and the timing of planetary differentiation

  9. On the strong and selective isotope effect in the UV excitation of N2 with implications toward the nebula and Martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muskatel, B H; Remacle, F; Thiemens, Mark H; Levine, R D

    2011-04-12

    Isotopic effects associated with molecular absorption are discussed with reference to natural phenomena including early solar system processes, Titan and terrestrial atmospheric chemistry, and Martian atmospheric evolution. Quantification of the physicochemical aspects of the excitation and dissociation processes may lead to enhanced understanding of these environments. Here we examine a physical basis for an additional isotope effect during photolysis of molecular nitrogen due to the coupling of valence and Rydberg excited states. The origin of this isotope effect is shown to be the coupling of diabatic electronic states of different bonding nature that occurs after the excitation of these states. This coupling is characteristic of energy regimes where two or more excited states are nearly crossing or osculating. A signature of the resultant isotope effect is a window of rapid variation in the otherwise smooth distribution of oscillator strengths vs. frequency. The reference for the discussion is the numerical solution of the time dependent Schrödinger equation for both the electronic and nuclear modes with the light field included as part of the Hamiltonian. Pumping is to all extreme UV dipole-allowed, valence and Rydberg, excited states of N(2). The computed absorption spectra are convoluted with the solar spectrum to demonstrate the importance of including this isotope effect in planetary, interstellar molecular cloud, and nebular photochemical models. It is suggested that accidental resonance with strong discrete lines in the solar spectrum such as the CIII line at 97.703 nm can also have a marked effect.

  10. Atmospheric Photooxidation Products and Chemistry of Current-use Pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murschell, T.; Farmer, D.

    2017-12-01

    Pesticides are widely used in agricultural, commercial, and residential applications across the United States. Pesticides can volatilize off targets and travel long distances, with atmospheric lifetimes determined by both physical and chemical loss processes. In particular, oxidation by the hydroxyl radical (OH) can reduce the lifetime and thus atmospheric transport of pesticides, though the rates and oxidation products of atmospheric pesticide oxidation are poorly understood. Here, we investigate reactions of current-use pesticides with OH. MCPA, triclopyr, and fluroxypyr are herbicides that are often formulated together to target broadleaf weeds. We detect these species in the gas-phase using real-time high resolution chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) with both acetate and iodide reagent ions. We used an Oxidative Flow Reactor to explore OH radical oxidation and photolysis of these compounds, simulating up to 5 equivalent days of atmospheric aging by OH. Use of two ionization schemes allowed for the more complete representation of the OH radical oxidation of the three pesticides. The high resolution mass spectra allows us to deduce structures of the oxidation products and identify multi-generational chemistry. In addition, we observe nitrogen oxides, as well as isocyanic acid (HNCO), from some nitrogen-containing pesticides. We present yields of species of atmospheric importance, including NOx and halogen species and consider their impact on air quality following pesticide application.

  11. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  12. The ALI-ARMS Code for Modeling Atmospheric non-LTE Molecular Band Emissions: Current Status and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutepov, A. A.; Feofilov, A. G.; Manuilova, R. O.; Yankovsky, V. A.; Rezac, L.; Pesnell, W. D.; Goldberg, R. A.

    2008-01-01

    The Accelerated Lambda Iteration (ALI) technique was developed in stellar astrophysics at the beginning of 1990s for solving the non-LTE radiative transfer problem in atomic lines and multiplets in stellar atmospheres. It was later successfully applied to modeling the non-LTE emissions and radiative cooling/heating in the vibrational-rotational bands of molecules in planetary atmospheres. Similar to the standard lambda iterations ALI operates with the matrices of minimal dimension. However, it provides higher convergence rate and stability due to removing from the iterating process the photons trapped in the optically thick line cores. In the current ALI-ARMS (ALI for Atmospheric Radiation and Molecular Spectra) code version additional acceleration of calculations is provided by utilizing the opacity distribution function (ODF) approach and "decoupling". The former allows replacing the band branches by single lines of special shape, whereas the latter treats non-linearity caused by strong near-resonant vibration-vibrational level coupling without additional linearizing the statistical equilibrium equations. Latest code application for the non-LTE diagnostics of the molecular band emissions of Earth's and Martian atmospheres as well as for the non-LTE IR cooling/heating calculations are discussed.

  13. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: One Mars Year of CRISM EPF Observations of the South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2009-03-01

    We have used CRISM Emission Phase Function gimballed observations to investigate atmospheric dust/ice opacity and surface albedo in the south polar region for the first Mars year of MRO operations. This covers the MY28 "dust event" and cap recession.

  14. Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust

  15. Design and Testing of a Controller for the Martian Atmosphere Pressure and Humidity Instrument DREAMS-P/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapani Nikkanen, Timo; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA), driven by the goal of performing a soft landing on Mars, is planning to launch the Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM)[1] simultaneously with the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) as a part of the ExoMars program towards Mars in 2016. As a secondary objective, the EDM will gather meteorological data and observe the electrical environment of the landing site with its Dust characterisation, Risk assessment, and Environmental Analyser on the Martian Surface (DREAMS). The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is participating in the project by designing, building and testing a pressure and a humidity instrument for Mars, named DREAMS-P and DREAMS-H, respectively. The instruments are based on previous FMI designs, including ones flown on board the Huygens, Phoenix and Mars Science Laboratory.[2] Traditionally, the FMI pressure and humidity instruments have been controlled by an FPGA. However, the need to incorporate more autonomy and modifiability into instruments, cut the development time and component costs, stimulated interest to study a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Microcontroller Unit (MCU) based instrument design. Thus, in the DREAMS-P/H design, an automotive MCU is used as the instrument controller. The MCU has been qualified for space by tests in and outside FMI. The DREAMS-P/H controller command and data interface utilizes a RS-422 connection to receive telecommands from and to transmit data to the Central Electronics Unit (CEU) of the DREAMS science package. The two pressure transducers of DREAMS-P and one humidity transducer of DREAMS-H are controlled by a single MCU. The MCU controls the power flow for each transducer and performs pulse counting measurements on sensor and reference channels to retrieve scientific data. Pressure and humidity measurements are scheduled and set up according to a configuration table assigned to each transducer. The configuration tables can be modified during the flight. The whole

  16. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  17. Comment on 'Current Budget of the Atmospheric Electric Global Circuit'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Kevin T.; Blakeslee, Richard J.

    1996-01-01

    In this paper, three major issues relevant to Kasemir's new model will be addressed. The first concerns Kasemir's assertion that there are significant differences between the potentials associated with the new model and the conventional model. A recalculation of these potentials reveals that both models provide equivalent results for the potential difference between the Earth and ionosphere. The second issue to be addressed is Kasemir's assertion that discrepancies in the electric potentials associated with both models can be attributed to modeling the Earth as a sphere, instead of as a planar surface. A simple analytical comparison will demonstrate that differences in the equations for the potentials of the atmosphere derived with a spherical and a planar Earth are negligible for applications to global current flow. Finally, the third issue to be discussed is Kasemir's claim that numerous aspects of the conventional model are incorrect, including the role of the ionosphere in global current flow as well as the significance of cloud-to-ground lightning in supplying charge to the global circuit. In order to refute these misconceptions, it will be shown that these aspects related to the flow of charge in the atmosphere are accurately described by the conventional model of the global circuit.

  18. A Review of Atmospheric Ozone and Current Thinking on the Antarctic Ozone Hole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 0 A Review of Atmospheric ozone and Current Thinking on the Antartic Ozone Hole A thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the...4. TI TLE (Pit 5,1tlfie) S. TYPE OF REPORT & PFRIOO COVERED A Review of Atmospheric Ozone and Current THESIS/DA/;J.At1AAU00 Thinking on the Antartic ...THESIS A Review of Atmospheric Ozone and Current Thinking on the Antartic Ozone Hole by Randolph Antoine Fix Master of Science in Atmospheric Science

  19. Current sources of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in our atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherry, David; McCulloch, Archie; Liang, Qing; Reimann, Stefan; Newman, Paul A.

    2018-02-01

    Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 or CTC) is an ozone-depleting substance whose emissive uses are controlled and practically banned by the Montreal Protocol (MP). Nevertheless, previous work estimated ongoing emissions of 35 Gg year-1 of CCl4 into the atmosphere from observation-based methods, in stark contrast to emissions estimates of 3 (0-8) Gg year-1 from reported numbers to UNEP under the MP. Here we combine information on sources from industrial production processes and legacy emissions from contaminated sites to provide an updated bottom-up estimate on current CTC global emissions of 15-25 Gg year-1. We now propose 13 Gg year-1 of global emissions from unreported non-feedstock emissions from chloromethane and perchloroethylene plants as the most significant CCl4 source. Additionally, 2 Gg year-1 are estimated as fugitive emissions from the usage of CTC as feedstock and possibly up to 10 Gg year-1 from legacy emissions and chlor-alkali plants.

  20. Martian seismicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goins, N.R.; Lazarewicz, A.R.

    1979-01-01

    During the Viking mission to Mars, the seismometer on Lander II collected approximately 0.24 Earth years of observations data, excluding periods of time dominated by wind-induced Lander vibration. The ''quiet-time'' data set contains no confirmed seismic events. A proper assessment of the significance of this fact requires quantitative estimates of the expected detection rate of the Viking seismometer. The first step is to calculate the minimum magnitude event detectable at a given distance, including the effects of geometric spreading, anelastic attenuation, seismic signal duration, seismometer frequency response, and possible poor ground coupling. Assuming various numerical quantities and a Martian seismic activity comparable to that of intraplate earthquakes, the appropriate integral gives an expected annual detection rate of 10 events, nearly all of which are local. Thus only two to three events would be expected in the observational period presently on hand and the lack of observed events is not in gross contradiction to reasonable expectations. Given the same assumptions, a seismometer 20 times more sensitive than the present instrument would be expected to detect about 120 events annually

  1. Applicability of Current Atmospheric Correction Techniques in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Tiwari, Surya Prakash; Ouhssain, Mustapha; Jones, Burton

    2016-01-01

    Much of the Red Sea is considered to be a typical oligotrophic sea having very low chlorophyll-a concentrations. Few existing studies describe the variability of phytoplankton biomass in the Red Sea. This study evaluates the resulting chlorophyll-a values computed with different chlorophyll algorithms (e.g., Chl_OCI, Chl_Carder, Chl_GSM, and Chl_GIOP) using radiances derived from two different atmospheric correction algorithms (NASA standard and Singh and Shanmugam (2014)). The resulting satellite derived chlorophyll-a concentrations are compared with in situ chlorophyll values measured using the High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Statistical analyses are used to assess the performances of algorithms using the in situ measurements obtain in the Red Sea, to evaluate the approach to atmospheric correction and algorithm parameterization.

  2. Applicability of Current Atmospheric Correction Techniques in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Tiwari, Surya Prakash

    2016-10-26

    Much of the Red Sea is considered to be a typical oligotrophic sea having very low chlorophyll-a concentrations. Few existing studies describe the variability of phytoplankton biomass in the Red Sea. This study evaluates the resulting chlorophyll-a values computed with different chlorophyll algorithms (e.g., Chl_OCI, Chl_Carder, Chl_GSM, and Chl_GIOP) using radiances derived from two different atmospheric correction algorithms (NASA standard and Singh and Shanmugam (2014)). The resulting satellite derived chlorophyll-a concentrations are compared with in situ chlorophyll values measured using the High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Statistical analyses are used to assess the performances of algorithms using the in situ measurements obtain in the Red Sea, to evaluate the approach to atmospheric correction and algorithm parameterization.

  3. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  4. One kind of atmosphere-ocean three layer model for calculating the velocity of ocean current

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jing, Z; Xi, P

    1979-10-01

    A three-layer atmosphere-ocean model is given in this paper to calcuate the velocity of ocean current, particularly the function of the vertical coordinate, taking into consideratiln (1) the atmospheric effect on the generation of ocean current, (2) a calculated coefficient of the eddy viscosity instead of an assumed one, and (3) the sea which actually varies in depth.

  5. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, R. H.; Roth, D. R.; Kinnison, J. D.; Goldsten, J. O.; Fainchtein, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2000-01-01

    High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.

  6. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  7. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere is discussed. The early Martian ocean can be modeled as a body of relatively pure water in equilibrium with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. The chemical weathering of lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and impact melt sheets would have the effect of neutralizing the acidity of the juvenile water. As calcium and other cations are added to the water by chemical weathering, they are quickly removed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and other minerals, forming a deposit of limestone beneath the surface of the ocean. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure and the temperature decrease, the Martian ocean would be completely frozen. Given the scenario for the chemical evolution of the northern lowland plains of Mars, it should be possible to draw a few conclusions about the expected mineralogy and geomorphology of this regions

  8. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is <10 ppm, then the "light," potentially "biological" C-13/C-12 ratio would be effectively erased by cosmic rays over 3.5 billion years of exposure. We found that for the rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  9. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  10. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  11. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  12. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  13. Martian volcanism: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    Martian volcanism is reviewed. It is emphasized that lava plains constitute the major type of effusive flow, and can be differentiated by morphologic characteristics. Shield volcanoes, domes, and patera constitute the major constructional landforms, and recent work has suggested that explosive activity and resulting pyroclastic deposits may have been involved with formation of some of the small shields. Analysis of morphology, presumed composition, and spectroscopic data all indicate that Martian volcanism was dominantly basaltic in composition

  14. Modeling of the Martian environment for radiation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Angelis, G.; Wilson, J.W.; Clowdsley, M.S.; Qualls, G.D.; Singleterry, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    A model for the radiation environment to be found on the planet Mars due to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) has been developed. Solar modulated primary particles rescaled for conditions at Mars are transported through the Martian atmosphere down to the surface, with altitude and backscattering patterns taken into account. The altitude to compute the atmospheric thickness profile has been determined by using a model for the topography based on the data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The Mars surface composition has been modeled based on averages over the measurements obtained from orbiting spacecraft and at various landing sites, taking into account the possible volatile inventory (e.g. CO 2 and H 2 O ices) along with its time variations throughout the Martian year. The Mars Radiation Environment Model has been made available worldwide through the Space Ionizing Radiation Effects and Shielding Tools (SIREST) website, a project of NASA Langley Research Center. This site has been developed to provide the scientific and engineering communities with an interactive site containing a variety of environmental models, shield evaluation codes, and radiation response models to allow a thorough assessment of ionizing radiation risk for current and future space missions

  15. Reply to comment "On the hydrogen escape: Comment to variability of the hydrogen in the Martian upper atmosphere as simulated by a 3D atmosphere-exosphere coupling by J.-Y. Chaufray et al." by V. Krasnopolsky, Icarus, 281, 262

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M.; Leblanc, F.; Modolo, R.; Hess, S.

    2018-02-01

    Krasnopolsky (2017) makes a careful review of our recent results about the Martian hydrogen content of the Martian upper atmosphere (Chaufray et al., 2015). We comment here on his two major points. First, he suggests that the non-thermal escape of H2, and particularly collisions with hot oxygen, not taken into account in our general circulation model (GCM), should modify our reported H2 and H density profiles. This is an important issue; we acknowledge that future effective coupling of our GCM with comprehensive models of the Martian solar wind interaction, ideally after being validated with the latest plasma observations of H2+, would allow for better estimations of the relative importance of the H2 non-thermal and thermal escape processes. For the time being we need assumptions in the GCM, with proper and regular updates. According to a recent and detailed study of the anisotropic elastic and inelastic collision cross sections between O and H2 (Gacesa et al., 2012), the escape rates used by Krasnopolsky (2010) for this process might be overestimated. We therefore do not include non thermal escape of H2 in the model. And secondly, in response to Krasnopolsky's comment on the H escape variability with the solar cycle, we revised our calculations and found a small bug in the computation of the Jeans effusion velocity. Our revised computed H escape rates are included here. They have a small impact on our key conclusions: similar seasonal variations, a reduced variation with the solar cycle but still larger than Krasnopolsky (2017), and again a hydrogen scape systematically lower than the diffusion-limited flux. This bug does not affect the latest Mars Climate Database v5.2.

  16. Nighttime Convection, Temperature Inversions, and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Spiga, A.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Asmar, S. W.; Haeusler, B.

    2014-07-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements and numerical simulations to explore the atmospheric structure and diurnal variations in the lowest few scale heights of the martian atmosphere, with emphasis on nighttime convective layers.

  17. First results of the observations of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N.; Formisano, V.; Grassi, D.; Giuranna, M.; Maturilli, A.; Piccioni, G.; Moroz, V. I.; Lellouch, E.; Encrenaz, T.; Pfs Team

    High spectral resolution observations of Mars by the PFS/Mars Express provide new insight into the atmospheric composition. Spectral features of atmospheric CO2 and its isotopes at 15, 4.3, 2.7, 1.4 μ m, CO at 4.7 and 2.35 μ m, and H2O at 40, 2.56, and 1.38 μ m as well as solar spectral features are clearly identified in the PFS spectra. HDO spectral details at 3.7 μ m were also tentatively detected. The paper will present qualitative and quantitative analysis of the PFS spectra in the regions of spectral bands of trace gases. Abundance of minor constituents will be determined using complete radiative transfer modeling including possible non-LTE effects. We will also present results of search for other minor species with emphasis on the limb observations that provide higher air mass factor.

  18. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, J. M.; Travnikov, O.; De Simone, F.; Hedgecock, I. M.; Sundseth, K.; Pacyna, E. G.; Steenhuisen, F.; Pirrone, N.; Munthe, J.; Kindbom, K.

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the

  19. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of mercury world-wide are presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the

  20. Atmospheric transport and deposition of pesticides: An assessment of current knowledge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pul, W.A.J. van; Bidleman, T.F.; Brorström-Lunden, E.

    1999-01-01

    The current knowledge on atmospheric transport and deposition of pesticides is reviewed and discussed by a working group of experts during the Workshop on Fate of pesticides in the atmosphere; implications for risk assessment, held in Driebergen, the Netherlands, 22-24 April, 1998. In general...... in the exchange processes at the interface between air and soil/water/vegetation. In all process descriptions the uncertainty in the physicochemical properties play an important role. Particularly those in the vapour pressure, Henry's law constant and its temperature dependency. More accurate data...

  1. Constraining the 0-20 km Vertical Profile of Water Vapor in the Martian Atmosphere with MGS-TES Limb Sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnochie, T. H.; Smith, M. D.; McDonald, G. D.

    2016-12-01

    The vertical profile of water vapor in the lower atmosphere of Mars is a crucial but poorly-measured detail of the water cycle. Most of our existing water vapor data sets (e.g. Smith, 2002, JGR 107; Smith et al., 2009, JGR 114; Maltagliati et al., 2011, Icarus 213) rely on the traditional assumption of uniform mass mixing from the surface up to a saturation level, but GCM models (Richardson et al., 2002, JGR 107; Navarro et al., 2014, JGR 119) imply that this is not the case in at least some important seasons and locations. For example at the equator during northern summer the water vapor mixing ratio in aforementioned GCMs increases upwards by a factor of two to three in the bottom scale height. This might influence the accuracy of existing precipitable water column (PWC) data sets. Even if not, the correct vertical distribution is critical for determining the extent to which high-altitude cold trapping interferes with inter-hemispheric transport, and its details in the lowest scale heights will be a critical test of the accuracy of modeled water vapor transport. Meanwhile attempts to understand apparent interactions of water vapor with surface soils (e.g. Ojha et al. 2015, Nature Geoscience 8; Savijärvi et al., 2016, Icarus 265) need an estimate for the amount of water vapor in the boundary layer, and existing PWC data sets can't provide this unless the lower atmospheric vertical distribution is known or constrained. Maltagliati et al. (2013, Icarus 223) have obtained vertical profiles of water vapor at higher altitudes with SPICAM on Mars Express, but these are commonly limited to altitudes greater 20 km and they never extend below 10 km. We have previously used Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) limb-sounding to measure the vertical profile of water vapor (e.g. McConnochie and Smith, 2009, Fall AGU #P54B-06), but these preliminary results were clearly not quantitatively accurate in the lower atmosphere. We will present improved TES

  2. Reproducing early Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure by modeling the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Wolfgang; Fu, Yunjiao; Ilger, Jan-Michael

    2012-10-01

    The well defined composition of the Comanche rock's carbonate (Magnesite0.62Siderite0.25Calcite0.11Rhodochrosite0.02) and its host rock's composition, dominated by Mg-rich olivine, enable us to reproduce the atmospheric CO2partial pressure that may have triggered the formation of these carbonates. Hydrogeochemical one-dimensional transport modeling reveals that similar aqueous rock alteration conditions (including CO2partial pressure) may have led to the formation of Mg-Fe-Ca carbonate identified in the Comanche rock outcrops (Gusev Crater) and also in the ultramafic rocks exposed in the Nili Fossae region. Hydrogeochemical conditions enabling the formation of Mg-rich solid solution carbonate result from equilibrium species distributions involving (1) ultramafic rocks (ca. 32 wt% olivine; Fo0.72Fa0.28), (2) pure water, and (3) CO2partial pressures of ca. 0.5 to 2.0 bar at water-to-rock ratios of ca. 500 molH2O mol-1rock and ca. 5°C (278 K). Our modeled carbonate composition (Magnesite0.64Siderite0.28Calcite0.08) matches the measured composition of carbonates preserved in the Comanche rocks. Considerably different carbonate compositions are achieved at (1) higher temperature (85°C), (2) water-to-rock ratios considerably higher and lower than 500 mol mol-1 and (3) CO2partial pressures differing from 1.0 bar in the model set up. The Comanche rocks, hosting the carbonate, may have been subjected to long-lasting (>104 to 105 years) aqueous alteration processes triggered by atmospheric CO2partial pressures of ca. 1.0 bar at low temperature. Their outcrop may represent a fragment of the upper layers of an altered olivine-rich rock column, which is characterized by newly formed Mg-Fe-Ca solid solution carbonate, and phyllosilicate-rich alteration assemblages within deeper (unexposed) units.

  3. The effect of magnetic substorms on near-ground atmospheric current

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Belova

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available Ionosphere-magnetosphere disturbances at high latitudes, e.g. magnetic substorms, are accompanied by energetic particle precipitation and strong variations of the ionospheric electric fields and currents. These might reasonably be expected to modify the local atmospheric electric circuit. We have analysed air-earth vertical currents (AECs measured by a long wire antenna at Esrange, northern Sweden during 35 geomagnetic substorms. Using superposed epoch analysis we compare the air-earth current variations during the 3 h before and after the time of the magnetic X-component minimum with those for corresponding local times on 35 days without substorms. After elimination of the average daily variation we can conclude that the effect of substorms on AEC is small but distinguishable. It is speculated that the AEC increases observed during about 2 h prior to the geomagnetic X-component minimum, are due to enhancement of the ionospheric electric field. During the subsequent 2 h of the substorm recovery phase, the difference between "substorm" and "quiet" atmospheric currents decreases. The amplitude of this "substorm" variation of AEC is estimated to be less than 50% of the amplitude of the diurnal variation in AEC during the same time interval. The statistical significance of this result was confirmed using the Van der Waerden X-test. This method was further used to show that the average air-earth current and its fluctuations increase during late expansion and early recovery phases of substorms.Key words: Ionosphere (electric fields and currents · Magnetospheric physics (storms and substorms · Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity

  4. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  5. Discharge current measurements on Venera 13 & 14 - Evidence for charged aerosols in the Venus lower atmosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2018-06-01

    Measurements of discharge currents on the Venera 13 and 14 landers during their descent in the lowest 35 km of the Venus atmosphere are interpreted as driven either by an ambient electric field, or by deposition of charge from aerosols. The latter hypothesis is favored (`triboelectric charging' in aeronautical parlance), and would entail an aerosol opacity and charge density somewhat higher than that observed in Saharan dust transported over long distances on Earth.

  6. Atmospheric Wind Relaxations and the Oceanic Response in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fewings, M. R.; Dorman, C. E.; Washburn, L.; Liu, W.

    2010-12-01

    On the West Coast of North America in summer, episodic relaxation of the upwelling-favorable winds causes warm water to propagate northward from southern to central California, against the prevailing currents [Harms and Winant 1998, Winant et al. 2003, Melton et al. 2009]. Similar wind relaxations are an important characteristic of coastal upwelling ecosystems worldwide. Although these wind relaxations have an important influence on coastal ocean dynamics, no description exists of the regional atmospheric patterns that lead to wind relaxations in southern California, or of the regional ocean response. We use QuikSCAT wind stress, North American Regional Reanalysis atmospheric pressure products, water temperature and velocity from coastal ocean moorings, surface ocean currents from high-frequency radars, and MODIS satellite sea-surface temperature and ocean color images to analyze wind relaxation events and the ocean response. We identify the events based on an empirical index calculated from NDBC buoy winds [Melton et al. 2009]. We describe the regional evolution of the atmosphere from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California over the few days leading up to wind relaxations, and the coastal ocean temperature, color, and current response off southern and central California. We analyze ~100 wind relaxation events in June-September during the QuikSCAT mission, 1999-2009. Our results indicate south-central California wind relaxations in summer are tied to mid-level atmospheric low-pressure systems that form in the Gulf of Alaska and propagate southeastward over 3-5 days. As the low-pressure systems reach southern California, the atmospheric pressure gradient along the coast weakens, causing the surface wind stress to relax to near zero. The weak wind signal appears first at San Diego and propagates northward. QuikSCAT data indicate the relaxed winds extend over the entire Southern California Bight and up to 200 km offshore of central California. Atmospheric dynamics in

  7. The investigation of Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements and time series analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Park, M.; Baik, H. S.; Choi, Y.

    2016-12-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has rarely conducted only a very few times Therefore, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution High Resolution Imaging Science Experimen (HIRISE) employing a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor and sub-pixel image correlator. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE images over a large number of Martian dune fields covering whole Mars Global Dune Database. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). Only over a few Martian dune fields, such as Kaiser crater, meaningful migration speeds (>1m/year) compared to phtotogrammetric error residual have been measured. Currently a technical improved processor to compensate error residual using time series observation is under developing and expected to produce the long term migration speed over Martian dune

  8. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  9. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  10. Martian extratropical cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  11. Sustained diffusive alternating current gliding arc discharge in atmospheric pressure air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jiajian; Gao, Jinlong; Li, Zhongshan; Ehn, Andreas; Aldén, Marcus; Larsson, Anders; Kusano, Yukihiro

    2014-12-01

    Rapid transition from glow discharge to thermal arc has been a common problem in generating stable high-power non-thermal plasmas especially at ambient conditions. A sustained diffusive gliding arc discharge was generated in a large volume in atmospheric pressure air, driven by an alternating current (AC) power source. The plasma column extended beyond the water-cooled stainless steel electrodes and was stabilized by matching the flow speed of the turbulent air jet with the rated output power. Comprehensive investigations were performed using high-speed movies measured over the plasma column, synchronized with simultaneously recorded current and voltage waveforms. Dynamic details of the novel non-equilibrium discharge are revealed, which is characterized by a sinusoidal current waveform with amplitude stabilized at around 200 mA intermediate between thermal arc and glow discharge, shedding light to the governing mechanism of the sustained spark-suppressed AC gliding arc discharge.

  12. High resolution spectroscopy of the Martian atmosphere - Study of seasonal variations of CO, O3, H2O, and T on the north polar cap and a search for SO2, H2O2, and H2CO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnopolsky, V. A.; Chakrabarti, S.; Larson, H.; Sandel, B. R.

    1992-01-01

    An overview is presented of an observational campaign which will measure (1) the seasonal variations of the CO mixing ratio on the Martian polar cap due to accumulation and depletion of CO during the condensation and evaporation of CO2, as well as (2) the early spring ozone and water vapor of the Martian north polar cap, and (3) the presence of H2CO, H2O2, and SO2. The lines of these compounds will be measured by a combined 4-m telescope and Fourier-transform spectrometer 27097.

  13. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-10-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013) and future (2035) air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal) for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions), including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year-1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %), followed by biomass burning (9 %). A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT) have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has proved to be a very important

  14. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Pacyna

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013 and future (2035 air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions, including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year−1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %, followed by biomass burning (9 %. A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has

  15. Sustained diffusive alternating current gliding arc discharge in atmospheric pressure air

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Jiajian; Gao, Jinlong; Li, Zhongshan

    2014-01-01

    Rapid transition from glow discharge to thermal arc has been a common problem in generating stable high-power non-thermal plasmas especially at ambient conditions. A sustained diffusive gliding arc discharge was generated in a large volume in atmospheric pressure air, driven by an alternating...... current (AC) power source. The plasma column extended beyond the water-cooled stainless steel electrodes and was stabilized by matching the flow speed of the turbulent air jet with the rated output power. Comprehensive investigations were performed using high-speed movies measured over the plasma column...

  16. Current Research in Lidar Technology Used for the Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comerón, Adolfo; Muñoz-Porcar, Constantino; Rocadenbosch, Francesc; Rodríguez-Gómez, Alejandro; Sicard, Michaël

    2017-01-01

    Lidars are active optical remote sensing instruments with unique capabilities for atmospheric sounding. A manifold of atmospheric variables can be profiled using different types of lidar: concentration of species, wind speed, temperature, etc. Among them, measurement of the properties of aerosol particles, whose influence in many atmospheric processes is important but is still poorly stated, stands as one of the main fields of application of current lidar systems. This paper presents a review on fundamentals, technology, methodologies and state-of-the art of the lidar systems used to obtain aerosol information. Retrieval of structural (aerosol layers profiling), optical (backscatter and extinction coefficients) and microphysical (size, shape and type) properties requires however different levels of instrumental complexity; this general outlook is structured following a classification that attends these criteria. Thus, elastic systems (detection only of emitted frequencies), Raman systems (detection also of Raman frequency-shifted spectral lines), high spectral resolution lidars, systems with depolarization measurement capabilities and multi-wavelength instruments are described, and the fundamentals in which the retrieval of aerosol parameters is based is in each case detailed. PMID:28632170

  17. Radial Distribution of the Nanosecond Dielectric Barrier Discharge Current in Atmospheric-Pressure Air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malashin, M. V.; Moshkunov, S. I.; Khomich, V. Yu.; Shershunova, E. A.

    2018-01-01

    Experimental results on the radial distribution of the nanosecond dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) current in flat millimeter air gaps under atmospheric pressure and natural humidity of 40-60% at a voltage rise rate at the electrodes of 250 V/ns are presented. The time delay of the appearance of discharge currents was observed to increase from the center to the periphery of the air gap at discharge gap heights above 3 mm, which correlated with the appearance of constricted channels against the background of the volume DBD plasma. Based on the criterion of the avalanche-streamer transition, it is found out that the development of a nanosecond DBD in air gaps of 1-3 mm occurs by the streamer mechanism.

  18. Where to search for martian biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasch, Paul

    1997-07-01

    Martian Salt. Terrestrial halite containing negative crystals which entrapped drops of viscous fluid yielded viable bacteria. The fluid has a Br/Mg ratio which chemist W.T. Holser characterized as a `Permian bittern.' All relevant salt on Mars should be inspected for negative crystals and possible ancient bacterial tenants. Martian Water. Moist soil in the regolith, cooled hydrothermal fluids, sediments of recurrent oceanic water, and related to inferred strand lines, even limited water in future SNC-type meteorites, upper atmosphere liquid water or water vapor, and North Polar liquid water or ice--all liquid water in any form, wherever, should be collected for microbiological analysis. Vent Fauna. Living or fossil thermophiles as trace fossils, or fauna metallicized in relation to sulphide ores. Iron Bacteria. Limonitized magnetite ore (USSR) in thin section showed structures attributed to iron bacteria. Biogenic magnetite, produced by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and its significance. Carbonaceous chondrites (non martian) (Ivuna and Orgueil) yielded apparent life forms that could not be attributed to contamination during the given study. Are they extraterrestrial?

  19. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.

    2016-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a recently deployed detection engine using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  20. Direct current plasma jet at atmospheric pressure operating in nitrogen and air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, X. L.; Nikiforov, A. Yu.; Vanraes, P.; Leys, Ch.

    2013-01-01

    An atmospheric pressure direct current (DC) plasma jet is investigated in N2 and dry air in terms of plasma properties and generation of active species in the active zone and the afterglow. The influence of working gases and the discharge current on plasma parameters and afterglow properties are studied. The electrical diagnostics show that discharge can be sustained in two different operating modes, depending on the current range: a self-pulsing regime at low current and a glow regime at high current. The gas temperature and the N2 vibrational temperature in the active zone of the jet and in the afterglow are determined by means of emission spectroscopy, based on fitting spectra of N2 second positive system (C3Π-B3Π) and the Boltzmann plot method, respectively. The spectra and temperature differences between the N2 and the air plasma jet are presented and analyzed. Space-resolved ozone and nitric oxide density measurements are carried out in the afterglow of the jet. The density of ozone, which is formed in the afterglow of nitrogen plasma jet, is quantitatively detected by an ozone monitor. The density of nitric oxide, which is generated only in the air plasma jet, is determined by means of mass-spectroscopy techniques.

  1. The Martian Oasis Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P. H.; tomasko, M. G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.

    2000-07-01

    The next phase of unmanned Mars missions paves the way for astronauts to land on the surface of Mars. There are lessons to be learned from the unmanned precursor missions to the Moon and the Apollo lunar surface expeditions. These unmanned missions (Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor) provided the following valuable information, useful from both a scientific and engineering perspective, which was required to prepare the way for the manned exploration of the lunar surface: (1) high resolution imagery instrumental to Apollo landing site selection also tremendously advanced the state of Nearside and Farside regional geology; (2) demonstrated precision landing (less than two kilometers from target) and soft landing capability; (3) established that the surface had sufficient bearing strength to support a spacecraft; and (4) examination of the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the surface. The search for extinct or extant life on Mars will follow the water. However, geomorphic studies have shown that Mars has had liquid water on its surface throughout its geologic history. A cornucopia of potential landing sites with water histories (lakes, floodplains, oceans, deltas, hydrothermal regions) presently exist. How will we narrow down site selection and increase the likelihood of finding the signs of life? One way to do this is to identify 'Martian oases.' It is known that the Martian surface is often highly fractured and some areas have karst structures that support underground caves. Much of the water that formed the channels and valley networks is thought to be frozen underground. All that is needed to create the potential for liquid water is a near surface source of heat; recent lava flows and Martian meteorites attest to the potential for volcanic activity. If we can locate even one spot where fracturing, ice, and underground heat are co-located then we have the potential for an oasis. Such a discovery could truly excite the imaginations of both the

  2. Polygons in Martian Frost

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003This June 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polygonal pattern developed in seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the martian southern hemisphere. The frost accumulated during the recent southern winter; it is now spring, and the carbon dioxide frost is subliming away. This image is located near 80.4oS, 200.2oW; it is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  3. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn

  4. Backscattering Moessbauer spectroscopy of Martian dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsen, P.; Madsen, M. B.; Binau, C. S.; Goetz, W.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Hviid, S. F.; Kinch, K. M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Leer, K.; Madsen, D. E.; Merrison, J.; Olsen, M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2005-01-01

    We report on the determination of the mineralogy of the atmospherically suspended Martian dust particles using backscattering 57 Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy on dust accumulated onto the magnets onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. The spectra can be interpreted in terms of minerals of igneous origin, and shows only limited, if any, amounts of secondary minerals that may have formed in the presence of liquid water. These findings suggest that the dust has formed in a dry environment over long time in the history of the planet.

  5. Evaluation of the Atmospheric Chemical Entropy Production of Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Delgado-Bonal

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic disequilibrium is a necessary situation in a system in which complex emergent structures are created and maintained. It is known that most of the chemical disequilibrium, a particular type of thermodynamic disequilibrium, in Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of life. We have developed a thermochemical model for the Martian atmosphere to analyze the disequilibrium by chemical reactions calculating the entropy production. It follows from the comparison with the Earth atmosphere that the magnitude of the entropy produced by the recombination reaction forming O3 (O + O2 + CO2 ⥦ O3 + CO2 in the atmosphere of the Earth is larger than the entropy produced by the dominant set of chemical reactions considered for Mars, as a consequence of the low density and the poor variety of species of the Martian atmosphere. If disequilibrium is needed to create and maintain self-organizing structures in a system, we conclude that the current Martian atmosphere is unable to support large physico-chemical structures, such as those created on Earth.

  6. Characteristics of cold atmospheric plasma source based on low-current pulsed discharge with coaxial electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bureyev, O. A.; Surkov, Yu S.; Spirina, A. V.

    2017-05-01

    This work investigates the characteristics of the gas discharge system used to create an atmospheric pressure plasma flow. The plasma jet design with a cylindrical graphite cathode and an anode rod located on the axis of the system allows to realize regularly reproducible spark breakdowns mode with a frequency ∼ 5 kHz and a duration ∼ 40 μs. The device generates a cold atmospheric plasma flame with 1 cm in diameter in the flow of various plasma forming gases including nitrogen and air at about 100 mA average discharge current. In the described construction the cathode spots of individual spark channels randomly move along the inner surface of the graphite electrode creating the secondary plasma stream time-average distributed throughout the whole exit aperture area after the decay of numerous filamentary discharge channels. The results of the spectral diagnostics of plasma in the discharge gap and in the stream coming out of the source are presented. Despite the low temperature of atoms and molecules in plasma stream the cathode spots operation with temperature of ∼ 4000 °C at a graphite electrode inside a discharge system enables to saturate the plasma by CN-radicals and atomic carbon in the case of using nitrogen as the working gas.

  7. Some current problems in atmospheric ozone chemistry; role of chemical kinetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cox, R.A.

    1987-03-01

    A review is given on selected aspects of the reaction mechanisms of current interest in the chemistry of atmospheric ozone. Atmospheric ozone is produced and removed by a complex series of elementary gas-phase photochemical reactions involving O/sub x/, HO/sub x/, NO/sub x/, CIO/sub x/ and hydrocarbon species. At the present time there is a good knowledge of the basic processes involved in ozone chemistry in the stratosphere and the troposphere and the kinetics of most of the key reactions are well defined. There are a number of difficulties in the theoretical descriptions of observed ozone behaviour which may be due to uncertainties in the chemistry. Examples are the failure to predict present day ozone in the photochemically controlled region above 35 Km altitude and the large reductions in the ozone column in the Antartic Spring which has been observed in recent years. In the troposphere there is growing evidence that ozone and other trace gases have changed appreciably from pre-industrial concentrations, due to chemical reactions involving man-made pollutants. Quantitative investigation of the mechanisms by which these changes may occur requires a sound laboratory kinetics data base.

  8. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays - Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. R.

    1992-01-01

    The survival of Baccillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 has been examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) and Martian (Fe3+ montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric composition and pressure. An important finding is that MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, probably owing to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Mars environment. This finding, the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Mars-type soils, may have important implications for future missions to Mars.

  9. Shocks and currents in stratified atmospheres with a magnetic null point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarr, Lucas A.; Linton, Mark

    2017-08-01

    We use the resistive MHD code LARE (Arber et al 2001) to inject a compressive MHD wavepacket into a stratified atmosphere that has a single magnetic null point, as recently described in Tarr et al 2017. The 2.5D simulation represents a slice through a small ephemeral region or area of plage. The strong gradients in field strength and connectivity related to the presence of the null produce substantially different dynamics compared to the more slowly varying fields typically used in simple sunspot models. The wave-null interaction produces a fast mode shock that collapses the null into a current sheet and generates a set of outward propagating (from the null) slow mode shocks confined to field lines near each separatrix. A combination of oscillatory reconnection and shock dissipation ultimately raise the plasma's internal energy at the null and along each separatrix by 25-50% above the background. The resulting pressure gradients must be balanced by Lorentz forces, so that the final state has contact discontinuities along each separatrix and a persistent current at the null. The simulation demonstrates that fast and slow mode waves localize currents to the topologically important locations of the field, just as their Alfvenic counterparts do, and also illustrates the necessity of treating waves and reconnection as coupled phenomena.

  10. Comparison of direct and alternating current vacuum ultraviolet lamps in atmospheric pressure photoionization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaikkinen, Anu; Haapala, Markus; Kersten, Hendrik; Benter, Thorsten; Kostiainen, Risto; Kauppila, Tiina J

    2012-02-07

    A direct current induced vacuum ultraviolet (dc-VUV) krypton discharge lamp and an alternating current, radio frequency (rf) induced VUV lamp that are essentially similar to lamps in commercial atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) ion sources were compared. The emission distributions along the diameter of the lamp exit window were measured, and they showed that the beam of the rf lamp is much wider than that of the dc lamp. Thus, the rf lamp has larger efficient ionization area, and it also emits more photons than the dc lamp. The ionization efficiencies of the lamps were compared using identical spray geometries with both lamps in microchip APPI mass spectrometry (μAPPI-MS) and desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry (DAPPI-MS). A comprehensive view on the ionization was gained by studying six different μAPPI solvent compositions, five DAPPI spray solvents, and completely solvent-free DAPPI. The observed reactant ions for each solvent composition were very similar with both lamps except for toluene, which showed a higher amount of solvent originating oxidation products with the rf lamp than with the dc lamp in μAPPI. Moreover, the same analyte ions were detected with both lamps, and thus, the ionization mechanisms with both lamps are similar. The rf lamp showed a higher ionization efficiency than the dc lamp in all experiments. The difference between the lamp ionization efficiencies was greatest when high ionization energy (IE) solvent compositions (IEs above 10 eV), i.e., hexane, methanol, and methanol/water, (1:1 v:v) were used. The higher ionization efficiency of the rf lamp is likely due to the larger area of high intensity light emission, and the resulting larger efficient ionization area and higher amount of photons emitted. These result in higher solvent reactant ion production, which in turn enables more efficient analyte ion production. © 2012 American Chemical Society

  11. HEATING MECHANISMS IN THE LOW SOLAR ATMOSPHERE THROUGH MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN CURRENT SHEETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ni, Lei; Lin, Jun [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China); Roussev, Ilia I. [Division of Geosciences, National Science Foundation Arlington, Virginia (United States); Schmieder, Brigitte, E-mail: leini@ynao.ac.cn [Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, Meudon (France)

    2016-12-01

    We simulate several magnetic reconnection processes in the low solar chromosphere/photosphere; the radiation cooling, heat conduction and ambipolar diffusion are all included. Our numerical results indicate that both the high temperature (≳8 × 10{sup 4} K) and low temperature (∼10{sup 4} K) magnetic reconnection events can happen in the low solar atmosphere (100–600 km above the solar surface). The plasma β controlled by plasma density and magnetic fields is one important factor to decide how much the plasma can be heated up. The low temperature event is formed in a high β magnetic reconnection process, Joule heating is the main mechanism to heat plasma and the maximum temperature increase is only several thousand Kelvin. The high temperature explosions can be generated in a low β magnetic reconnection process, slow and fast-mode shocks attached at the edges of the well developed plasmoids are the main physical mechanisms to heat the plasma from several thousand Kelvin to over 8 × 10{sup 4} K. Gravity in the low chromosphere can strongly hinder the plasmoid instability and the formation of slow-mode shocks in a vertical current sheet. Only small secondary islands are formed; these islands, however, are not as well developed as those in the horizontal current sheets. This work can be applied to understand the heating mechanism in the low solar atmosphere and could possibly be extended to explain the formation of common low temperature Ellerman bombs (∼10{sup 4} K) and the high temperature Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) bombs (≳8 × 10{sup 4}) in the future.

  12. Atmospheric solar tides and their electrodynamic effects. I. The global Ssub(q) current system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forbes, J M; Lindzen, R S [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass. (USA)

    1976-09-01

    This paper is Part I of a study dealing with the electrodynamic consequences of solar tides in the E-region of the Earth's atmosphere. The major result to emerge from Part I is that E-region dynamo action of combined diurnal and semidiurnal winds consistent with measurements is found to account for the Ssub(q) variations in ground magnetic data, without having to resort to electric fields of plasmaspheric origin as suggested in the recent literature. Real discrepancies of the order of 20% in amplitude and 1 to 2 h in phase still exist between the data and the present theoretical model. The model couples a global thin-shell dynamo solution which takes into account the vertical structure of the winds with a full three-dimensional model of the equatorial electrojet. Part I is primarily concerned with the classical thin-shell global solution, whereas Part II (Forbes et al., J. Atmos. Terr. Phys.; 38:911 (1976)) deals solely with the equatorial electrojet; however, the equatorial magnetic variations to be presented here are taken from Part II. Previous global dynamo models have utilized winds which are shown to be unrealistic by recent measurements and dissipative tidal theory, and do not include the important effects of vertical current flow at the magnetic equator. Inclusion of vertical current effects, which are discussed in detail in Part II, relaxes the need for E-region diurnal wind speeds as large as those required by previous workers to reproduce the Ssub(q) current system. Computed vertical structures of the Ssub(q) currents explain some puzzling features of the few midlatitude rocket magnetometer measurements that are available. The Joule heating by Ssub(q) currents is comparable to solar EUV heating above 60/sup 0/N, but contribute negligibly to the total heat budget of the thermosphere.

  13. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  14. Study of a new direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge in helium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gielniak, B. [University of Hamburg, Institute for Inorganic and Applied Chemistry, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Fiedler, T. [Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Duesbergweg 10-14, 55128 Mainz (Germany); Broekaert, J.A.C., E-mail: jose.broekaert@chemie.uni-hamburg.de [University of Hamburg, Institute for Inorganic and Applied Chemistry, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, 20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2011-01-15

    In this study a new DC-APGD operated in He was developed and characterized. The discharge is operated at 0.9 kV and about 25-35 mA and at a gas flow of 100 ml/min. The source was spectroscopically studied and parameters such as the rotational temperature (T{sub rot}), the excitation temperature (T{sub exc}), the ionization temperature (T{sub ion}) and the electron number density (n{sub e}) were determined. The current-voltage characteristic of the source was studied as well. At optimized conditions the discharge operates in the normal region of the current-voltage characteristic. Rotational and excitation temperatures determined with the use of OH band and Fe I lines as thermometric species were of the order of about 900-1200 and 4500-5500 K, respectively. This indicates that despite of the atmospheric pressure, the discharge is not in LTE. Spatially resolved temperature measurements were performed with axial as well as radial resolution and showed relatively flat profiles. Axially resolved emission intensity profiles for several species such as H, N{sub 2}, N{sub 2}{sup +}, OH, He and Hg were determined. It also was found that H{sub 2} introduced into the He by electrolysis of acid solutions such as in ECHG considerably increases the spectroscopically measured gas temperatures but decreases the analyte line intensities, as shown for Hg.

  15. Study of a new direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge in helium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gielniak, B.; Fiedler, T.; Broekaert, J.A.C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study a new DC-APGD operated in He was developed and characterized. The discharge is operated at 0.9 kV and about 25-35 mA and at a gas flow of 100 ml/min. The source was spectroscopically studied and parameters such as the rotational temperature (T rot ), the excitation temperature (T exc ), the ionization temperature (T ion ) and the electron number density (n e ) were determined. The current-voltage characteristic of the source was studied as well. At optimized conditions the discharge operates in the normal region of the current-voltage characteristic. Rotational and excitation temperatures determined with the use of OH band and Fe I lines as thermometric species were of the order of about 900-1200 and 4500-5500 K, respectively. This indicates that despite of the atmospheric pressure, the discharge is not in LTE. Spatially resolved temperature measurements were performed with axial as well as radial resolution and showed relatively flat profiles. Axially resolved emission intensity profiles for several species such as H, N 2 , N 2 + , OH, He and Hg were determined. It also was found that H 2 introduced into the He by electrolysis of acid solutions such as in ECHG considerably increases the spectroscopically measured gas temperatures but decreases the analyte line intensities, as shown for Hg.

  16. Characterization of transient discharges under atmospheric-pressure conditions applying nitrogen photoemission and current measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keller, Sandra; Rajasekaran, Priyadarshini; Bibinov, Nikita; Awakowicz, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The plasma parameters such as electron distribution function and electron density of three atmospheric-pressure transient discharges namely filamentary and homogeneous dielectric barrier discharges in air, and the spark discharge of an argon plasma coagulation (APC) system are determined. A combination of numerical simulation as well as diagnostic methods including current measurement and optical emission spectroscopy (OES) based on nitrogen emissions is used. The applied methods supplement each other and resolve problems, which arise when these methods are used individually. Nitrogen is used as a sensor gas and is admixed in low amount to argon for characterizing the APC discharge. Both direct and stepwise electron-impact excitation of nitrogen emissions are included in the plasma-chemical model applied for characterization of these transient discharges using OES where ambiguity arises in the determination of plasma parameters under specific discharge conditions. It is shown that the measured current solves this problem by providing additional information useful for the determination of discharge-specific plasma parameters. (paper)

  17. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  18. Spice In Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiferlin, K.; Spohn, T.; Spice Team

    The Netlander mission offers a unique opportunity to study the surface and the inte- rior of Mars at four different locations at the same time. In addition to real "network"- science, where the presence of four stations is a 'must' to address global science as- pects, local, landing site-related instruments can more than double our knowledge of the surface of Mars, compared to the three landing sites (Viking 1 and 2, Pathfinder) we are currently familiar with. The SPICE instrument will characterize the soil at the landing sites. Force sensors integrated into the seismometer legs (three per station) will determine the mechanical strength of the soil. Thermal sensors will measure the local soil temperature, the thermal inertia and the thermal diffusivity independently, thus allowing us to determine the thermal conductivity and the volumetric heat capac- ity of the soil. These properties will tell us about (1) soil cementation ("duricrust"), (2) volatile exchange with the atmosphere, (3) grain size, (4) near-surface stratigra- phy, and (5) will finally provide ground truth for remote sensing data such as that from Mars Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer.

  19. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N.G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history

  20. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  1. Vertical distribution of Martian aerosols from SPICAM/Mars-Express limb observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Rodin, A.; Perrier, S.; Moroz, V. I.

    Limb spectroscopic observations provide invaluable information about vertical distribution of main atmospheric components in the Martian atmosphere, in particular vertical distribution and structure of aerosols, which play an important role in the heat balance of the planet. Only limited set of successful limb spectroscopic observations have been carried out on Mars so far, including those by MGS/TES spectrometer and Thermoscan and Auguste experiments of Phobos mission. Currently SPICAM instrument onboard Mars-Express spacecraft has accomplished several sequences of limb observations. First analysis of limb sounding data received by SPICAM IR and UV channels, which imply the presence of fine, deep, optically thin aerosol fraction extended over broad range of altitudes, is presented.

  2. Significant Atmospheric Boundary Layer Change Observed above an Agulhas Current Warm Cored Eddy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Messager

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The air-sea impact of a warm cored eddy ejected from the Agulhas Retroflection region south of Africa was assessed through both ocean and atmospheric profiling measurements during the austral summer. The presence of the eddy causes dramatic atmospheric boundary layer deepening, exceeding what was measured previously over such a feature in the region. This deepening seems mainly due to the turbulent heat flux anomaly above the warm eddy inducing extensive deep and persistent changes in the atmospheric boundary layer thermodynamics. The loss of heat by turbulent processes suggests that this kind of oceanic feature is an important and persistent source of heat for the atmosphere.

  3. Simulation models: a current indispensable tool in studies of the continuous water-soil-plant - atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez Seijas, Teresa; Gonzalez, Felicita; Cid, G.; Osorio, Maria de los A.; Ruiz, Maria Elena

    2008-01-01

    Full text: This work assesses the current use of simulation models as a tool useful and indispensable for the advancement in the research and study of the processes related to the continuous water-soil - plant-atmosphere. In recent years they have reported in the literature many jobs where these modeling tools are used as a support to the decision-making process of companies or organizations in the agricultural sphere and in Special for the design of optimal management of irrigation and fertilization strategies of the crops. Summarizes some of the latest applications reported with respect to the use of water transfers and solutes, such simulation models mainly to nitrate leaching and groundwater contamination problems. On the other hand also summarizes important applications of simulation models of growth of cultivation for the prediction of effects on the performance of different conditions of water stress, and finally some other applications on the management of the different irrigation technologies as kingpins, superfiail irrigation and drip irrigation. Refer also the main work carried out in Cuba. (author)

  4. Optical emission spectroscopy diagnostics of an atmospheric pressure direct current microplasma jet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sismanoglu, B.N., E-mail: bogos@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Amorim, J., E-mail: jayr.amorim@bioetanol.org.b [Centro de Ciencia e Tecnologia do Bioetanol - CTBE, Caixa Postal 6170, 13083-970 Campinas, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Souza-Correa, J.A., E-mail: jorge.correa@bioetanol.org.b [Centro de Ciencia e Tecnologia do Bioetanol - CTBE, Caixa Postal 6170, 13083-970 Campinas, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Oliveira, C., E-mail: carlosf@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Gomes, M.P., E-mail: gomesmp@ita.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Comando-Geral de Tecnologia Aeroespacial, Pca Marechal Eduardo Gomes 50, 12 228-900, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)

    2009-11-15

    This paper is about the use of optical emission spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool to determine the gas discharge parameters of a direct current (98% Ar-2% H{sub 2}) non-thermal microplasma jet, operated at atmospheric pressure. The electrical and optical behaviors were studied to characterize this glow discharge. The microplasma jet was investigated in the normal and abnormal glow regimes, for current ranging from 10 to 130 mA, at approx 220 V of applied voltage for copper cathode. OH (A {sup 2}SIGMA{sup +}, nu = 0 -> X {sup 2}PI, nu' = 0) rotational bands at 306.357 nm and also the 603.213 nm Ar I line, which is sensitive to van der Waals broadening, were used to determine the gas temperature, which ranges from 550 to 800 K. The electron number densities, ranging from 6.0 x 10{sup 14} to 1.4 x 10{sup 15} cm{sup -3}, were determined through a careful analysis of the main broadening mechanisms of the H{sub beta} line. From both 603.213 nm and 565.070 nm Ar I line broadenings, it was possible to obtain simultaneously electron number density and temperature (approx 8000 K). Excitation temperatures were also measured from two methods: from two Cu I lines and from Boltzmann-plot of 4p-4s and 5p-4s Ar I transitions. By employing H{sub alpha} line, the hydrogen atoms' H temperature was estimated (approx 18,000 K) and found to be surprisingly hotter than the excitation temperature.

  5. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  6. Data assimilation in atmospheric chemistry models: current status and future prospects for coupled chemistry meteorology models

    OpenAIRE

    M. Bocquet; H. Elbern; H. Eskes; M. Hirtl; R. Žabkar; G. R. Carmichael; J. Flemming; A. Inness; M. Pagowski; J. L. Pérez Camaño; P. E. Saide; R. San Jose; M. Sofiev; J. Vira; A. Baklanov

    2015-01-01

    Data assimilation is used in atmospheric chemistry models to improve air quality forecasts, construct re-analyses of three-dimensional chemical (including aerosol) concentrations and perform inverse modeling of input variables or model parameters (e.g., emissions). Coupled chemistry meteorology models (CCMM) are atmospheric chemistry models that simulate meteorological processes and chemical transformations jointly. They offer the possibility to assimilate both meteorologica...

  7. The physics of Martian weather and climate: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Read, P L; Mulholland, D P; Lewis, S R

    2015-01-01

    The planet Mars hosts an atmosphere that is perhaps the closest in terms of its meteorology and climate to that of the Earth. But Mars differs from Earth in its greater distance from the Sun, its smaller size, its lack of liquid oceans and its thinner atmosphere, composed mainly of CO 2 . These factors give Mars a rather different climate to that of the Earth. In this article we review various aspects of the martian climate system from a physicist’s viewpoint, focusing on the processes that control the martian environment and comparing these with corresponding processes on Earth. These include the radiative and thermodynamical processes that determine the surface temperature and vertical structure of the atmosphere, the fluid dynamics of its atmospheric motions, and the key cycles of mineral dust and volatile transport. In many ways, the climate of Mars is as complicated and diverse as that of the Earth, with complex nonlinear feedbacks that affect its response to variations in external forcing. Recent work has shown that the martian climate is anything but static, but is almost certainly in a continual state of transient response to slowly varying insolation associated with cyclic variations in its orbit and rotation. We conclude with a discussion of the physical processes underlying these long- term climate variations on Mars, and an overview of some of the most intriguing outstanding problems that should be a focus for future observational and theoretical studies. (review)

  8. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  9. The Electric Environment of Martian Dust Devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, E. L.; Farrell, W. M.; Rafkin, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    While Martian dust devils have been monitored through decades of observations, we have yet to study their possible electrical effects from in situ instrumentation. However, evidence for the existence of active electrodynamic processes on Mars is provided by laboratory studies of analog material and field campaigns of dust devils on Earth. We have enabled our Mars regional scale atmospheric model (MRAMS) to estimate an upper limit on electric fields generated through dust devil circulations by including charged particles as defined from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code. MRAMS is used to investigate the complex physics of regional, mesoscale, and microscale atmospheric phenomena on Mars; it is a 3-D, nonhydrostatic model, which permits the simulation of atmospheric flows with large vertical accelerations, such as dust devils. MTS is a 3-D particle code which quantifies charging associated with swirling, mixing dust grains; grains of pre-defined sizes and compositions are placed in a simulation box and allowed to move under the influence of winds and gravity. Our MRAMS grid cell size makes our results most applicable to dust devils of a few hundred meters in diameter. We have run a number of simulations to understand the sensitivity of the electric field strength to the particle size and abundance and the amount of charge on each dust grain. We find that Efields can indeed develop in Martian dust convective features via dust grain filtration effects. The overall value of these E-fields is strongly dependent upon dust grain size, dust load, and lifting efficiency, and field strengths can range from 100s of mV/m to 10s of kV/m.

  10. The Martian surface radiation environment – a comparison of models and MSL/RAD measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthiä Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL has been measuring the radiation environment on the surface of Mars since August 6th 2012. MSL-RAD is the first instrument to provide detailed information about charged and neutral particle spectra and dose rates on the Martian surface, and one of the primary objectives of the RAD investigation is to help improve and validate current radiation transport models. Aims: Applying different numerical transport models with boundary conditions derived from the MSL-RAD environment the goal of this work was to both provide predictions for the particle spectra and the radiation exposure on the Martian surface complementing the RAD sensitive range and, at the same time, validate the results with the experimental data, where applicable. Such validated models can be used to predict dose rates for future manned missions as well as for performing shield optimization studies. Methods: Several particle transport models (GEANT4, PHITS, HZETRN/OLTARIS were used to predict the particle flux and the corresponding radiation environment caused by galactic cosmic radiation on Mars. From the calculated particle spectra the dose rates on the surface are estimated. Results: Calculations of particle spectra and dose rates induced by galactic cosmic radiation on the Martian surface are presented. Although good agreement is found in many cases for the different transport codes, GEANT4, PHITS, and HZETRN/OLTARIS, some models still show large, sometimes order of magnitude discrepancies in certain particle spectra. We have found that RAD data is helping to make better choices of input parameters and physical models. Elements of these validated models can be applied to more detailed studies on how the radiation environment is influenced by solar modulation, Martian atmosphere and soil, and changes due to the Martian seasonal pressure cycle. By extending the range of the calculated particle

  11. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the Martian environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy experiment in space: ChemCam. We have developed a laboratory model which mimics ChemCam's main characteristics. We used a set of target samples relevant to Mars geochemistry, and we recorded individual spectra. We propose a data reduction scheme for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy data incorporating de-noising, continuum removal, and peak fitting. Known effects of the Martian atmosphere are confirmed with our experiment: better Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Mars compared to Earth, narrower peak width, and essentially no self-absorption. The wavelength shift of emission lines from air to Mars pressure is discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology vacuum database is used for wavelength calibration and to identify the elemental lines. Our Martian database contains 1336 lines for 32 elements: H, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ar, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, and Pb. It is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology database to be used for Martian geochemistry. Finally, synthetic spectra can be built from the Martian database. Correlation calculations help to distinguish between elements in case of uncertainty. This work is used to create tools and support data for the interpretation of ChemCam results. - Highlights: ► Chemcam: first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique on Mars. ► Creation of a LIBS specific database to ChemCam on Mars. ► Data reduction scheme is proposed. ► Best signal under Martian conditions. ► LIBS emission lines database: subset of NIST database for Martian geochemistry.

  12. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  13. The Martian hydrologic cycle - Effects of CO2 mass flux on global water distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, P. B.

    1985-01-01

    The Martian CO2 cycle, which includes the seasonal condensation and subsequent sublimation of up to 30 percent of the planet's atmosphere, produces meridional winds due to the consequent mass flux of CO2. These winds currently display strong seasonal and hemispheric asymmetries due to the large asymmetries in the distribution of insolation on Mars. It is proposed that asymmetric meridional advection of water vapor on the planet due to these CO2 condensation winds is capable of explaining the observed dessication of Mars' south polar region at the current time. A simple model for water vapor transport is used to verify this hypothesis and to speculate on the effects of changes in orbital parameters on the seasonal water cycle.

  14. Martian geomorphology and its relation to subsurface volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Rossbacher, Lisa A. (Editor); Zimbelman, James R. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Martian volatile inventory, planetary climatic and atmospheric evolution, and the interpretation of various remote sensing data were discussed. A number of morphologies that were cited as potential indicators of subsurface volatiles were reviewed. Rampart craters and terrain softening were the focus of more in-depth discussion because of the popular attention they have received and the fact that their areal distributions are by far the most extensive of all the proposed indicators.

  15. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Neutrons and gamma transport in atmosphere by Tripoli-2 code. Energy deposit and electron current time function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vergnaud, T.; Nimal, J.C.; Ulpat, J.P.; Faucheux, G.

    1988-01-01

    The Tripoli-2 computer code has been adapted to calculate, in addition to energy deposit in matter by neutrons (Kerma) the energy deposit by gamma produced in neutronic impacts and the induced recoil electron current. The energy deposit conduces at air ionization, consequently at a conductibility. This knowledge added at that of electron current permit to resolve the Maxwell equations of electromagnetic field. The study is realized for an atmospheric explosion 100 meters high. The calculations of energy deposit and electron current have been conducted as far as 2.5km [fr

  17. The current status of ARAC [Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability] and its application to the Chernobyl event

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gudiksen, P.H.; Sullivan, T.J.; Harvey, T.F.

    1986-10-01

    The Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) project, developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), provides real-time dose assessments and estimates of the extent of surface contamination that may result from an atmospheric release of radioactivity. It utilizes advanced computer-based data communication and processing systems to acquire the meteorological and source term information needed by the three-dimensional atmospheric dispersion models to derive the consequence assessments. The ARAC responded to the recent Chernobyl reactor accident in the Soviet Union by estimating the source term and the radiation dose distribution due to exposure to the radioactive cloud over Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. This analysis revealed that approximately 50% of the estimated core inventories of I-131 and Cs-137 were released. The estimated committed effective dose equivalent due to inhalation of radioactivty during cloud passage is of the order of 10 mrem within parts of Scandinavia and eastern Europe, while most of the populations within central Europe were exposed to levels ranging from 1 to 10 mrem. The amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident far exceeds that released by previous reactor accidents, but is only about 6% of the Cs-137 produced by the atmospheric weapon testing programs. 9 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  18. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility (ACRF Instrumentation Status: New, Current, and Future)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    JW Voyles

    2008-01-30

    The purpose of this report is to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility instrumentation status. The report is divided into the following four sections: (1) new instrumentation in the process of being acquired and deployed, (2) existing instrumentation and progress on improvements or upgrades, (3) proposed future instrumentation, and (4) Small Business Innovation Research instrument development.

  19. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  20. Correlations Between Surficial Sulfur and a REE Crustal Assimilation Signature in Martian Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Franz, H. B.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to terrestrial basalts, the Martian shergottite meteorites have an extraordinary range of Sr and Nd isotopic signatures. In addition, the S isotopic compositions of many shergottites show evidence of interaction with the Martian surface/ atmosphere through mass-independent isotopic fractionations (MIF, positive, non-zero delta(exp 33)S) that must have originated in the Martian atmosphere, yet ultimately were incorporated into igneous sulfides (AVS - acid-volatile sulfur). These positive delta(exp 33)S signatures are thought to be governed by solar UV photochemical processes. And to the extent that S is bound to Mars and not lost to space from the upper atmosphere, a positive delta(exp 33)S reservoir must be mass balanced by a complementary negative reservoir.

  1. North-Polar Martian Cap as Habitat for Elementary Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2008-09-01

    North-polar cap over millenia Atmospheric water in Mars tends currently as for the past millenia to distil onto the polar caps and be buried under dust deposits. Diffusive release from ground-ice (and its excavation in meteorite impacts [1]) replenishes atmospheric water, allowing the gradual build up of polar ice-dust deposits. When sunlit, this warmed and sublimating ice-dust mix has interest as a potential habitat for micro-organisms. Modelling shows precipitable vapour at 10-50μm/yr, varying sensitively with small changes in orbitable obliquity around the present 25° [2]. The modelling applies to a globe with regionally uniform albedo, unlike the steep topography and dark layering of the north polar cap whose upper 300m have accumulated over the last 500 kyr [3]. The cliffs and ravines of the north-polar cap are thought to form through south-facing slopes sublimating and gaining a dirt-encrusted surface, while horizontal surfaces brighten through frost deposits. The two-phase surface derives from the dust and frost feedback on surface albedo [4] and the resulting terrain develops over diurnal cycles of frosting and sublimation, and over annual seasonal cycles. The steep south-facing sides of observed ravines when unshadowed would see for a few hours the full intensity of sunlight at near normal incidence, without the atmospheric dimming at similar inclinations on Earth. As exposed ice sublimates at T > 200K (partial pressure exceeds typical martian 0.1 Pa), a crust of dirt develops to maintain quasi-stability. The dirt crust's main function is to buffer the ice against diurnal temperature fluctuations, but it also slows down vapour diffusion - analogous to south polar ice sublimation [5] and the growth of ground-ice [6]. We envisage 1-10 mm/yr as the net sublimation rate, compatible with the 100 kyr life and scales of the north polar ravines. Modelling of icy-dirt crusts in the polar cap Plane-parallel layers have been used to model the changing temperature

  2. Atmospheric environmental protection in China: Current status, developmental trend and research emphasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, Honghong; Hao, Jiming; Tang, Xiaolong

    2007-01-01

    Atmospheric environmental quality in China has been improving due to a variety of programs implemented by the Chinese government in recent decades. However, air pollution is still serious because of rapid socioeconomic development and increased energy consumption. Atmospheric environmental problems appear to be complex and regional in nature, and China's climate is aggravated by global climatic change. Air pollution originates from multiple sources and the effect on public human health will increase. The influence of acid rain in southern China will be long term, and the impact of climate change will rise. In order to reduce the adverse effects of air pollutants on the environment, the total number of emission sources from major industry, fine particle pollutants, SO 2 emissions from power plants and the vehicle exhaust must be lowered and strictly controlled. The energy structure will affect the quality of the atmosphere for a long time. Increased energy efficiency, optimization of energy structure and the generation of a sustainable consumption and production patterns will provide opportunities to resolve regional and the global environmental problems

  3. Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Science Plan. Current Status and Future Directions of the ARM Science Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackerman, Thomas P.; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Ellingson, Robert G.; Ferrare, Richard A.; Klein, Steve A.; McFarquhar, Gregory M.; Lamb, Peter J.; Long, Charles M.; Verlinde, Johannes

    2004-10-30

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program has matured into one of the key programs in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The ARM Program has achieved considerable scientific success in a broad range of activities, including site and instrument development, atmospheric radiative transfer, aerosol science, determination of cloud properties, cloud modeling, and cloud parameterization testing and development. The focus of ARM science has naturally shifted during the last few years to an increasing emphasis on modeling and parameterization studies to take advantage of the long time series of data now available. During the next 5 years, the principal focus of the ARM science program will be to: Maintain the data record at the fixed ARM sites for at least the next five years; Improve significantly our understanding of and ability to parameterize the 3-D cloud-radiation problem at scales from the local atmospheric column to the global climate model (GCM) grid square; Continue developing techniques to retrieve the properties of all clouds, with a special focus on ice clouds and mixed-phase clouds; Develop a focused research effort on the indirect aerosol problem that spans observations, physical models, and climate model parameterizations; Implement and evaluate an operational methodology to calculate broad-band heating rates in the atmospheric columns at the ARM sites; Develop and implement methodologies to use ARM data more effectively to test atmospheric models, both at the cloud-resolving model scale and the GCM scale; and, Use these methodologies to diagnose cloud parameterization performance and then refine these parameterizations to improve the accuracy of climate model simulations. In addition, the ARM Program is actively developing a new ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) that will be available for short deployments (several months to a year or more) in climatically important regions. The AMF will have much of the same instrumentation as the remote

  4. Methane storage capacity of the early martian cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Quesnel, Yoann; Langlais, Benoit; Chassefière, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Methane is a key molecule to understand the habitability of Mars due to its possible biological origin and short atmospheric lifetime. Recent methane detections on Mars present a large variability that is probably due to relatively localized sources and sink processes yet unknown. In this study, we determine how much methane could have been abiotically produced by early Mars serpentinization processes that could also explain the observed martian remanent magnetic field. Under the assumption of a cold early Mars environment, a cryosphere could trap such methane as clathrates in stable form at depth. The extent and spatial distribution of these methane reservoirs have been calculated with respect to the magnetization distribution and other factors. We calculate that the maximum storage capacity of such a clathrate cryosphere is about 2.1 × 1019-2.2 × 1020 moles of CH4, which can explain sporadic releases of methane that have been observed on the surface of the planet during the past decade (∼1.2 × 109 moles). This amount of trapped methane is sufficient for similar sized releases to have happened yearly during the history of the planet. While the stability of such reservoirs depends on many factors that are poorly constrained, it is possible that they have remained trapped at depth until the present day. Due to the possible implications of methane detection for life and its influence on the atmospheric and climate processes on the planet, confirming the sporadic release of methane on Mars and the global distribution of its sources is one of the major goals of the current and next space missions to Mars.

  5. Martian Radiative Transfer Modeling Using the Optimal Spectral Sampling Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eluszkiewicz, J.; Cady-Pereira, K.; Uymin, G.; Moncet, J.-L.

    2005-01-01

    The large volume of existing and planned infrared observations of Mars have prompted the development of a new martian radiative transfer model that could be used in the retrievals of atmospheric and surface properties. The model is based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) method [1]. The method is a fast and accurate monochromatic technique applicable to a wide range of remote sensing platforms (from microwave to UV) and was originally developed for the real-time processing of infrared and microwave data acquired by instruments aboard the satellites forming part of the next-generation global weather satellite system NPOESS (National Polarorbiting Operational Satellite System) [2]. As part of our on-going research related to the radiative properties of the martian polar caps, we have begun the development of a martian OSS model with the goal of using it to perform self-consistent atmospheric corrections necessary to retrieve caps emissivity from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra. While the caps will provide the initial focus area for applying the new model, it is hoped that the model will be of interest to the wider Mars remote sensing community.

  6. Simulation of convection-stabilized low-current glow and arc discharges in atmospheric-pressure air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naidis, G V

    2007-01-01

    A two-dimensional model of stationary convection-stabilized low-current glow and arc discharge columns in atmospheric-pressure air is developed which accounts for deviation of the plasma state from the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). In addition to equations of energy, continuity and momentum (analogous to those used in LTE arc models), the non-LTE model includes balance equations for plasma species and for the vibrational energy of nitrogen molecules. The kinetic scheme is used which was developed recently for the simulation of low-current wall-stabilized discharges in air. Results of calculation of discharge parameters over a wide current range are presented. It is shown that the non-equilibrium effects are substantial at currents lower than ∼ 100 mA. The calculated plasma parameters agree with available experimental data

  7. On the presence of electric currents in the solar atmosphere. I - A theoretical framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagyard, M.; Low, B. C.; Tandberg-Hanssen, E.

    1981-01-01

    The general magnetic field above the solar photosphere is divided by an elementary analysis based on Ampere's law into two parts: a potential field due to electric currents below the photosphere and a field produced by electric currents above the photosphere combined with the induced mirror currents. The latter, by symmetry, has a set of field lines lying in the plane taken to be the photosphere which may be constructed from given vector magnetograph measurements. These field lines also represent all the information on the electric currents above the photosphere that a magnetograph can provide. Theoretical illustrations are given, and implications for data analysis are discussed.

  8. Martian Methane From a Cometary Source: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, methane in the martian atmosphere has been detected by Earth-based spectroscopy, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the ESA Mars Express mission, and the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. The methane's origin remains a mystery, with proposed sources including volcanism, exogenous sources like impacts and interplanetary dust, aqueous alteration of olivine in the presence of carbonaceous material, release from ancient deposits of methane clathrates, and/or biological activity. An additional potential source exists: meteor showers from the emission of large comet dust particles could generate martian methane via UV pyrolysis of carbon-rich infall material. We find a correlation between the dates of Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of methane on Mars. We hypothesize that cometary debris falls onto Mars during these interactions, generating methane via UV photolysis.

  9. Isotope techniques in the study of past and current environmental changes in the hydrosphere and the atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    Expanding economic and technological activities of mankind are contributing to rapid and potentially stressful changes in the global ecosystem. These changes may have harmful, far-reaching consequences in the near future. The current changes in the global ecosystem are also affecting the hydrological cycle. Environmental isotopes, whose distribution in natural compounds is governed by environmental conditions, are among the most powerful tools for investigating past and current environmental changes. Thorough understanding of the past environment is a prerequisite for any meaningful prediction of the Earth's ecosystem behaviour. Important conclusions on past environment conditions can be derived from the analysis of isotope ratios preserved in various environmental archives. The present worked covers both the 'present' and the 'past' of the global atmosphere/hydrosphere system. The presentations were organized in five major topics: (i) isotopes in atmospheric studies; (ii) isotopes in the soil-plants-atmosphere system; (iii) degradation of water resources; (iv) palaeohydrology and palaeowaters; and (v) isotope indicators of climatic changes. Refs, figs and tabs

  10. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart), implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  11. Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-01-01

    The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l'Mineralogie, l'Eau les Glaces et l'Activite (OMEGA) ( Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap ( Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a ‘minimum apparent‘ amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2 mm (with 70% porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6–6% of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our ‘minimum apparent’ quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

  12. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Mao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric mercury (Hg is a global pollutant and thought to be the main source of mercury in oceanic and remote terrestrial systems, where it becomes methylated and bioavailable; hence, atmospheric mercury pollution has global consequences for both human and ecosystem health. Understanding of spatial and temporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury can advance our knowledge of mercury cycling in various environments. This review summarized spatiotemporal variations of total gaseous mercury or gaseous elemental mercury (TGM/GEM, gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM, and particulate-bound mercury (PBM in various environments including oceans, continents, high elevation, the free troposphere, and low to high latitudes. In the marine boundary layer (MBL, the oxidation of GEM was generally thought to drive the diurnal and seasonal variations of TGM/GEM and GOM in most oceanic regions, leading to lower GEM and higher GOM from noon to afternoon and higher GEM during winter and higher GOM during spring–summer. At continental sites, the driving mechanisms of TGM/GEM diurnal patterns included surface and local emissions, boundary layer dynamics, GEM oxidation, and for high-elevation sites mountain–valley winds, while oxidation of GEM and entrainment of free tropospheric air appeared to control the diurnal patterns of GOM. No pronounced diurnal variation was found for Tekran measured PBM at MBL and continental sites. Seasonal variations in TGM/GEM at continental sites were attributed to increased winter combustion and summertime surface emissions, and monsoons in Asia, while those in GOM were controlled by GEM oxidation, free tropospheric transport, anthropogenic emissions, and wet deposition. Increased PBM at continental sites during winter was primarily due to local/regional coal and wood combustion emissions. Long-term TGM measurements from the MBL and continental sites indicated an overall declining trend. Limited measurements suggested TGM

  13. Current understanding of the driving mechanisms for spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Huiting; Cheng, Irene; Zhang, Leiming

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant and thought to be the main source of mercury in oceanic and remote terrestrial systems, where it becomes methylated and bioavailable; hence, atmospheric mercury pollution has global consequences for both human and ecosystem health. Understanding of spatial and temporal variations of atmospheric speciated mercury can advance our knowledge of mercury cycling in various environments. This review summarized spatiotemporal variations of total gaseous mercury or gaseous elemental mercury (TGM/GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and particulate-bound mercury (PBM) in various environments including oceans, continents, high elevation, the free troposphere, and low to high latitudes. In the marine boundary layer (MBL), the oxidation of GEM was generally thought to drive the diurnal and seasonal variations of TGM/GEM and GOM in most oceanic regions, leading to lower GEM and higher GOM from noon to afternoon and higher GEM during winter and higher GOM during spring-summer. At continental sites, the driving mechanisms of TGM/GEM diurnal patterns included surface and local emissions, boundary layer dynamics, GEM oxidation, and for high-elevation sites mountain-valley winds, while oxidation of GEM and entrainment of free tropospheric air appeared to control the diurnal patterns of GOM. No pronounced diurnal variation was found for Tekran measured PBM at MBL and continental sites. Seasonal variations in TGM/GEM at continental sites were attributed to increased winter combustion and summertime surface emissions, and monsoons in Asia, while those in GOM were controlled by GEM oxidation, free tropospheric transport, anthropogenic emissions, and wet deposition. Increased PBM at continental sites during winter was primarily due to local/regional coal and wood combustion emissions. Long-term TGM measurements from the MBL and continental sites indicated an overall declining trend. Limited measurements suggested TGM/GEM increasing from the

  14. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  15. Current Status of the Validation of the Atmospheric Chemistry Instruments on Envisat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, P.; Koopman, R.; Zehner, C.; Laur, H.; Attema, E.; Wursteisen, P.; Snoeij, P.

    2003-04-01

    Envisat is ESA's advanced Earth observing satellite launched in March 2002 and is designed to provide measurements of the atmosphere, ocean, land and ice over a five-year period. After the launch and the switch-on period, a six-month commissioning phase has taken place for instrument calibration and geophysical validation, concluded with the Envisat Calibration Review held in September 2002. In addition to ESA and its industrial partners in the Envisat consortium, many other companies and research institutes have contributed to the calibration and validation programme under ESA contract as expert support laboratories (ESLs). A major contribution has also been made by the Principal Investigators of approved proposals submitted to ESA in response to a worldwide "Announcement of Opportunity for the Exploitation of the Envisat Data Products" in 1998. Working teams have been formed in which the different participants worked side by side to achieve the objectives of the calibration and validation programme. Validation is a comparison of Envisat level-2 data products and estimates of the different geophysical variables obtained by independent means, the validation instruments. Validation is closely linked to calibration because inconsistencies discovered in the comparison of Envisat Level 2 data products to well-known external instruments can have many different sources, including inaccuracies of the Envisat instrument calibration and the data calibration algorithms. Therefore, initial validation of the geophysical variables has provided feedback to calibration, de-bugging and algorithm improvement. The initial validation phase ended in December 2002 with the Envisat Validation Workshop at which, for a number of products, a final quality statement was given. Full validation of all data products available from the Atmospheric Chemistry Instruments on Envisat (MIPAS, GOMOS and SCIAMACHY) is quite a challenge and therefore it has been decided to adopt a step-wise approach

  16. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  17. Mars Atmospheric Capture and Gas Separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscatello, Anthony; Santiago-Maldonado, Edgardo; Gibson, Tracy; Devor, Robert; Captain, James

    2011-01-01

    The Mars atmospheric capture and gas separation project is selecting, developing, and demonstrating techniques to capture and purify Martian atmospheric gases for their utilization for the production of hydrocarbons, oxygen, and water in ISRU systems. Trace gases will be required to be separated from Martian atmospheric gases to provide pure C02 to processing elements. In addition, other Martian gases, such as nitrogen and argon, occur in concentrations high enough to be useful as buffer gas and should be captured as welL To achieve these goals, highly efficient gas separation processes will be required. These gas separation techniques are also required across various areas within the ISRU project to support various consumable production processes. The development of innovative gas separation techniques will evaluate the current state-of-the-art for the gas separation required, with the objective to demonstrate and develop light-weight, low-power methods for gas separation. Gas separation requirements include, but are not limited to the selective separation of: (1) methane and water from un-reacted carbon oxides (C02- CO) and hydrogen typical of a Sabatier-type process, (2) carbon oxides and water from unreacted hydrogen from a Reverse Water-Gas Shift process, (3) carbon oxides from oxygen from a trash/waste processing reaction, and (4) helium from hydrogen or oxygen from a propellant scavenging process. Potential technologies for the separations include freezers, selective membranes, selective solvents, polymeric sorbents, zeolites, and new technologies. This paper and presentation will summarize the results of an extensive literature review and laboratory evaluations of candidate technologies for the capture and separation of C02 and other relevant gases.

  18. Bidimensional characterization of the emission spectra in a direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orejas, Jaime; Pisonero, Jorge; Bordel, Nerea; Nelis, Thomas; Guillot, Philippe; Sanz-Medel, Alfredo

    2012-01-01

    An in-house atmospheric pressure glow discharge source, designed to be used as ionization/desorption source for ambient mass spectrometry, has been electrically characterized, and its optical emission spectra evaluated in detail. Electrical characterization showed that the plasma regime can vary from glow discharge to arc discharge depending on operating conditions (i.e. He flow rate and inter electrode distance). Furthermore, bidimensional images of the optical emission of some plasma species using filters as wavelength selectors, were registered from inside and outside the discharge chamber (inner region and afterglow region respectively), showing the spatial distribution of excited species (i.e. He*, N 2 + and O*). These distribution patterns are useful to study the chemistry of the discharge plasma, since different production pathways and different excitation energies affect the presence of these species in the plasma regions. - Highlights: ► An in-house APGD is characterized through electrical and OES measurements. ► Interelectrode distance had more effect on electric regime than He flow rate. ► Internal plume images showed differences on the production pathways for each species. ► Higher interelectrode distances and He flow rates showed better afterglow conditions.

  19. Bidimensional characterization of the emission spectra in a direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orejas, Jaime [University of Oviedo, Department of Physics, C/ Gonzazlez Quiros S/N, Mieres (Spain); Pisonero, Jorge, E-mail: pisonerojorge@uniovi.es [University of Oviedo, Department of Physics, C/ Gonzazlez Quiros S/N, Mieres (Spain); Bordel, Nerea [University of Oviedo, Department of Physics, C/ Gonzazlez Quiros S/N, Mieres (Spain); Nelis, Thomas [Bern University of Applied Sciences, Quellgasse 21, 2501 Bienne (Switzerland); Guillot, Philippe [DPHE, CUFR J. F. Champollion, Universite de Toulouse, Place de Verdun, Albi (France); Sanz-Medel, Alfredo, E-mail: asm@uniovi.es [University of Oviedo, Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, C/ Julian Claveria 8, Oviedo (Spain)

    2012-10-15

    An in-house atmospheric pressure glow discharge source, designed to be used as ionization/desorption source for ambient mass spectrometry, has been electrically characterized, and its optical emission spectra evaluated in detail. Electrical characterization showed that the plasma regime can vary from glow discharge to arc discharge depending on operating conditions (i.e. He flow rate and inter electrode distance). Furthermore, bidimensional images of the optical emission of some plasma species using filters as wavelength selectors, were registered from inside and outside the discharge chamber (inner region and afterglow region respectively), showing the spatial distribution of excited species (i.e. He*, N{sub 2}{sup +} and O*). These distribution patterns are useful to study the chemistry of the discharge plasma, since different production pathways and different excitation energies affect the presence of these species in the plasma regions. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An in-house APGD is characterized through electrical and OES measurements. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Interelectrode distance had more effect on electric regime than He flow rate. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Internal plume images showed differences on the production pathways for each species. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Higher interelectrode distances and He flow rates showed better afterglow conditions.

  20. Historical and current use of spanish moss as a monitor of atmospheric trace metals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitten, M.L.; Mossler, M.A.; Kosalwat, P.; Newman, J.R. [KBN Engineering and Applied Sciences, Inc., Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Spanish moss (Tillandsia usnesoides) is an epiphytic member of the pineapple family, Historically, tissue levels in this plant have illustrated the elevated concentration of lead near well traveled roads, as well as nickel and tin in the vicinity of battery fabrication or smelting facilities, respectively. From a survey of Spanish moss plants growing throughout the Southeast, mercury at or slightly above the limit of detection was present in eight of 128 samples. Five of these samples were collected in Florida. As part of a biomonitoring project, Spanish moss was collected from 1991 to 1993 around a waste-to-energy facility in Lake County, Florida, After three years, the percentage of Spanish moss samples which contained detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium decreased over time. Lead was detected in all samples collected throughout the monitoring period, but the mean concentration decreased from 3.7 mg/kg on a dry weight basis (1991) to 1.4 mg/kg (1993). This trend in lead levels may indicate clearance that is occurring due to the discontinuation of leaded gasoline. The percentage of moss samples containing mercury above the limit of detection increased from 67% (1991) to 97% (1993); however, mean concentrations do not support a trend in increasing concentration of this element (0.30 mg/kg on a fresh weight basis in 1991 vs. 0.19 mg/kg in 1993). Apparently, atmospheric metal concentrations are not increasing in the vicinity of the facility at this time.

  1. Current and Future Development of a Non-hydrostatic Unified Atmospheric Model (NUMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-09

    following capabilities: 1.  Highly scalable on current and future computer architectures ( exascale computing and beyond and GPUs) 2.  Flexibility... Exascale Computing •  10 of Top 500 are already in the Petascale range •  Should also keep our eyes on GPUs (e.g., Mare Nostrum) 2.  Numerical

  2. Mapping the Martian Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, M.; Ross, J. D.; Solomon, N.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars-adapted version of the NASA/GISS general circulation model (GCM) has been applied to the hourly/daily simulation of the planet's meteorology over several seasonal orbits. The current running version of the model includes a diurnal solar cycle, CO2 sublimation, and a mature parameterization of upper level wave drag with a vertical domain extending from the surface up to the 6microb level. The benchmark simulations provide a four-dimensional archive for the comparative evaluation of various schemes for the retrieval of winds from anticipated polar orbiter measurements of temperatures by the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  3. Model study of the influence of solar wind parameters on electric currents and fields in middle atmosphere at high latitudes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonev, P.; Velinov, P.

    2012-01-01

    The electric currents and fields in the strato/mesosphere and lower ionosphere are a result mainly of tropospheric electrical generators (thunderstorms and electrified clouds) which principally determine their global distributions and magnitudes. There are, however, additional sources, e.g. the solar wind (SW), whose contribution to these currents and fields is realized by SW-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. This last causes creation of large trans-polar electric potential difference VPC in each polar cap of ∼ 30–140 kV and of horizontal scale ∼ 3000 km which is realized through field-aligned currents (FAC) and is controlled by SW parameters. The potential difference VPC forces formation of closure currents in the dynamo-region. Our study by simulation shows that much smaller currents penetrate into the lower atmospheric regions and influence characteristics of the global atmospheric electrical circuit (GEC). Also, the downward mapping of the horizontal electric fields due to the potential difference VPC leads to creation of very small, but non-negligible vertical electric fields at sea level. They have been demonstrated experimentally as significant (up to few tens of per cent) SW-controlled modifications of the GEC electric characteristics at the ground, at polar latitudes. Our model, based on simulation of Maxwell’s equations in the region 0–160 km under steady-state conditions show that similar but relatively much larger SW-dominated modifications of GEC characteristics take place in the strato/mesosphere and lower ionosphere at polar and high latitudes

  4. Historical and current atmospheric deposition to the epilithic lichen Xanthoparmelia in Maricopa County, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zschau, T.; Getty, S.; Gries, C.; Ameron, Y.; Zambrano, A.; Nash, T.H

    2003-09-01

    Spatial variation of elemental deposition to lichen receptors across Maricopa County, Arizona, USA is documented for 1998 and historical trends relative to 1974 are documented. - Spatial patterns of atmospheric deposition of trace elements to an epilithic lichen were assessed using a spatial grid of 28 field sites in 1998 throughout Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. In addition, samples of Xanthoparmelia spp. from Arizona State University lichen herbarium material (1975-1976) was utilized for a limited number of sites in order to explore temporal trends. The lichen material was cleaned, wet digested and analyzed by ICP-MS for a suite of elemental concentrations [antimony (Sb), cadmium (Cd), cerium (Ce), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), dysprosium (Dy), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), gold (Au), holmium (Ho), lead (Pb), lutetium (Lu), neodymium (Nd), nickel (Ni), palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), praseodymium (Pr), samarium (Sm), scandium (Sc), silver (Ag), terbium (Tb), thulium (Tm), tin (Sn), uranium (U), ytterbium (Yb), yttrium (Y), and zinc (Zn)]. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis suggest three major factors, which, depending on regional aerosol fractionation, explain most of the variation in elemental signatures: (1) a group of widely distributed rare earth elements (2) a highly homogenous Co, Cr, Ni, and Sc component representing the influence of mafic rocks, and (3) anthropogenic emissions. Elemental concentrations in Maricopa County lichens were generally comparable to those reported for relatively unpolluted areas. Only highly urbanized regions, such as the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area and the NW corner of the county, exhibited elevated concentrations for Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd. Lead levels in lichens have fallen over the last 30 years by 71%, while Zn concentrations for some regions have increased by as much as 245%. From the spatial pattern of elemental deposition for Cd, Cu, Ni, Pr, Pb, and Cu, we infer that agriculture, mining

  5. Historical and current atmospheric deposition to the epilithic lichen Xanthoparmelia in Maricopa County, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zschau, T.; Getty, S.; Gries, C.; Ameron, Y.; Zambrano, A.; Nash, T.H.

    2003-01-01

    Spatial variation of elemental deposition to lichen receptors across Maricopa County, Arizona, USA is documented for 1998 and historical trends relative to 1974 are documented. - Spatial patterns of atmospheric deposition of trace elements to an epilithic lichen were assessed using a spatial grid of 28 field sites in 1998 throughout Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. In addition, samples of Xanthoparmelia spp. from Arizona State University lichen herbarium material (1975-1976) was utilized for a limited number of sites in order to explore temporal trends. The lichen material was cleaned, wet digested and analyzed by ICP-MS for a suite of elemental concentrations [antimony (Sb), cadmium (Cd), cerium (Ce), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), dysprosium (Dy), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), gold (Au), holmium (Ho), lead (Pb), lutetium (Lu), neodymium (Nd), nickel (Ni), palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt), praseodymium (Pr), samarium (Sm), scandium (Sc), silver (Ag), terbium (Tb), thulium (Tm), tin (Sn), uranium (U), ytterbium (Yb), yttrium (Y), and zinc (Zn)]. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis suggest three major factors, which, depending on regional aerosol fractionation, explain most of the variation in elemental signatures: (1) a group of widely distributed rare earth elements (2) a highly homogenous Co, Cr, Ni, and Sc component representing the influence of mafic rocks, and (3) anthropogenic emissions. Elemental concentrations in Maricopa County lichens were generally comparable to those reported for relatively unpolluted areas. Only highly urbanized regions, such as the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area and the NW corner of the county, exhibited elevated concentrations for Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd. Lead levels in lichens have fallen over the last 30 years by 71%, while Zn concentrations for some regions have increased by as much as 245%. From the spatial pattern of elemental deposition for Cd, Cu, Ni, Pr, Pb, and Cu, we infer that agriculture, mining

  6. Surface energy balances of three general circulation models: Current climate and response to increasing atmospheric CO2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutowski, W.J.; Gutzler, D.S.; Portman, D.; Wang, W.C.

    1988-04-01

    The surface energy balance simulated by state-of-the-art general circulation models at GFDL, GISS and NCAR for climates with current levels of atmospheric CO 2 concentration (control climate) and with twice the current levels. The work is part of an effort sponsored by the US Department of Energy to assess climate simulations produced by these models. The surface energy balance enables us to diagnose differences between models in surface temperature climatology and sensitivity to doubling CO 2 in terms of the processes that control surface temperature. Our analysis compares the simulated balances by averaging the fields of interest over a hierarchy of spatial domains ranging from the entire globe down to regions a few hundred kilometers across

  7. Inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis by a direct-current, cold atmospheric-pressure air plasma microjet☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Sun, Peng; Wu, Haiyan; Bai, Na; Wang, Ruixue; Zhu, Weidong; Zhang, Jue; Liu, Fuxiang

    2010-01-01

    Objective A direct-current, cold atmospheric-pressure air plasma microjet (PMJ) was performed to inactivate Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) in air. The process of sterilization and morphology of bacteria was observed. We wish to know the possible inactivation mechanisms of PMJ and explore a potential application in dental and other temperature sensitive treatment. Methods In this study, we employed a direct current, atmospheric pressure, cold air PMJ to inactivate bacterias. Scanning electron microscopy was employed to evaluate the morphology of S. aureus and showed rupture of cell walls after the plasma treatment and Optical emission spectrum (OES) were used to understand the possible inactivation mechanisms of PMJ. Results The inactivation rates could reach 100% in 5 min. When the distance between the exit nozzle of the PMJ device and Petri dish was extended from 1 cm to 3 cm, effective inactivation was also observed with a similar inactivation curve. Conclusion The inactivation of bacteria is attributed to the abundant reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, as well as ultroviolet radiation in the plasma. Different life spans and defensibilities of these killing agents may hold the key to understanding the different inactivation curves at different treatment distances. PMID:23554639

  8. Inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis by a direct-current, cold atmospheric-pressure air plasma microjet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Sun, Peng; Wu, Haiyan; Bai, Na; Wang, Ruixue; Zhu, Weidong; Zhang, Jue; Liu, Fuxiang

    2010-07-01

    A direct-current, cold atmospheric-pressure air plasma microjet (PMJ) was performed to inactivate Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) in air. The process of sterilization and morphology of bacteria was observed. We wish to know the possible inactivation mechanisms of PMJ and explore a potential application in dental and other temperature sensitive treatment. In this study, we employed a direct current, atmospheric pressure, cold air PMJ to inactivate bacterias. Scanning electron microscopy was employed to evaluate the morphology of S. aureus and showed rupture of cell walls after the plasma treatment and Optical emission spectrum (OES) were used to understand the possible inactivation mechanisms of PMJ. The inactivation rates could reach 100% in 5 min. When the distance between the exit nozzle of the PMJ device and Petri dish was extended from 1 cm to 3 cm, effective inactivation was also observed with a similar inactivation curve. The inactivation of bacteria is attributed to the abundant reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, as well as ultroviolet radiation in the plasma. Different life spans and defensibilities of these killing agents may hold the key to understanding the different inactivation curves at different treatment distances.

  9. Effects of atmospheric air plasma treatment of graphite and carbon felt electrodes on the anodic current from Shewanella attached cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epifanio, Monica; Inguva, Saikumar; Kitching, Michael; Mosnier, Jean-Paul; Marsili, Enrico

    2015-12-01

    The attachment of electrochemically active microorganisms (EAM) on an electrode is determined by both the chemistry and topography of the electrode surface. Pre-treatment of the electrode surface by atmospheric air plasma introduces hydrophilic functional groups, thereby increasing cell attachment and electroactivity in short-term experiments. In this study, we use graphite and carbon felt electrodes to grow the model EAM Shewanella loihica PV-4 at oxidative potential (0.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl). Cell attachment and electroactivity are measured through electrodynamic methods. Atmospheric air plasma pre-treatment increases cell attachment and current output at graphite electrodes by 25%, while it improves the electroactivity of the carbon felt electrodes by 450%. Air plasma pre-treatment decreased the coulombic efficiency on both carbon felt and graphite electrodes by 60% and 80%, respectively. Microbially produced flavins adsorb preferentially at the graphite electrode, and air plasma pre-treatment results in lower flavin adsorption at both graphite and carbon felt electrodes. Results show that air plasma pre-treatment is a feasible option to increase current output in bioelectrochemical systems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Chemical and Physical Interactions of Martian Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    1999-09-01

    A model of alteration and maturation of the Martian surface material is described involving both chemical and physical interactions. Physical processes involve distribution and mixing of the fine-grained soil particles across the surface and into the atmosphere. Chemical processes include reaction of sulfate, salt and oxidizing components of the soil particles; these agents in the soils deposited on rocks will chew through the rock minerals forming coatings and will bind surface soils together to form duricrust deposits. Formation of crystalline iron oxide/oxyhydroxide minerals through hydrothermal processes and of poorly crystalline and amorphous phases through palagonitic processes both contribute to formation of the soil particles. Chemical and physical alteration of these soil minerals and phases contribute to producing the chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic character of the Martian soil as observed by Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Minerals such as maghemite/magnetite and jarosite/alunite have been observed in terrestrial volcanic soils near steam vents and may be important components of the Martian surface material. The spectroscopic properties of several terrestrial volcanic soils containing these minerals have been analyzed and evaluated in terms of the spectroscopic character of the surface material on Mars.

  11. Applying geochemical signatures of atmospheric dust to distinguish current mine emissions from legacy sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chenyin; Taylor, Mark Patrick

    2017-07-01

    Resolving the source of environmental contamination is the critical first step in remediation and exposure prevention. Australia's oldest silver-zinc-lead mine at Broken Hill (>130 years old) has generated a legacy of contamination and is associated with persistent elevated childhood blood lead (Pb) levels. However, the source of environmental Pb remains in dispute: current mine emissions; remobilized mine-legacy lead in soils and dusts; and natural lead from geological weathering of the gossan ore body. Multiple lines of evidence used to resolve this conundrum at Broken Hill include spatial and temporal variations in dust Pb concentrations and bioaccessibility, Pb isotopic compositions, particle morphology and mineralogy. Total dust Pb loading (mean 255 μg/m2/day) and its bioaccessibility (mean 75% of total Pb) is greatest adjacent to the active mining operations. Unweathered galena (PbS) found in contemporary dust deposits contrast markedly to Pb-bearing particles from mine-tailings and weathered gossan samples. Contemporary dust particles were more angular, had higher sulfur content and had little or no iron and manganese. Dust adjacent to the mine has Pb isotopic compositions (208Pb/207Pb: 2.3197; 206Pb/207Pb: 1.0406) that are a close match (99%) to the ore body with values slightly lower (94%) at the edge of the city. The weight of evidence supports the conclusion that contemporary dust Pb contamination in Broken Hill is sourced primarily from current mining activities and not from weathering or legacy sources.

  12. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  13. Trace gas concentrations, intertropical convergence, atmospheric fronts, and ocean currents in the tropical Pacific m(Paper 8C1060)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilkniss, P.E.; Rodgers, E.B.; Swinnerton, J.W.; Larson, R.E.; Lamontagne, R.A.

    1979-01-01

    Shipboard measurements of atmospheric 222 Rn, CO, and CH 4 and of dissolved CO in surface waters have been carried out in the equatorial Pacific on a cruise from Ecuador to Hawaii, Tahiti and Panama in March and April of 1974, and during transit from Los Angeles to Antarctica in November and December of 1972. The trace gas results, combined with conventional meteorological data and with satellite images from Nimbus 5 and the defense meteorological satellite project (DMSP), have provided descriptions of the intertropical convergence zones (ITCZ) near 04 0 N, 102 0 W and 03 0 N, 154 0 W in March of 1974, near 04 0 N, 86 0 W in April of 1974, and near 05 0 N, 139 0 W in November of 1972. In all cases the ITCZ seems to be located north of the south equatorial current (SEC) as shown by dissolved CO peaks in surface waters. In April of 1974 a 'second' ITCZ was observed near 01 0 S, 102 0 W just south of the SEC. A stationary front near Hawaii (20 0 N, 147 0 W) in March of 1974 was investigated. The ITCZ was marked by light shifting winds near a zone of heavy cloud cover and precipitation. In the eastern Tropical Pacific atmospheric 222 Rn increases distinctly north of the ITCZ and thus serves as an indicator for the ITCZ. CO and CH 4 do not always increase coincident with atmospheric 222 Rn. The atmospheric features of the stationary front near Hawaii are in many ways similar to those observed for the ITCZ. The front is marked by cloud cover, precipitation zone and light shifting winds. 222 Rn, CO and CH 4 increase signifantly behind the front in subsiding air which was traced back to the Asian continent. The variation of atmospheric 222 Rn, CO and CH 4 with time and geographical area over the equatorial Pacific seems to be a consequence of seasonal variations of the trade wind field and long range transport to the central Pacific from Asia and to the eastern equatorial Pacific from North and Central America

  14. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  15. Martian Bow Shock and Magnetic Pile-Up Barrier Formation Due to the Exosphere Ion Mass-Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eojin Kim

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow shock, formed by the interaction between the solar wind and a planet, is generated in different patterns depending on the conditions of the planet. In the case of the earth, its own strong magnetic field plays a critical role in determining the position of the bow shock. However, in the case of Mars of which has very a small intrinsic magnetic field, the bow shock is formed by the direct interaction between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. It is known that the position of the Martian bow shock is affected by the mass loading-effect by which the supersonic solar wind velocity becomes subsonic as the heavy ions originating from the planet are loaded on the solar wind. We simulated the Martian magnetosphere depending on the changes of the density and velocity of the solar wind by using the three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model built by modifying the comet code that includes the mass loading effect. The Martian exosphere model of was employed as the Martian atmosphere model, and only the photoionization by the solar radiation was considered in the ionization process of the neutral atmosphere. In the simulation result under the normal solar wind conditions, the Martian bow shock position in the subsolar point direction was consistent with the result of the previous studies. The three-dimensional simulation results produced by varying the solar wind density and velocity were all included in the range of the Martian bow shock position observed by Mariner 4, Mars 2, 3, 5, and Phobos 2. Additionally, the simulation result also showed that the change of the solar wind density had a greater effect on the Martian bow shock position than the change of the solar wind velocity. Our result may be useful in analyzing the future observation data by Martian probes.

  16. Unusual Reactivity of the Martian Soil: Oxygen Release Upon Humidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.

    2002-01-01

    Recent lab results show that oxygen evolves from superoxide-coated mineral grains upon exposure to water vapor. This observation is additional support of the hypothesis that UV-generated O2 is responsible for the reactivity of the martian soil. Discussion of current NASA research opportunities, status of various programs within the Solar System Exploration Division, and employment opportunities within NASA Headquarters to support these programs. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  17. On the physical processes ruling an atmospheric pressure air glow discharge operating in an intermediate current regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prevosto, L.; Mancinelli, B.; Chamorro, J. C.; Cejas, E.; Kelly, H.

    2015-01-01

    Low-frequency (100 Hz), intermediate-current (50 to 200 mA) glow discharges were experimentally investigated in atmospheric pressure air between blunt copper electrodes. Voltage–current characteristics and images of the discharge for different inter-electrode distances are reported. A cathode-fall voltage close to 360 V and a current density at the cathode surface of about 11 A/cm 2 , both independent of the discharge current, were found. The visible emissive structure of the discharge resembles to that of a typical low-pressure glow, thus suggesting a glow-like electric field distribution in the discharge. A kinetic model for the discharge ionization processes is also presented with the aim of identifying the main physical processes ruling the discharge behavior. The numerical results indicate the presence of a non-equilibrium plasma with rather high gas temperature (above 4000 K) leading to the production of components such as NO, O, and N which are usually absent in low-current glows. Hence, the ionization by electron-impact is replaced by associative ionization, which is independent of the reduced electric field. This leads to a negative current-voltage characteristic curve, in spite of the glow-like features of the discharge. On the other hand, several estimations show that the discharge seems to be stabilized by heat conduction; being thermally stable due to its reduced size. All the quoted results indicate that although this discharge regime might be considered to be close to an arc, it is still a glow discharge as demonstrated by its overall properties, supported also by the presence of thermal non-equilibrium

  18. Flank tectonics of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.J.; Squyres, S.W.; Carr, M.H.

    1990-01-01

    On the flanks of Olympus Mons is a series of terraces, concentrically distributed around the caldera. Their morphology and location suggest that they could be thrust faults caused by compressional failure of the cone. In an attempt to understand the mechanism of faulting and the possible influences of the interior structure of Olympus Mons, the authors have constructed a numerical model for elastic stresses within a Martian volcano. In the absence of internal pressurization, the middle slopes of the cone are subjected to compressional stress, appropriate to the formation of thrust faults. These stresses for Olympus Mons are ∼250 MPa. If a vacant magma chamber is contained within the cone, the region of maximum compressional stress is extended toward the base of the cone. If the magma chamber is pressurized, extensional stresses occur at the summit and on the upper slopes of the cone. For a filled but unpressurized magma chamber, the observed positions of the faults agree well with the calculated region of high compressional stress. Three other volcanoes on Mars, Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, and Pavonis Mons, possess similar terraces. Extending the analysis to other Martian volcanoes, they find that only these three and Olympus Mons have flank stresses that exceed the compressional failure strength of basalt, lending support to the view that the terraces on all four are thrust faults

  19. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgill, George E.; Hills, L. S.

    1992-01-01

    Extensive areas of the Martian northern plains in Utopia and Acidalia planitiae are characterized by 'polygonal terrane'. Polygonal terrane consists of material cut by complex troughs defining a pattern resembling mudcracks, columnar joints, or frost-wedge polygons on earth. However, the Martian polygons are orders of magnitude larger than these potential earth analogues, leading to severe mechanical difficulties for genetic models based on simple analogy arguments. Plate-bending and finite element models indicate that shrinkage of desiccating sediment or cooling volcanics accompanied by differential compaction over buried topography can account for the stresses responsible for polygon troughs as well as the large size of the polygons. Although trough widths and depths relate primarily to shrinkage, the large scale of the polygonl pattern relates to the spacing between topographic elevations on the surface buried beneath polygonal terrane material. Geological relationships favor a sedimentary origin for polygonal terrane material, but our model is not dependent on the specific genesis. Our analysis also suggests that the polygons must have formed at a geologically rapid rate.

  20. MetNet - In situ observational Network and Orbital platform to investigate the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Leinonen, Jussi; Merikallio, Sini; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni

    2007-09-01

    MetNet Mars Mission is an in situ observational network and orbital platform mission to investigate the Martian environment and it has been proposed to European Space Agency in response to Call for proposals for the first planning cycle of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 D/SCI/DJS/SV/val/21851. The MetNet Mars Mission is to be implemented in collaboration with ESA, FMI, LA, IKI and the payload providing science teams. The scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy 16 MetNet Landers (MNLs) on the Martian surface by using inflatable descent system structures accompanied by an atmospheric sounder and data relay onboard the MetNet Orbiter (MNO), which is based on ESA Mars Express satellite platform. The MNLs are attached on the three sides of the satellite and most of the MNLs are deployed to Mars separately a few weeks prior to the arrival to Mars. The MetNet Orbiter will perform continuous atmospheric soundings thus complementing the accurate in situ observations at the Martian ground produced by the MetNet observation network, as well as the orbiter will serve as the primary data relay between the MetNet Landers and the Earth. The MNLs are equipped with a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterisation of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatological cycles, as well as interior investigations, require simultaneous in situ meteorological, seismic and magnetic measurements from networks of stations on the Martian surface. MetNet Mars Mission will also provide a crucial support for the safety of large landing missions in general and manned Mars missions in particular. Accurate knowledge of atmospheric conditions and weather data is essential to guarantee safe landings of the forthcoming Mars mission elements.

  1. Current 2-μm dial measurements of atmospheric CO2 and expected results from space using new MCT APDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, A.; Gibert, F.; Rothman, J.; Édouart, D.; Le Mounier, F.; Cénac, C.

    2017-11-01

    In the framework of CO2 monitoring in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL), a ground-based 2-μm Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) has been developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) in Palaiseau. In order to derive flux information, this system has been set up with coherent detection, which allows to combine CO2 density measurements with wind velocity measurements. On the other hand, new advances in the field of Mercury Cadmium Tellure (MCT) Avalanche Photodiodes (APDs) open the way for high-precision measurements in direct detection ultimately from space. In this study, we first report on state of the art measurements obtained with the current coherent DIAL system before presenting expected results for a similar laser transmitter equipped with MCT APDs. For this latter part, we use a numerical model which relies on APDs performance data provided by the Laboratoire d'Électronique et de Technologie de l'Information (LETI).

  2. Solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-S. Wang

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Electron density profiles in the Martian ionosphere observed by the radio occultation experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor have been analyzed to determine if the densities are influenced by the solar wind. Evidence is presented that the altitude of the maximum ionospheric electron density shows a positive correlation to the energetic proton flux in the solar wind. The solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere can be attributed to heating of the neutral atmosphere by the solar wind energetic proton precipitation. The modulation is observed to be most prominent at high solar zenith angles. It is argued that this is consistent with the proposed modulation mechanism.

  3. Some potentialities of living organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Bychenkova, V N; Zaar, E I; Levin, V L; Rumyantseva, V M

    1971-01-01

    Temperature, humidity, pressure, composition of the atmosphere and radiation are the main factors conditioning life on the surface of Mars. When studying the Martian ecology, one must know the total effect of these factors. One may expect that, as a result of adaptation to low temperatures, there is a corresponding shift in the temperature optimum of enzymatic activity. Dryness is the main obstacle to active life. We suggest the presence of some soil moisture and water vapour. Moreover, there can be areas of permafrost. This minimum supply of water and periodic fluctuations of humidity may create conditions for the existence of drought-resistant organisms. Decreased atmospheric pressure alone does not affect micro-organisms, plants, protozoa and even insects. Ciliates reproduce in a flowing atmosphere of pure nitrogen containing 0.0002-0.0005% oxygen as an impurity. Protozoa may also develop in an atmosphere of 98-99% carbon dioxide mixed with 1% O2. Therefore, even traces of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere would be sufficient for aerobic unicellular organisms. Cells and organisms on earth have acquired various ways of protection from uv light, and therefore may increase their resistance further by adaptation or selection. The resistance of some organisms to ionizing radiation is high enough to enable them to endure hard ionizing radiation of the sun. Experiments with unicellular [correction of unicellar] organisms show that the effect of short wave uv radiation depends on the intensity of visible light, long-wave solar uv radiation, temperatures, cell repair processes, and the state of cell components, i.e. whether the cell was frozen, dried or hydrated.

  4. The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schofield, J.T.; Barnes, J.R.; Crisp, D.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment measured the vertical density, pressure, and temperature structure of the martian atmosphere from the surface to 160 km, and monitored surface meteorology and climate for 83 sols (1 sol = 1 martian day = 24...

  5. Saltation under Martian gravity and its influence on the global dust distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musiolik, Grzegorz; Kruss, Maximilian; Demirci, Tunahan; Schrinski, Björn; Teiser, Jens; Daerden, Frank; Smith, Michael D.; Neary, Lori; Wurm, Gerhard

    2018-05-01

    Dust and sand motion are a common sight on Mars. Understanding the interaction of atmosphere and Martian soil is fundamental to describe the planet's weather, climate and surface morphology. We set up a wind tunnel to study the lift of a mixture between very fine sand and dust in a Mars simulant soil. The experiments were carried out under Martian gravity in a parabolic flight. The reduced gravity was provided by a centrifuge under external microgravity. The onset of saltation was measured for a fluid threshold shear velocity of 0.82 ± 0.04 m/s. This is considerably lower than found under Earth gravity. In addition to a reduction in weight, this low threshold can be attributed to gravity dependent cohesive forces within the sand bed, which drop by 2/3 under Martian gravity. The new threshold for saltation leads to a simulation of the annual dust cycle with a Mars GCM that is in agreement with observations.

  6. Methylated silicates may explain the release of chlorinated methane from Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Finster, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The only organic compounds that have been detected in the Martian soil are simple chlorinated compounds released from heated surface material. However, the sources of the organic carbon are in dispute. Wind abraded silicates, which are widespread on the Martian surface, can sequester atmospheric methane which generates methylated silicates and thus could provide a mechanism for accumulation of reduced carbon in the surface soil. In this study we show that thermal volatilization of methylated silicates in the presence of perchlorate leads to the production of chlorinated methane. Thus, methylated silicates could be a source of the organic carbon released as chlorinated methane upon thermal volatilization of Martian soil samples. Further, our experiments show that the ratio of the different chlorinated compounds produced is dependent on the mass ratio of perchlorate to organic carbon in the soil.

  7. The Martian polar caps: Stability and water transport at low obliquities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, B. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1992-01-01

    The seasonal cycle of water on Mars is regulated by the two polar caps. In the winter hemisphere, the seasonal CO2 deposits at a temperature near 150 K acts as a cold trap to remove water vapor from the atmosphere. When summer returns, water is pumped back into the atmosphere by a number of mechanisms, including release from the receding CO2 frost, diffusion from the polar regolith, and sublimation from a water-ice residual cap. These processes drive an exchange of water vapor between the polar caps that helps shape the Martian climate. Thus, understanding the behavior of the polar caps is important for interpreting the Martian climate both now and at other epochs. Mars' obliquity undergoes large variations over large time scales. As the obliquity decreases, the poles receive less solar energy so that more CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 caps might form at the poles in response to a feedback mechanism existing between the polar cap albedo, the CO2 pressure, and the dust storm frequency. The year-round presence of the CO2 deposits would effectively dry out the atmosphere, while diffusion of water from the regolith would be the only source of water vapor to the atmosphere. We have reviewed the CO2 balance at low obliquity taking into account the asymmetries which make the north and south hemispheres different. Our analysis linked with a numerical model of the polar caps leads us to believe that one summertime cap will always lose its CO2 cover during a Martian year, although we cannot predict which cap this will be. We conclude that significant amounts of water vapor will sublime from the exposed cap during summer, and the Martian atmosphere will support an active water cycle even at low obliquity.

  8. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  10. Current state and temporal evolution of the chemical composition of atmospheric depositions in forest areas of the CONECOFOR network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchetto A

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Current state and temporal evolution of the chemical composition of atmospheric depositions in forest areas of the CONECOFOR network. Since 1997, atmospheric deposition was sampled and analyzed in the permanent plots of the Italian network for the evaluation of forest health (CONECOFOR, under the coordination of the Italian Forest Service. This paper presents the results of the activity carried out in 2009, when the EU-funded LIFE+ “FutMon” project allowed to extend the sampling network to 22 sites. Long-term trends will also be evaluated for the sampling sites with the longest time series. The sampling of open field bulk deposition was performed in a clearance close to the CONECOFOR permanent plots, while throughfall deposition and stemflow (in beech stand, only were sampled in the plot. Deposition samples were collected weekly and sent to the laboratories, where they were analyzed for pH, conductivity, major ions, and total carbon and nitrogen. Most measured variables showed a strong geographical gradient. For example, nitrogen deposition was relatively high in the Po plain (where the emissions of nitrogen oxides and ammonia are the highest and surrounding hills, reaching 10-20 kgN ha-1 y-1 in the open field and 13-25 kgN ha-1 y-1 in the throughfall. Sulphate deposition also showed a marked geographical gradient. Deposition of marine aerosol also had an important impact on the chemical composition of atmospheric deposition in Italy, together with the episodic deposition of Saharan dust, which showed a marked gradient, with highest values in the southernmost plots. Trend analysis was carried out on 10 sites running since the beginning of the program. A general negative trend in sulphate concentration was detected, paralleled in most plots by a positive trend in deposition pH, in good agreement with the strong reduction in the emission of sulphur dioxide recorded in the last decades. Nitrogen concentration also showed a significant decrease

  11. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Finster, Kai

    2017-09-01

    The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds, but none has been validated in situ and the cause of the observed oxidation has not been resolved. In this study, laboratory simulations of saltation were conducted to examine if and under which conditions wind abrasion of silicates, a process that is common on the Martian surface, can give rise to oxidants in the form of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (ṡOH). We found that silicate samples abraded in simulated Martian atmospheres gave rise to a significant production of H2O2 and ṡOH upon contact with water. Our experiments demonstrated that abraded silicates could lead to a production of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO2 and through subsequent reactions lead to a production of H2O2. These results indicate that the reactions linked to electrical discharges are the dominant source of H2O2 during saltation of silicates in a simulated Martian atmosphere, given the low pressure and the relatively high concentration of CO2. Our experiments provide evidence that wind driven abrasion could enhance the reactivity of the Martian soil and thereby could have contributed to the oxidation of organic compounds and the O2 release observed in the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments. Furthermore, the release of H2O2 and ṡOH from abraded silicates could have a negative effect on the persistence of organic compounds in the Martian soil and the habitability of the Martian surface.

  12. Martian aeolian activity at the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater: The view from the surface and orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Sullivan, R.; Newman, C. E.; Navarro, S.; van Beek, J.; Ewing, R. C.; Ayoub, F.; Silvestro, S.; Gasnault, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Rapin, W.

    2017-10-01

    The first in situ investigation of an active dune field on another planetary surface occurred in 2015-2016 when the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover investigated the Bagnold Dunes on Mars. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images show clear seasonal variations that are in good agreement with atmospheric model predictions of intra-annual sand flux and migration directions that together indicate that the campaign occurred during a period of low wind activity. Curiosity surface images show that limited changes nevertheless occurred, with movement of large grains, particularly on freshly exposed surfaces, two occurrences of secondary grain flow on the slip face of Namib Dune, and a slump on a freshly exposed surface of a large ripple. These changes are seen at Martian solar day (sol)-to-sol time scales. Grains on a rippled sand deposit and unconsolidated dump piles show limited movement of large grains over a few hours during which mean friction speeds are estimated at 0.3-0.4 m s-1. Overall, the correlation between changes and peak Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) winds is moderate, with high wind events associated with changes in some cases, but not in others, suggesting that other factors are also at work. The distribution of REMS 1 Hz wind speeds shows a significant tail up to the current 20 m s-1 calibration limit, indicating that even higher speed winds occur. Nonaeolian triggering mechanisms are also possible. The low activity period at the dunes documented by Curiosity provides clues to processes that dominated in the Martian past under conditions of lower obliquity.

  13. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  14. Advanced concept for a crewed mission to the martian moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Budzyń, Dorota; Burgoyne, Hayden; Fries, Dan; Grulich, Maria; Heizmann, Sören; Jethani, Henna; Lapôtre, Mathieu; Roos, Tobias; Castillo, Encarnación Serrano; Schermann, Marcel; Vieceli, Rhiannon; Wilson, Lee; Wynard, Christopher

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design of the IMaGInE (Innovative Mars Global International Exploration) Mission. The mission's objectives are to deliver a crew of four astronauts to the surface of Deimos and perform a robotic exploration mission to Phobos. Over the course of the 343 day mission during the years 2031 and 2032, the crew will perform surface excursions, technology demonstrations, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of the Martian moons, as well as site reconnaissance for future human exploration of Mars. This mission design makes use of an innovative hybrid propulsion concept (chemical and electric) to deliver a relatively low-mass reusable crewed spacecraft (approximately 100 mt) to cis-martian space. The crew makes use of torpor which minimizes launch payload mass. Green technologies are proposed as a stepping stone towards minimum environmental impact space access. The usage of beamed energy to power a grid of decentralized science stations is introduced, allowing for large scale characterization of the Martian environment. The low-thrust outbound and inbound trajectories are computed through the use of a direct method and a multiple shooting algorithm that considers various thrust and coast sequences to arrive at the final body with zero relative velocity. It is shown that the entire mission is rooted within the current NASA technology roadmap, ongoing scientific investments and feasible with an extrapolated NASA Budget. The presented mission won the 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.

  15. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  16. Discovering Parameters for Ancient Mars Atmospheric Profiles by Modeling Volcanic Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, A.; Clarke, A. B.; Van Eaton, A. R.; Mastin, L. G.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence of explosive volcanic deposits on Mars motivates questions about the behavior of eruption plumes in the Ancient and current Martian atmosphere. Early modeling studies suggested that Martian plumes may rise significantly higher than their terrestrial equivalents (Wilson and Head, 1994, Rev. Geophys., 32, 221-263). We revisit the issue using a steady-state 1-D model of volcanic plumes (Plumeria: Mastin, 2014, JGR, doi:10.1002/2013JD020604) along with a range of reasonable temperature and pressures. The model assumes perfect coupling of particles with the gas phase in the plume, and Stokes number analysis indicates that this is a reasonable assumption for particle diameters less than 5 mm to 1 micron. Our estimates of Knudsen numbers support the continuum assumption. The tested atmospheric profiles include an estimate of current Martian atmosphere based on data from voyager mission (Seif, A., Kirk, D.B., (1977) Geophys., 82,4364-4378), a modern Earth-like atmosphere, and several other scenarios based on variable tropopause heights and near-surface atmospheric density estimates from the literature. We simulated plume heights using mass eruption rates (MER) ranging from 1 x 103 to 1 x 1010 kg s-1 to create a series of new theoretical MER-plume height scaling relationships that may be useful for considering plume injection heights, climate impacts, and global-scale ash dispersal patterns in Mars' recent and ancient geological past. Our results show that volcanic plumes in a modern Martian atmosphere may rise up to three times higher than those on Earth. We also find that the modern Mars atmosphere does not allow eruption columns to collapse, and thus does not allow for the formation of column-collapse pyroclastic density currents, a phenomenon thought to have occurred in Mars' past based on geological observations. The atmospheric density at the surface, and especially the height of the tropopause, affect the slope of the MER-plume height curve and control

  17. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  18. Thermal tides and Martian dust storms: Direct evidence for coupling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leovy, C.B.; Zurek, R.W.

    1979-01-01

    Observations of surface pressure oscillations at the Viking 1 and Viking 2 lander sites on Mars indicate that the thermally driven global atmospheric tides were closely coupled to the dust content of the Martian atmosphere, especially during northern fall and winter, when two successive global dust storms occurred. The onset of each of these global storms was marked by substantial, nearly simultaneous increases in the dust opacity and in the range of the daily surface pressure variation observed at both lander sites. Although both the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal surface pressure components were amplified at Lander 1 during the onset of a global dust storm, the semidiurnal component was greatly enhanced in relation to the diurnal tide. Semidiurnal wind components were prominent at both lander sites during the height of the global dust storm. We have attempted to interpret these observations using simplified dynamical models. In particular, the semidiurnal wind component can be successfully related to the observed surface pressure variation using a simplified model of a semidiurnally forced Ekman boundary layer. On the other hand, a classical atmospheric tidal model shows that the preferential enhancement of the semidiurnal surface pressure oscillation at Lander 1 can be produced by a tidal heating distribution which places most of the heating (per unit mass) above 10-km altitude. Furthermore, when a dust storm expands to global scale, it does so rather quickly, and the total atmospheric heating at the peak of the dust storm can represent more than 50% of the available insolation. The Viking observations suggest that a number of mechanisms are important for the generation and decay of these episodic Martian global dust storms

  19. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Newsom, Horton E.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, Iain; Sheppard, D.; Milner, M. W.

    2001-11-01

    Samples of horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Aztec and New Mountain areas) were analyzed for their physical characteristics, mineralogy, chemical composition, and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents and the presence/absence of microbial populations. Salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived over time, in part from nearby oceanic and high-altitude atmospheric sources. The chemical composition of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of airborne-influxed salts and other materials, as well as the weathering of till derived principally from local dolerite and sandstone outcrops. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of Cl, whereas near the inland ice sheet, nitrogen tends to increase on a relative basis. The accumulation and vertical distribution of salts and other soluble chemical elements indicate relative amounts of movement in the profile over long periods of time, in the order of several million years. Four of the six selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in two ancient soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between 3 and 8 cm, in two profiles, yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium brevicompactum, indicating very minor input of organic carbon. Beauveria bassiana is often reported in association with insects and is used commercially for the biological control of some insect pests. Penicillium species are commonly isolated from Arctic, temperate, and tropical soils and are known to utilize a wide variety of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds. The cold, dry soils of the Antarctic bear a close resemblance to various present and past martian environments where similar weathering could occur and possible microbial populations

  20. Seasonal characteristics and current sources of OCPs and PCBs and enantiomeric signatures of chiral OCPs in the atmosphere of Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Weitao; Wang, Yinghui; Zhang, Ruijie; Wang, Shaopeng; Wei, Chaoshuai; Chaemfa, Chakra; Li, Jun; Zhang, Gan; Yu, Kefu

    2016-01-15

    Passive air samplers (PAS) were deployed concurrently at 15 locations (nine urban sites and six rural sites) in Vietnam and exposed for approximately 6 weeks from June 26, 2012 to August 26, 2012 and from December 8, 2012 to February 8, 2013. The concentration, composition and enantiomeric signatures of the target compound and Air Mass Backward Trajectories of the 15 sampling sites are presented and discussed in this study. Relatively clean air mass from ocean and similar concentrations and composition of POPs between the south and north of Vietnam indicate that local emissions is most likely the major source of POPs in Vietnam. Technical DDT and technical HCH were widely used in Vietnam and corresponding quantitative data suggests the sporadic use. The preferential degradation of (+)-α-HCH was found in all sampling sites, which could be a regional characteristic of Vietnam. High trans-/cis-chlordane (TC/CC) ratios indicate the current use of technical chlordane for termite control. PCA estimated that main source of PCBs present in the atmosphere of Vietnam was uncontrolled discarded e-waste. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The 11-year solar cycle in current reanalyses: a (non)linear attribution study of the middle atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchar, A.; Sacha, P.; Miksovsky, J.; Pisoft, P.

    2015-06-01

    This study focusses on the variability of temperature, ozone and circulation characteristics in the stratosphere and lower mesosphere with regard to the influence of the 11-year solar cycle. It is based on attribution analysis using multiple nonlinear techniques (support vector regression, neural networks) besides the multiple linear regression approach. The analysis was applied to several current reanalysis data sets for the 1979-2013 period, including MERRA, ERA-Interim and JRA-55, with the aim to compare how these types of data resolve especially the double-peaked solar response in temperature and ozone variables and the consequent changes induced by these anomalies. Equatorial temperature signals in the tropical stratosphere were found to be in qualitative agreement with previous attribution studies, although the agreement with observational results was incomplete, especially for JRA-55. The analysis also pointed to the solar signal in the ozone data sets (i.e. MERRA and ERA-Interim) not being consistent with the observed double-peaked ozone anomaly extracted from satellite measurements. The results obtained by linear regression were confirmed by the nonlinear approach through all data sets, suggesting that linear regression is a relevant tool to sufficiently resolve the solar signal in the middle atmosphere. The seasonal evolution of the solar response was also discussed in terms of dynamical causalities in the winter hemispheres. The hypothetical mechanism of a weaker Brewer-Dobson circulation at solar maxima was reviewed together with a discussion of polar vortex behaviour.

  2. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  3. Vertical transport of water in the Martian boundary layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Haberle, R. M.; Houben, Howard C.

    1993-01-01

    We are continuing our examination of the transport of H2O through the martian boundary layer, and we have written a one-dimensional numerical model of the exchange of H2O between the atmosphere and subsurface of Mars through the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Our goal is to explore the mechanisms of H2O exchange, and to elucidate the role played by the regolith in the local H2O budget. The atmospheric model includes effects of Coriolis, pressure gradient, and frictional forces for momentum, as well as radiation, sensible heat flux, and advection for heat. The model differs from Flasar and Goody by use of appropriate Viking-based physical constants and inclusion of the radiative effects of atmospheric dust. We specify the pressure gradient force or compute it from a simple slope model. The subsurface model accounts for conduction of heat and diffusion of H2O through a porous adsorbing medium in response to diurnal forcing. The model is initialized with depth-independent H2O concentrations (2 kg M(exp -3)) in the regolith, and a dry atmosphere. The model terminates when the atmospheric H2O column abundance stabilizes at 0.1 percent per sol.

  4. Enhancing atmospheric mercury research in China to improve the current understanding of the global mercury cycle: the need for urgent and closely coordinated efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ci, Zhijia; Zhang, Xiaoshan; Wang, Zhangwei

    2012-06-05

    The current understanding of the global mercury (Hg) cycle remains uncertain because Hg behavior in the environment is very complicated. The special property of Hg causes the atmosphere to be the most important medium for worldwide dispersion and transformation. The source and fate of atmospheric Hg and its interaction with the surface environment are the essential topics in the global Hg cycle. Recent declining measurement trends of Hg in the atmosphere are in apparent conflict with the increasing trends in global anthropogenic Hg emissions. As the single largest country contributor of anthropogenic Hg emission, China's role in the global Hg cycle will become more and more important in the context of the decreasing man-made Hg emission from developed regions. However, much less Hg information in China is available. As a global pollutant which undergoes long-range transport and is persistence in the environment, increasing Hg knowledge in China could not only promote the Hg regulation in this country but also improve the understanding of the fundamental of the global Hg cycle and further push the abatement of this toxin on a global scale. Then the atmospheric Hg research in China may be a breakthrough for improving the current understanding of the global Hg cycle. However, due to the complex behavior of Hg in the atmosphere, a deeper understanding of the atmospheric Hg cycle in China needs greater cooperation across fields.

  5. Meridional Martian water abundance profiles during the 1988-1989 season

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rizk, B.; Wells, W.K.; Hunten, D.M.; Stoker, C.R.; Freedman, R.S.; Roush, T.; Pollack, J.B.; Haberle, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The Martian southern hemisphere atmospheric water vapor column abundance measurements reported agree with Viking Orbiter atmospheric water detectors during early southern spring and southern autumnal equinox; profiles obtained in southern mid- and late summer, however, indicate the presence of twice as much water both in the southern hemisphere and planetwide. This discrepancy is accounted for by the high optical depths created by two global dust storms during the Viking year, while the present observations were obtained in the case of the relatively dust-free atmosphere of the 1988-1989 opposition. 29 refs

  6. Is the Electron Avalanche Process in a Martian Dust Devil Self-Quenching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, William M.; McLain, Jason L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (approx. 10 microA/m(exp. 2)), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  7. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  8. The Importance and Current Limitations of Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Retrieval from Space for Land-Atmosphere Coupling Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santanello, J. A., Jr.; Schaefer, A.

    2016-12-01

    There is an established need for improved PBL remote sounding over land for hydrology, land-atmosphere (L-A), PBL, cloud/convection, pollution/chemistry studies and associated model evaluation and development. Most notably, the connection of surface hydrology (through soil moisture) to clouds and precipitation relies on proper quantification of water's transport through the coupled system, which is modulated strongly by PBL structure, growth, and feedback processes such as entrainment. In-situ (ground-based or radiosonde) measurements will be spatially limited to small field campaigns for the foreseeable future, so satellite data is a must in order to understand these processes globally. The scales of these applications require diurnal resolution (e.g. 3-hourly or finer) at land-PBL coupling and water and energy cycles at their native scales. Today's satellite sensors (e.g. advanced IR, GEO, lidar, GPS-RO) do not reach close to these targets in terms of accuracy or resolution, and each of these sensors has some advantages but even more limitations that make them impractical for PBL and L-A studies. Unfortunately, there is very little attention or planning (short or long-term) in place for improving lower tropospheric sounding over land, and as a result PBL and L-A interactions have been identified as `gaps' in current programmatic focal areas. It is therefore timely to assess how these technologies can be leveraged, combined, or evolved in order to form a dedicated mission or sub-mission to routinely monitor the PBL on diurnal timescales. In addition, improved PBL monitoring from space needs to be addressed in the next Decadal Survey. In this talk, the importance of PBL information (structure, evolution) for L-A coupling diagnostics and model development will be summarized. The current array of PBL retrieval methods and products from space will then be assessed in terms of meeting the needs of these models, diagnostics, and scales, with a look forward as to how

  9. Ozone Production by Colliding Dust in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baragiola, R. A.; Dukes, C. A.

    2012-03-01

    Laboratory studies show that ozone is produced by electrical discharges when rocks fracture. We propose that a similar process should occur in the collision of dust particles during dust storms in Mars and discuss implications.

  10. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  11. ACS experiment for atmospheric studies on "ExoMars-2016" Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O. I.; Montmessin, F.; Fedorova, A. A.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Shakun, A. V.; Trokhimovskiy, A. V.; Grigoriev, A. V.; Anufreichik, K. A.; Kozlova, T. O.

    2015-12-01

    ACS is a set of spectrometers for atmospheric studies (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite). It is one of the Russian instruments for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the Russian-European "ExoMars" program. The purpose of the experiment is to study the Martian atmosphere by means of two observations regimes: sensitive trace gases measurements in solar occultations and by monitoring the atmospheric state during nadir observations. The experiment will allow us to approach global problems of Mars research such as current volcanism, and the modern climate status and its evolution. Also, the experiment is intended to solve the mystery of methane presence in the Martian atmosphere. Spectrometers of the ACS set cover the spectral range from the near IR-range (0.7 μm) to the thermal IR-range (17 μm) with spectral resolution λ/Δλ reaching 50000. The ACS instrument consists of three independent IR spectrometers and an electronics module, all integrated in a single unit with common mechanical, electrical and thermal interfaces. The article gives an overview of scientific tasks and presents the concept of the experiment.

  12. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  13. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  14. A massive hydrogen-rich Martian greenhouse recorded in D/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlevan, K.; Schaefer, L. K.; Desch, S. J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-12-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in Martian atmospheric water ( 6x standard mean ocean water, SMOW) [1,2] is higher than that of known sources [3,4] alluding to a planetary enrichment process. A recent measurement by the Curiosity rover of Hesperian clays yields a D/H value 3x higher than SMOW [5], demonstrating that most enrichment occurred early in planetary history, buttressing the conclusions of Martian meteorite studies [6,7]. Extant models of the isotopic evolution of the Martian hydrosphere have not incorporated primordial H2, despite its likely abundance on early Mars. Here, we report the first 1D climate calculations with an atmospheric composition determined via degassing from a reducing magma ocean to study Martian climate during an early water ocean stage. A reducing Martian magma ocean is expected based on experimental petrology [8], the degassing of which gives rise to an H2-rich steam atmosphere [9] with strong attendant greenhouse warming [10,11] even after the removal of steam via condensation. At the pressures and temperatures prevailing in such a degassed greenhouse, we find that isotopic exchange in the fluid envelope is rapid, strongly concentrating deuterium in water molecules over molecular hydrogen [12]. The subsequent loss of the isotopically light H2-rich atmosphere results in a 2x D/H enrichment in the oceans via isotopic equilibration alone. These calculations suggest that most of the D/H enrichment observed in the first billion years of Martian history is produced by the evolution of a massive ( 100 bar) H2-rich greenhouse in the aftermath of magma ocean crystallization. The proposed link between early planetary process and modern isotopic observable opens a new window into the earliest history of Mars. [1] Owen, T. et al. Science 240, 1767-1770 (1988). [2] Webster, C. R. et al. Science 341, 260-263 (2013). [3] Lunine, J. I. et al. Icarus 165, 1-8, (2003). [4] Marty, B. et al. EPSL 441, 91-102, (2016). [5] Mahaffy, P. et al

  15. Design and development of a low cost, high current density power supply for streamer free atmospheric pressure DBD plasma generation in air.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Vishal; Visani, Anand; Srinivasan, R; Agarwal, Vivek

    2018-03-01

    This paper presents a new power supply architecture for generating a uniform dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma in air medium at atmospheric pressure. It is quite a challenge to generate atmospheric pressure uniform glow discharge plasma, especially in air. This is because air plasma needs very high voltage for initiation of discharge. If the high voltage is used along with high current density, it leads to the formation of streamers, which is undesirable for most applications like textile treatment, etc. Researchers have tried to generate high-density plasma using a RF source, nanosecond pulsed DC source, and medium frequency AC source. However, these solutions suffer from low current discharge and low efficiency due to the addition of an external resistor to control the discharge current. Moreover, they are relatively costly and bulky. This paper presents a new power supply configuration which is very compact and generates high average density (∼0.28 W/cm 2 ) uniform glow DBD plasma in air at atmospheric pressure. The efficiency is also higher as no external resistor is required to control the discharge current. An inherent feature of this topology is that it can drive higher current oscillations (∼50 A peak and 2-3 MHz frequency) into the plasma that damp out due to the plasma dissipation only. A newly proposed model has been used with experimental validation in this paper. Simulations and experimental validation of the proposed topology are included. Also, the application of the generated plasma for polymer film treatment is demonstrated.

  16. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  17. Strategies for Distinguishing Abiotic Chemistry from Martian Biochemistry in Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Burton, A. S.; Callahan, M. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Stern, J. C.; Dworkin, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    A key goal in the search for evidence of extinct or extant life on Mars will be the identification of chemical biosignatures including complex organic molecules common to all life on Earth. These include amino acids, the monomer building blocks of proteins and enzymes, and nucleobases, which serve as the structural basis of information storage in DNA and RNA. However, many of these organic compounds can also be formed abiotically as demonstrated by their prevalence in carbonaceous meteorites [1]. Therefore, an important challenge in the search for evidence of life on Mars will be distinguishing between abiotic chemistry of either meteoritic or martian origin from any chemical biosignatures from an extinct or extant martian biota. Although current robotic missions to Mars, including the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the planned 2018 ExoMars rovers, will have the analytical capability needed to identify these key classes of organic molecules if present [2,3], return of a diverse suite of martian samples to Earth would allow for much more intensive laboratory studies using a broad array of extraction protocols and state-of-theart analytical techniques for bulk and spatially resolved characterization, molecular detection, and isotopic and enantiomeric compositions that may be required for unambiguous confirmation of martian life. Here we will describe current state-of-the-art laboratory analytical techniques that have been used to characterize the abundance and distribution of amino acids and nucleobases in meteorites, Apollo samples, and comet- exposed materials returned by the Stardust mission with an emphasis on their molecular characteristics that can be used to distinguish abiotic chemistry from biochemistry as we know it. The study of organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites is highly relevant to Mars sample return analysis, since exogenous organic matter should have accumulated in the martian regolith over the last several billion years and the

  18. Pesticides in the atmosphere: a comparison of gas-particle partitioning and particle size distribution of legacy and current-use pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrendele, C.; Okonski, K.; Melymuk, L.; Landlová, L.; Kukučka, P.; Audy, O.; Kohoutek, J.; Čupr, P.; Klánová, J.

    2016-02-01

    This study presents a comparison of seasonal variation, gas-particle partitioning, and particle-phase size distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) in air. Two years (2012/2013) of weekly air samples were collected at a background site in the Czech Republic using a high-volume air sampler. To study the particle-phase size distribution, air samples were also collected at an urban and rural site in the area of Brno, Czech Republic, using a cascade impactor separating atmospheric particulates according to six size fractions. Major differences were found in the atmospheric distribution of OCPs and CUPs. The atmospheric concentrations of CUPs were driven by agricultural activities while secondary sources such as volatilization from surfaces governed the atmospheric concentrations of OCPs. Moreover, clear differences were observed in gas-particle partitioning; CUP partitioning was influenced by adsorption onto mineral surfaces while OCPs were mainly partitioning to aerosols through absorption. A predictive method for estimating the gas-particle partitioning has been derived and is proposed for polar and non-polar pesticides. Finally, while OCPs and the majority of CUPs were largely found on fine particles, four CUPs (carbendazim, isoproturon, prochloraz, and terbuthylazine) had higher concentrations on coarse particles ( > 3.0 µm), which may be related to the pesticide application technique. This finding is particularly important and should be further investigated given that large particles result in lower risks from inhalation (regardless the toxicity of the pesticide) and lower potential for long-range atmospheric transport.

  19. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2006-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried explain its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows: In winter CO2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain. In spring the CO2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas, to target goal recognize or to distinguish, (to identify) possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material.

  20. Advanced Curation: Solving Current and Future Sample Return Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Calaway, M.; Evans, C.; McCubbin, F.

    2015-01-01

    Advanced Curation is a wide-ranging and comprehensive research and development effort at NASA Johnson Space Center that identifies and remediates sample related issues. For current collections, Advanced Curation investigates new cleaning, verification, and analytical techniques to assess their suitability for improving curation processes. Specific needs are also assessed for future sample return missions. For each need, a written plan is drawn up to achieve the requirement. The plan draws while upon current Curation practices, input from Curators, the analytical expertise of the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) team, and suitable standards maintained by ISO, IEST, NIST and other institutions. Additionally, new technologies are adopted on the bases of need and availability. Implementation plans are tested using customized trial programs with statistically robust courses of measurement, and are iterated if necessary until an implementable protocol is established. Upcoming and potential NASA missions such as OSIRIS-REx, the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM), sample return missions in the New Frontiers program, and Mars sample return (MSR) all feature new difficulties and specialized sample handling requirements. The Mars 2020 mission in particular poses a suite of challenges since the mission will cache martian samples for possible return to Earth. In anticipation of future MSR, the following problems are among those under investigation: What is the most efficient means to achieve the less than 1.0 ng/sq cm total organic carbon (TOC) cleanliness required for all sample handling hardware? How do we maintain and verify cleanliness at this level? The Mars 2020 Organic Contamination Panel (OCP) predicts that organic carbon, if present, will be present at the "one to tens" of ppb level in martian near-surface samples. The same samples will likely contain wt% perchlorate salts, or approximately 1,000,000x as much perchlorate oxidizer as organic carbon

  1. Multiyear Simulations of the Martian Water Cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Schaeffer, J. R.; Nelli, S. M.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide dominated with non-negligible amounts of water vapor and suspended dust particles. The atmospheric dust plays an important role in the heating and cooling of the planet through absorption and emission of radiation. Small dust particles can potentially be carried to great altitudes and affect the temperatures there. Water vapor condensing onto the dust grains can affect the radiative properties of both, as well as their vertical extent. The condensation of water onto a dust grain will change the grain s fall speed and diminish the possibility of dust obtaining high altitudes. In this capacity, water becomes a controlling agent with regard to the vertical distribution of dust. Similarly, the atmosphere s water vapor holding capacity is affected by the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Dust is an excellent green house catalyst; it raises the temperature of the atmosphere, and thus, its water vapor holding capacity. There is, therefore, a potentially significant interplay between the Martian dust and water cycles. Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

  2. MODELING THE VARIATIONS OF DOSE RATE MEASURED BY RAD DURING THE FIRST MSL MARTIAN YEAR: 2012–2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Jingnan; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Heber, Bernd; Köhler, Jan; Appel, Jan K.; Böhm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Lohf, Henning; Martin, Cesar [Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel (Germany); Zeitlin, Cary [Southwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans and Space Department, Durham, NH (United States); Rafkin, Scot; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent [Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, CO (United States); Posner, Arik [NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Washington, DC (United States); Brinza, David E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Kahanpää, H. [Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki (Finland); Reitz, Günther, E-mail: guo@physik.uni-kiel.de [Aerospace Medicine, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln (Germany)

    2015-09-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory’s (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energy spectra of both energetic charged and neutral particles along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars. With these first-ever measurements on the Martian surface, RAD observed several effects influencing the galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) induced surface radiation dose concurrently: (a) short-term diurnal variations of the Martian atmospheric pressure caused by daily thermal tides, (b) long-term seasonal pressure changes in the Martian atmosphere, and (c) the modulation of the primary GCR flux by the heliospheric magnetic field, which correlates with long-term solar activity and the rotation of the Sun. The RAD surface dose measurements, along with the surface pressure data and the solar modulation factor, are analyzed and fitted to empirical models that quantitatively demonstrate how the long-term influences ((b) and (c)) are related to the measured dose rates. Correspondingly, we can estimate dose rate and dose equivalents under different solar modulations and different atmospheric conditions, thus allowing empirical predictions of the Martian surface radiation environment.

  3. A miniature sensor for electrical field measurements in dusty planetary atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renno, N O; Rogacki, S; Kok, J F; Kirkham, H

    2008-01-01

    Dusty phenomena such as regular wind-blown dust, dust storms, and dust devils are the most important, currently active, geological processes on Mars. Electric fields larger than 100 kV/m have been measured in terrestrial dusty phenomena. Theoretical calculations predict that, close to the surface, the bulk electric fields in martian dusty phenomena reach the breakdown value of the isolating properties of thin martian air of about a few 10 kV/m. The fact that martian dusty phenomena are electrically active has important implications for dust lifting and atmospheric chemistry. Electric field sensors are usually grounded and distort the electric fields in their vicinity. Grounded sensors also produce large errors when subject to ion currents or impacts from clouds of charged particles. Moreover, they are incapable of providing information about the direction of the electric field, an important quantity. Finally, typical sensors with more than 10 cm of diameter are not capable of measuring electric fields at distances as small as a few cm from the surface. Measurements this close to the surface are necessary for studies of the effects of electric fields on dust lifting. To overcome these shortcomings, we developed the miniature electric-field sensor described in this article.

  4. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  5. Volatiles in the Martian regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, B.C.; Baird, A.K.

    1979-01-01

    An inventory of released volatiles on Mars has been derived based upon Viking measurements of atmospheric and surface chemical composition, and upon the inferred mineralogy of a ubiquitous regolith, assumed to average 200m in depth. This model is consistent with the relative abundances of volatiles (except for S) on the Earth's surface, but implies one-fifteenth of the volatile release of Earth if starting materials were comparable. All constituents are accommodated as chemical components of, or absorbed phases on, regolith materials--without the necessity of invoking unobservable deposits of carbonates, nitrates, or permafrost ice

  6. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  7. Near-opposition martian limb-darkening: Quantification and implication for visible-near-infrared bidirectional reflectance studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Grenier, Muriel; Pinet, Patrick C.

    1995-06-01

    A nearly global coverage of the martian eastern hemisphere, acquired under small phase angles and varying observational geometries conditions, has been produced from 1988 opposition by spectral (0.5-1 μm) imaging data obtained at the Pic du Midi Observatory in France. From this data set, the methodology presented here permits a systematic analysis of martian photometric behavior at a regional scale of 100-300 km in the visible and near-infrared. The quantification of limb-darkening as a function of wavelength and surface albedo gives access in martian regional properties as a function of wavelength and surface albedo and results in the production of visible and near-infrared geometric albedo maps. A linear relation between the limb darkening parameter k and geometric albedo exists in the near infrared. Based on laboratory studies, it suggests a spectral response of particulate type for the martian soil. Conversely, in the visible, the value of k parameter is 0.6 independent of albedo and is consistent with a single scattering photometric behavior in the surface layer. However, the observed change in the martian photometry from single to multiple scattering may be partially due to a large contribution of atmospheric scattering above 0.7 μm. In the absence of a multitemporal dataset analysis, it must be emphasized that the present results are a priori only pertinent to the atmospheric and surface conditions existing on Mars at the time of observation. However, this analysis may contribute to characterize some physical properties, such as surface roughness. In the near-infrared, for bright terrains, k tends to 0.8 and agrees with the presence of very fine particulate materials. Photometry of dark areas is more irregular (0.48 duricrust. Finally, we evaluate the influence of reflectance geometrical effects on the multispectral and spectroscopic data of the martian surface.

  8. Effects of Long-Term Simulated Martian Conditions on a Freeze-Dried and Homogenized Bacterial Permafrost Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Aviaja A.; Jenson, Lars L.; Kristoffersen, Tommy; Mikkelsen, Karina; Merrison, Jonathan; Finster, Kai W.; Lomstein, Bente Aa.

    2009-03-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core, while the number of viable cells was reduced in the upper 15 mm. The number of cultured aerobic bacteria was reduced in the upper 6 mm of the soil core, whereas the community structure of cultured anaerobic bacteria was relatively unaffected by the exposure conditions. As explanations for the observed changes, we propose three causes that might have been working on the biological material either individually or synergistically: (i) UV radiation, (ii) UV-generated reactive oxygen species, and (iii) freeze-thaw cycles. Currently, the production and action of reactive gases is only hypothetical and will be a central subject in future investigations. Overall, we conclude that in a stable environment (no wind-/pressure-induced mixing) biological material is efficiently shielded by a 2 cm thick layer of dust, while it is relatively rapidly destroyed in the surface layer, and that biomolecules like proteins and polynucleotides are more resistant to destruction than living biota.

  9. Extraction of Water from Martian Regolith Simulant via Open Reactor Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trunek, Andrew J.; Linne, Diane L.; Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Bauman, Steven W.

    2018-01-01

    To demonstrate proof of concept water extraction from simulated Martian regolith, an open reactor design is presented along with experimental results. The open reactor concept avoids sealing surfaces and complex moving parts. In an abrasive environment like the Martian surface, those reactor elements would be difficult to maintain and present a high probability of failure. A general lunar geotechnical simulant was modified by adding borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H2O) (BDH) to mimic the 3 percent water content of hydrated salts in near surface soils on Mars. A rotating bucket wheel excavated the regolith from a source bin and deposited the material onto an inclined copper tray, which was fitted with heaters and a simple vibration system. The combination of vibration, tilt angle and heat was used to separate and expose as much regolith surface area as possible to liberate the water contained in the hydrated minerals, thereby increasing the efficiency of the system. The experiment was conducted in a vacuum system capable of maintaining a Martian like atmosphere. Evolved water vapor was directed to a condensing system using the ambient atmosphere as a sweep gas. The water vapor was condensed and measured. Processed simulant was captured in a collection bin and weighed in real time. The efficiency of the system was determined by comparing pre- and post-processing soil mass along with the volume of water captured.

  10. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  11. Some consequences of a liquid water saturated regolith in early Martian history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, A. O.; Hargraves, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    Flooding of low-lying areas of the Martian regolith may have occurred early in the planet's history when a comparatively dense primitive atmosphere existed. If this model is valid, the following are some pedogenic and mineralogical consequences to be expected. Fluctuation of the water table in response to any seasonal or longer term causes would have resulted in precipitation of ferric oxyhydroxides with the development of a vesicular duricrust (or hardpan). Disruption of such a crust by scarp undercutting or frost heaving accompanied by wind deflation of fines could account for the boulders visible on Utopia Planitia in the vicinity of the second Viking lander site. Laboratory and field evidence on earth suggests that under weakly oxidizing conditions lepidocrocite (rather than goethite) would have preferentially formed in the Martian regolith from the weathering of ferrous silicates, accompanied by montmorillonite, nontronite, and cronstedtite. Maghemite may have formed as a low-temperature dehydrate of lepidocrocite or directly from ferrous precursors.

  12. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert M.

    1990-01-01

    A design study of a novel space transportation concept called NIMF (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel) is reported. In this concept, Martian CO2 gas, which constitutes 95 percent of the atmosphere, is liquified by simple compression to about 100 psi and remains stable without refrigeration. When heated and exhausted out of a rocket nozzle, a specific impulse of about 264 s can be achieved, sufficient for flights from the surface to highly energetic orbits or from one point on the surface to any other point. The propellant acquisition system can travel with the vehicle, allowing it to refuel itself each time it lands. The concept offers unequalled potential to achieve planetwide mobility, allowing complete global access for the exploration of Mars. By eliminating the necessity of transporting ascent propellant to Mars, the NIMF can also significantly reduce the initial mass in LEO and of a manned Mars mission.

  13. Modelling of the dose-rate variations with depth in the Martian regolith using GEANT4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morthekai, P.; Jain, M.; Dartnell, L.; Murray, A.S.; Botter-Jensen, L.; Desorgher, L.

    2007-01-01

    The environmental radiation field at the Martian surface consists mainly of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and charged particles ejected during the Solar Particle Events (SPE). Interactions between these radiation fluxes and the regolith result in a complex radiation field that varies both as a function of depth and time and can only be quantified using radiation transport models. We first describe here the main issues and constraints in deriving Martian dose rates. Preliminary results, obtained using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation tool kit, suggest the surface dose rate is ∼63 mGy a -1 during quiet periods in solar activity. The accuracy of the model predictions has been tested by comparison with published observations of cosmic ray dose-rate variation in the Earth's atmosphere

  14. MAVEN Observations of Magnetic Reconnection on the Dayside Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.; Espley, Jared R.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David A.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Mitchell, David L.; Harada, Yuki; Hara, Takuya

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission offers a unique opportunity to investigate the complex solar wind-planetary interaction at Mars. The Martian magnetosphere is formed as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) drapes around the planet's ionosphere and localized crustal magnetic fields. As the solar wind interacts with this induced magnetosphere, magnetic reconnection can occur at any location where a magnetic shear is present. Reconnection between the IMF and the induced and crustal fields facilitates a direct plasma exchange between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. Here we address the occurrence of magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetosphere of Mars using MAVEN magnetic field and plasma data. When reconnection occurs on the dayside, a non-zero magnetic field component normal to the obstacle, B_N, will result. Using minimum variance analysis, we measure BN by transforming Magnetometer data into boundary-normal coordinates. Selected events are then further examined to identify plasma heating and energization, in the form of Alfvénic outflow jets, using Solar Wind Ion Analyzer measurements. Additionally, the topology of the crustal fields is validated from electron pitch angle distributions provided by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer. To understand which parameters are responsible for the onset of reconnection, we test the dependency of the dimensionless reconnection rate, calculated from BN measurements, on magnetic field shear angle and plasma beta (the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure). We assess the global impact of reconnection on Mars' induced magnetosphere by combining analytical models with MAVEN observations to predict the regions where reconnection may occur. Using this approach we examine how IMF orientation and magnetosheath parameters affect reconnection on a global scale. With the aid of analytical models we are able to assess the role of reconnection on a global scale to better understand which

  15. Corrosion on Mars: An Investigation of Corrosion Mechanisms Under Relevant Simulated Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Luz M.; Li, Wenyan; Johansen, Michael R.; Buhrow, Jerry W.; Calle, Carlos I.

    2017-01-01

    This one-year project was selected by NASA's Science Innovation Fund in FY17 to address Corrosion on Mars which is a problem that has not been addressed before. Corrosion resistance is one of the most important properties in selecting materials for landed spacecraft and structures that will support surface operations for the human exploration of Mars. Currently, the selection of materials is done by assuming that the corrosion behavior of a material on Mars will be the same as that on Earth. This is understandable given that there is no data regarding the corrosion resistance of materials in the Mars environment. However, given that corrosion is defined as the degradation of a metal that results from its chemical interaction with the environment, it cannot be assumed that corrosion is going to be the same in both environments since they are significantly different. The goal of this research is to develop a systematic approach to understand corrosion of spacecraft materials on Mars by conducting a literature search of available data, relevant to corrosion in the Mars environment, and by performing preliminary laboratory experiments under relevant simulated Martian conditions. This project was motivated by the newly found evidence for the presence of transient liquid brines on Mars that coincided with the suggestion, by a team of researchers, that some of the structural degradation observed on Curiosity's wheels may be caused by corrosive interactions with the brines, while the most significant damage was attributed to rock scratching. An extensive literature search on data relevant to Mars corrosion confirmed the need for further investigation of the interaction between materials used for spacecraft and structures designed to support long-term surface operations on Mars. Simple preliminary experiments, designed to look at the interaction between an aerospace aluminum alloy (AA7075-T73) and the gases present in the Mars atmosphere, at 20degC and a pressure of 700 Pa

  16. Pesticides in the atmosphere: a comparison of gas-particle partitioning and particle size distribution of legacy and current-use pesticides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Degrendele

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study presents a comparison of seasonal variation, gas-particle partitioning, and particle-phase size distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs and current-use pesticides (CUPs in air. Two years (2012/2013 of weekly air samples were collected at a background site in the Czech Republic using a high-volume air sampler. To study the particle-phase size distribution, air samples were also collected at an urban and rural site in the area of Brno, Czech Republic, using a cascade impactor separating atmospheric particulates according to six size fractions. Major differences were found in the atmospheric distribution of OCPs and CUPs. The atmospheric concentrations of CUPs were driven by agricultural activities while secondary sources such as volatilization from surfaces governed the atmospheric concentrations of OCPs. Moreover, clear differences were observed in gas-particle partitioning; CUP partitioning was influenced by adsorption onto mineral surfaces while OCPs were mainly partitioning to aerosols through absorption. A predictive method for estimating the gas-particle partitioning has been derived and is proposed for polar and non-polar pesticides. Finally, while OCPs and the majority of CUPs were largely found on fine particles, four CUPs (carbendazim, isoproturon, prochloraz, and terbuthylazine had higher concentrations on coarse particles ( >  3.0 µm, which may be related to the pesticide application technique. This finding is particularly important and should be further investigated given that large particles result in lower risks from inhalation (regardless the toxicity of the pesticide and lower potential for long-range atmospheric transport.

  17. On the chemistry of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keil, K.

    1978-01-01

    Analyses of 13 smaples of Martian surface materials with the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometers show SiO 2 similar to that of terrestrial mafic rocks, whereas Fe 2 O 3 , Cl, and S are higher and Al 2 O 3 , K 2 O, Rb, Sr, Y, and Zr are lower. Low totals suggest presence of CO 2 , H 2 O, and Na 2 O. Duricrust fragments are higher in S than fines, but samples from both landing sites are surprisingly similar. We suggest that Martian surface materials are aeolian deposits of complex mixtures of weathering products of mafic-ultramafic rocks, possibly consisting of iron-rich clays, sulfates, iron oxides, carbonates, and chlorides. (orig.) 891 HK [de

  18. On to Mars! chronicles of Martian simulations

    CERN Document Server

    PLETSER, Vladimir

    2018-01-01

    This book introduces the Martian simulations, one installed on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, well within the polar circle, and two in the desert of Utah, several hundreds of kilometers South of Salt Lake City. The book is based on the diaries during the simulations, held by Vladimir Pletser, a physicist-engineer, who was selected to attend these simulations. It relates the details of everyday life in these Martian habitats and of the scientific and exploratory work conducted in these extreme environments in preparation for future manned missions to Mars. Through the real experiences described in the book, readers will find space explorations and living on Mars more tangible. .

  19. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  20. Iron snow in the Martian core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Christopher J.; Pommier, Anne

    2018-01-01

    The decline of Mars' global magnetic field some 3.8-4.1 billion years ago is thought to reflect the demise of the dynamo that operated in its liquid core. The dynamo was probably powered by planetary cooling and so its termination is intimately tied to the thermochemical evolution and present-day physical state of the Martian core. Bottom-up growth of a solid inner core, the crystallization regime for Earth's core, has been found to produce a long-lived dynamo leading to the suggestion that the Martian core remains entirely liquid to this day. Motivated by the experimentally-determined increase in the Fe-S liquidus temperature with decreasing pressure at Martian core conditions, we investigate whether Mars' core could crystallize from the top down. We focus on the "iron snow" regime, where newly-formed solid consists of pure Fe and is therefore heavier than the liquid. We derive global energy and entropy equations that describe the long-timescale thermal and magnetic history of the core from a general theory for two-phase, two-component liquid mixtures, assuming that the snow zone is in phase equilibrium and that all solid falls out of the layer and remelts at each timestep. Formation of snow zones occurs for a wide range of interior and thermal properties and depends critically on the initial sulfur concentration, ξ0. Release of gravitational energy and latent heat during growth of the snow zone do not generate sufficient entropy to restart the dynamo unless the snow zone occupies at least 400 km of the core. Snow zones can be 1.5-2 Gyrs old, though thermal stratification of the uppermost core, not included in our model, likely delays onset. Models that match the available magnetic and geodetic constraints have ξ0 ≈ 10% and snow zones that occupy approximately the top 100 km of the present-day Martian core.

  1. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  2. Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Freissinet, C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Eldridge, D. L.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; House, C. H.; Hurowitz, J. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Vaniman, D. T.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Dottin, J. W., III; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Farley, K. A.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, S. S.; Knudson, C. A.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Plummer, R.; Rampe, E. B.; Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Summons, R. E.; Sutter, B.

    2017-09-01

    Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, at least for discrete periods of time, and implies a greenhouse effect that may have been influenced by sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. Here we report in situ analyses of the sulfur isotopic compositions of SO2 volatilized from ten sediment samples acquired by NASA’s Curiosity rover along a 13 km traverse of Gale crater. We find large variations in sulfur isotopic composition that exceed those measured for Martian meteorites and show both depletion and enrichment in 34S. Measured values of δ34S range from -47 +/- 14‰ to 28 +/- 7‰, similar to the range typical of terrestrial environments. Although limited geochronological constraints on the stratigraphy traversed by Curiosity are available, we propose that the observed sulfur isotopic signatures at Gale crater can be explained by equilibrium fractionation between sulfate and sulfide in an impact-driven hydrothermal system and atmospheric processing of sulfur-bearing gases during transient warm periods.

  3. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  4. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  5. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  6. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T.; Agresti, D.; Martin, A.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.

    2012-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite. Morris et al. proposed that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stabilities of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas, we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO2. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition.

  7. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1992-01-01

    The list of useful terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms has been expanded to include: features developed by desiccation processes; catastrophic flood features associated with boulder-sized materials; and sorted ground developed at a density boundary. Quantitative analytical techniques developed for physical geography have been adapted and applied to planetary studies, including: quantification of the patterns of polygonally fractured ground to describe pattern randomness independent of pattern size, with possible correlation to the mechanism of origin and quantification of the relative area of a geomorphic feature or region in comparison to planetary scale. Information about Martian geomorphology studied in this project was presented at professional meetings world-wide, at seven colleges and universities, in two interactive televised courses, and as part of two books. Overall, this project has expanded the understanding of the range of terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms, including identifying several new analogs. The processes that created these terrestrial features are characterized by both cold temperatures and low humidity, and therefore both freeze-thaw and desiccation processes are important. All these results support the conclusion that water has played a significant role in the geomorphic history of Mars.

  8. On Verifying Currents and Other Features in the Hawaiian Islands Region Using Fully Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System Compared to Global Ocean Model and Ocean Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, P. G.; Chen, S.

    2014-12-01

    This poster introduces and evaluates features concerning the Hawaii, USA region using the U.S. Navy's fully Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS-OS™) coupled to the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM). It also outlines some challenges in verifying ocean currents in the open ocean. The system is evaluated using in situ ocean data and initial forcing fields from the operational global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Verification shows difficulties in modelling downstream currents off the Hawaiian islands (Hawaii's wake). Comparing HYCOM to NCOM current fields show some displacement of small features such as eddies. Generally, there is fair agreement from HYCOM to NCOM in salinity and temperature fields. There is good agreement in SSH fields.

  9. Martian meteorites and Martian magnetic anomalies: a new perspective from NWA 7034 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Scozelli, R. B.; Munayco, P.; Agee, C. B.; Quesnel, Y.; Cournede, C.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic anomalies observed above the Martian Noachian crust [1] require strong crustal remanent magnetization in the 15-60 A/m range over a thickness of 20-50 km [2,3]. The Martian rocks available for study in the form of meteorites do contain magnetic minerals (magnetite and/or pyrrhotite) but in too small amount to account for such strong remanent magnetizations [4]. Even though this contradiction was easily explained by the fact that Martian meteorites (mostly nakhlites and shergottites) are not representative of the Noachian Martian crust, we were left with no satisfactory candidate lithology to account for the Martian magnetic anomalies. The discovery in the Sahara of a new type of Martian meteorite (NWA 7034 [5] and subsequent paired stones which are hydrothermalized volcanic breccia) shed a new light on this question as it contains a much larger amount of ferromagnetic minerals than any other Martian meteorite. We present here a study of the magnetic properties of NWA 7034, together with a review of the magnetic properties of thirty other Martian meteorites. Magnetic measurements (including high and low temperature behavior and Mössbauer spectroscopy) show that NWA 7034 contains about 15 wt.% of magnetite with various degrees of substitution and maghemitization up to pure maghemite, in the pseudo-single domain size range. Pyrrhotite, a common mineral in other Martian meteorites is not detected. Although it is superparamagnetic and cannot carry remanent magnetization, nanophase goethite is present in significant amounts confirming that NWA 7034 is the most oxidized Martian meteorite studied so far, as already indicated by the presence of maghemite (this study) and pyrite [5]. These magnetic properties show that a kilometric layer of a lithology similar to NWA 7034 magnetized in a dynamo field would be enough to account for the strongest Martian magnetic anomalies. Although the petrogenesis of NWA 7034 is still debated, as the brecciation could be either

  10. Aspects of the atmospheric surface layers on Mars and Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Søren Ejling; Ejsing Jørgensen, Hans; Landberg, L.

    2002-01-01

    and mean flow on Mars is found to obey the same scaling laws as on Earth. The largest micrometeorological differences between the two atmospheres are associated with the low air density of the Martian atmosphere. Together with the virtual absence of water vapour, it reduces the importance...

  11. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations and (delta)13C values across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current between New Zealand and Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Longinelli, Antonio; Selmo, Enricomaria; Giglio, Federico; Langone, Leonardo; Lenaz, Renzo; Ori, Carlo

    2007-01-01

    Measurements of atmospheric CO 2 concentrations were repeatedly carried out on the vessel 'Italica' of the Italian National Research Program in Antarctica, during cruises from Italy to Antarctica. Discrete air samples were also collected in 4-L Pyrex flasks during these cruises in order to carry out (delta) 13 C analyses on atmospheric CO 2 . The results acquired between New Zealand and Antarctica are reported here. The mean growth rate of the CO 2 concentration from 1996 to 2003 in this area of the Southern Oceans is of about 1.8 ppmv/yr, in good agreement with NOAA/CMDL measurements. The rates of increase from cruise to cruise are rather variable. From 1996-1997 to 1998-1999 cruise the yearly growth rate is 2.75 ppmv/yr, close to the large growth rates measured in several areas and mainly related to the most severe El Nino event of the last years. The other yearly growth rates are of about 1.3 and 2 ppmv for the periods 1998-1999 to 2001-2002 and 2001-2002 to 2003-2004, respectively. The large difference between these two values is probably related to the uncertainty on the only two 2001-2002 discrete measurements of CO 2 concentration in this area. The measured (delta) 13 C values show two completely different distributions and a large interannual variability. The 1998-1999, 2002-2003, and 2003-2004 results obtained between about 55 deg S and 65 deg S across the Antarctic Polar Front show a marked negativization of up to more than 0.2% when compared to the background values. The results are related to local source regions of CO 2 , as frequently found in the Southern Ocean by several authors; the negative (delta) 13 C values are tentatively related to the possible contribution of different causes. Among them, the southward negative gradient of (delta) 13 C of the dissolved inorganic carbon, the contribution from upwelling deep waters and from subsurface processes between the Northern SubAntarctic Front and the Polar Front, and, partly, the contribution of CO 2

  12. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it.

  13. Atmospherical simulations of the OMEGA/MEX observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchiorri, R.; Drossart, P.; Combes, M.; Encrenaz, T.; Fouchet, T.; Forget, F.; Bibring, J. P.; Ignatiev, N.; Moroz, V.; OMEGA Team

    The modelization of the atmospheric contribution in the martian spectrum is an important step for the OMEGA data analysis.A full line by line radiative transfer calculation is made for the gas absorption; the dust opacity component, in a first approximation, is calculated as an optically thin additive component.Due to the large number of parameters needed in the calculations, the building of a huge data base to be interpolated is not envisageable, for each observed OMEGA spectrum with calculation for all the involved parameters (atmospheric pressure, water abundance, CO abundance, dust opacity and geometric angles of observation). The simulation of the observations allows us to fix all the orbital parameters and leave the unknown parameters as the only variables.Starting from the predictions of the current meteorological models of Mars we build a smaller data base corresponding on each observation. We present here a first order simulation, which consists in retrieving atmospheric contribution from the solar reflected component as a multiplicative (for gas absorption) and an additive component (for suspended dust contribution); although a fully consistent approach will require to include surface and atmosphere contributions together in synthetic calculations, this approach is sufficient for retrieving mineralogic information cleaned from atmospheric absorption at first order.First comparison to OMEGA spectra will be presented, with first order retrieval of CO2 pressure, CO and H2O abundance, and dust opacity.

  14. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  15. Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aplin, Karen; Fischer, Georg

    2018-02-01

    Electricity occurs in atmospheres across the Solar System planets and beyond, spanning spectacular lightning displays in clouds of water or dust, to more subtle effects of charge and electric fields. On Earth, lightning is likely to have existed for a long time, based on evidence from fossilized lightning strikes in ancient rocks, but observations of planetary lightning are necessarily much more recent. The generation and observations of lightning and other atmospheric electrical processes, both from within-atmosphere measurements, and spacecraft remote sensing, can be readily studied using a comparative planetology approach, with Earth as a model. All atmospheres contain charged molecules, electrons, and/or molecular clusters created by ionization from cosmic rays and other processes, which may affect an atmosphere's energy balance both through aerosol and cloud formation, and direct absorption of radiation. Several planets are anticipated to host a "global electric circuit" by analogy with the circuit occurring on Earth, where thunderstorms drive current of ions or electrons through weakly conductive parts of the atmosphere. This current flow may further modulate an atmosphere's radiative properties through cloud and aerosol effects. Lightning could potentially have implications for life through its effects on atmospheric chemistry and particle transport. It has been observed on many of the Solar System planets (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and it may also be present on Venus and Mars. On Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, lightning is thought to be generated in deep water and ice clouds, but discharges can be generated in dust, as for terrestrial volcanic lightning, and on Mars. Other, less well-understood mechanisms causing discharges in non-water clouds also seem likely. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets has recently led to a range of further exotic possibilities for atmospheric electricity, though lightning detection beyond our Solar System

  16. A New Look at Atmospheric Water on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.; Kass, D. M.

    1998-09-01

    Water is a key component of the Martian climate, both at present and over the history of the planet. The current atmosphere averages ~ 10 pr-mu m of water. Its D/H ratio is enriched by a factor of five relative to terrestrial water, presumably due to water loss by escape. Based on H loss rates, H_2O loss is 10(-3) pr-mu m y(-1) . At this rate, the atmospheric reservoir would be depleted in 10(4) years, but there are several other reservoirs of water (the permanent northern polar cap, high latitude ground ice, and adsorbed water in the regolith) that should keep the atmospheric reservoir constant since its size climatologically controlled. Recently, Krasnopolsky et al. (1998) measured the D/H ratio in HD in the upper atmosphere. Their measurement implies that the fractionation factor, F (efficiency of D escape relative to H), is ~ 0.02. Mars has lost ~ 80 m of water via fractionating processes. This implies that Mars has an exchangeable reservoir equivalent to a ~ 13 m global layer, which represents a polar cap 2000 km in diameter (the Martian northern permanent cap is about 1200 km). Thus, while the northern permanent cap may be a significant water reservoir, it is probably not the only one. One of the major issues is the time-scale and mechanism for exchangeable reservoirs to buffer the atmosphere. During periods of high obliquity, high latitude water may be forced to migrate and equilibrate with the atmosphere in the process. But the low F value, combined with the rapid loss, implies that there has to be at least partial exchange on shorter time-scales to avoid extremely high D/H values. Over the last 4 x 10(5) years, since the last period of high obliquity, 40 pr-mu m of water have been lost. In order to keep this from causing more than a factor of 2 change in the atmospheric water D/H, at least 40 pr-mu m needs to have been involved in the hydrological cycle. This requires cycling through the atmosphere the equivalent of a 2 cm thick layer of ice covering the

  17. Assessing levels and seasonal variations of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the Tuscan atmosphere, Italy, using polyurethane foam disks (PUF) passive air samplers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Estellano, Victor H.; Pozo, Karla; Efstathiou, Christos; Pozo, Katerine; Corsolini, Simonetta; Focardi, Silvano

    2015-01-01

    Polyurethane foam disks (PUF) passive air samplers (PAS) were deployed over 4 sampling periods of 3–5-months (≥ 1 year) at ten urban and rural locations throughout the Tuscany Region. The purpose was to assess the occurrence and seasonal variations of ten current-use pesticides (CUPs). PUF disk extracts were analyzed using GC–MS. The organophosphates insecticides; chlorpyrifos (3–580 pg m −3 ) and chlorpyrifos-methyl (below detection limit – to 570 pg m −3 ) presented the highest levels in air, and showed seasonal fluctuation coinciding with the growing seasons. The relative proportion urban/(urban + rural) ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 showing no differences between urban and rural concentrations. Air back trajectories analysis showed air masses passing over agricultural fields and potentially enhancing the drift of pesticides into the urban sites. This study represents the first information regarding CUPs in the atmosphere of Tuscany region using PAS-PUF disk. - Highlights: • Current use pesticides (CUPs) were detected in the atmosphere of Tuscany, Italy. • Chlorpyrifos showed the highest concentrations in air with seasonal patterns. • CUPs levels might be influenced by agricultural activities. • No differences were detected between Urban and Rural sites. • Air mass analysis indicated the monitoring sites are influenced by local sources. - Seasonality of CUPs was measured in Tuscany, Italy. Chlorpyrifos showed the highest values. Urban and rural sites showed no differences. Agricultural activities influence CUPs levels in air

  18. Changes in gas exchange characteristics during the life span of giant sequoia: Implications for response to current and future concentrations of atmospheric ozone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grulke, N.E.; Miller, P.R. (USDA Forest Service, Riverside, CA (United States))

    Native stands of giant sequoia are being exposed to relatively high concentrations of atmospheric ozone produced in urban and agricultural areas upwind. The expected change in environmental conditions over the next 100 y is likely to be unprecendented in the life span (ca 2,500 y) of giant sequoia. Changes in the physiological responses of three age classes of giant sequoia (current year, 12 y and 25 y) to different concentrations of ozone were determined, and age-related differences in sensitivity to pollutants were assessed by examining physiological changes (gas exchange, water use efficiency) across the life span of giant sequoia. The CO[sub 2] exchange rate (CER) was greater in current year (12.1 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s) and 2 year old seedlings (4.8 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s) than in all older trees (average of 3.0 [mu]mol CO[sub 2]/m[sup 2]s). Dark respiration was highest for current year seedlings and was increased twofold in symptotic individuals exposed to elevated ozone concentrations. Stomatal conductance was greater in current-year and 2 year old seedlings (335 and 200 mmol H[sub 2]O/m[sup 2]s), respectively, than in all older trees (50 mmol H[sub 2]O/m[sup 2]s), indicating that the ozone concentration in substomatol cavities is higher in young seedlings than in older trees. Significant changes in water use efficiency occurred in trees between ages 5 and 20 years. It is concluded that giant sequoia seedlings are sensitive to atmospheric ozone until they are ca 5 y old. Low conductance, high water use efficiency, and compact mesophyll all contribute to a natural ozone tolerance, or defense, or both, in foliage of older trees. 11 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  19. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  20. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The following paper reports on a design study of a novel space transportation concept known as a ''NIMF'' (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel.) The NIMF is a ballistic vehicle which obtains its propellant out of the Martian air by compression and liquefaction of atmospheric CO 2 . This propellant is subsequently used to generate rocket thrust at a specific impulse of 264 s by being heated to high temperature (2800 K) gas in the NIMFs' nuclear thermal rocket engines. The vehicle is designed to provide surface to orbit and surface to surface transportation, as well as housing, for a crew of three astronauts. It is capable of refueling itself for a flight to its maximum orbit in less than 50 days. The ballistic NIMF has a mass of 44.7 tonnes and, with the assumed 2800 K propellant temperature, is capable of attaining highly energetic (250 km by 34000 km elliptical) orbits. This allows it to rendezvous with interplanetary transfer vehicles which are only very loosely bound into orbit around Mars. If a propellant temperature of 2000 K is assumed, then low Mars orbit can be attained; while if 3100 K is assumed, then the ballistic NIMF is capable of injecting itself onto a minimum energy transfer orbit to Earth in a direct ascent from the Martian surface

  1. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-Situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to todays Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions.

  2. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, F.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; International Dreams Team

    2018-07-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) instrument on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and its direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification; this comprehensive set of parameters would assist the quantification of risks and hazards for future manned exploration missions mainly related to the presence of airborne dust. Schiaparelli landing on Mars was in fact scheduled during the foreseen dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) allowing DREAMS to directly measure the characteristics of such extremely harsh environment. DREAMS instrument’s architecture was based on a modular design developing custom boards for analog and digital channel conditioning, power distribution, on board data handling and communication with the lander. The boards, connected through a common backbone, were hosted in a central electronic unit assembly and connected to the external sensors with dedicated harness. Designed with very limited mass and an optimized energy consumption, DREAMS was successfully tested to operate autonomously, relying on its own power supply, for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing on the planet. A total of three flight models were fully qualified before launch through an extensive test campaign comprising electrical and functional testing, EMC verification and mechanical and thermal vacuum cycling; furthermore following the requirements for planetary protection, contamination control activities and assay sampling were conducted before model delivery for final integration on spacecraft. During the six months cruise to Mars following the successful launch of ExoMars on 14th March 2016, periodic check outs were conducted to verify instrument health check and

  3. Polar warming in the middle atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, D.; Mumma, M. J.; Espenak, F.; Kostiuk, T.; Zipoy, D.

    1986-01-01

    During the 1984 Mars opposition, ground-based laser heterodyne spectroscopy was obtained for the nonthermal core emission of the 10.33-micron R(8) and 10.72-micron P(32) lines of C-12(O-16)2 at 23 locations on the Martian disk. It is deduced on the basis of these data that the temperature of the middle Martian atmosphere varies with latitude, and a meridional gradient of 0.4-0.9 K/deg latitude is indicated. The highest temperatures are noted to lie at high latitudes in the winter hemisphere; as in the terrestrial case of seasonal effects at the menopause, this winter polar warming in the Martian middle atmosphere requires departures from radiative equilibrium. Two-dimensional circulation model comparisons with these results indicate that atmospheric dust may enhance this dynamical heating at high winter latitudes.

  4. An Examination of "The Martian" Trajectory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Laura

    2015-01-01

    This analysis was performed to support a request to examine the trajectory of the Hermes vehicle in the novel "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Weir developed his own tool to perform the analysis necessary to provide proper trajectory information for the novel. The Hermes vehicle is the interplanetary spacecraft that shuttles the crew to and from Mars. It is notionally a Nuclear powered vehicle utilizing VASIMR engines for propulsion. The intent of this analysis was the determine whether the trajectory as it was outlined in the novel is consistent with the rules of orbital mechanics.

  5. Martian Surface as Seen by Phoenix

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This anaglyph, acquired by NASA's Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 36, the 36th Martian day of the mission (July 1, 2008), shows a stereoscopic 3D view of a trench informally called 'Snow White' dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. Phoenix's solar panel is seen in the bottom right corner of the image. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  6. Coastal geomorphology of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Timothy J.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Saunders, Stephen R.; Pieri, David C.; Schneeberger, Dale M.

    1993-01-01

    The paper considers the question of the formation of the outflow channels and valley networks discovered on the Martian northern plains during the Mariner 9 mission. Parker and Saunders (1987) and Parker et al. (1987, 1989) data are used to describe key features common both in the lower reaches of the outflow channels and within and along the margins of the entire northern plains. It is suggested, that of the geological processes capable of producing similar morphologies on earth, lacustrine or marine deposition and subsequent periglacial modification offer the simplest and most consistent explanation for the suit of features found on Mars.

  7. Pb evolution in the Martian mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Snape, J. F.; Bland, P.; Benedix, G. K.; Roszjar, J.

    2018-03-01

    The initial Pb compositions of one enriched shergottite, one intermediate shergottite, two depleted shergottites, and Nakhla have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These values, in addition to data from previous studies using an identical analytical method performed on three enriched shergottites, ALH 84001, and Chassigny, are used to construct a unified and internally consistent model for the differentiation history of the Martian mantle and crystallization ages for Martian meteorites. The differentiation history of the shergottites and Nakhla/Chassigny are fundamentally different, which is in agreement with short-lived radiogenic isotope systematics. The initial Pb compositions of Nakhla/Chassigny are best explained by the late addition of a Pb-enriched component with a primitive, non-radiogenic composition. In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of the shergottite group indicate a relatively simple evolutionary history of the Martian mantle that can be modeled based on recent results from the Sm-Nd system. The shergottites have been linked to a single mantle differentiation event at 4504 Ma. Thus, the shergottite Pb isotopic model here reflects a two-stage history 1) pre-silicate differentiation (4504 Ma) and 2) post-silicate differentiation to the age of eruption (as determined by concordant radiogenic isochron ages). The μ-values (238U/204Pb) obtained for these two different stages of Pb growth are μ1 of 1.8 and a range of μ2 from 1.4-4.7, respectively. The μ1-value of 1.8 is in broad agreement with enstatite and ordinary chondrites and that proposed for proto Earth, suggesting this is the initial μ-value for inner Solar System bodies. When plotted against other source radiogenic isotopic variables (Sri, γ187Os, ε143Nd, and ε176Hf), the second stage mantle evolution range in observed mantle μ-values display excellent linear correlations (r2 > 0.85) and represent a spectrum of Martian mantle mixing-end members (depleted

  8. Temperature, current meter, and other data from moored buoy as part of the GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) project, 15 July 1974 - 16 September 1974 (NODC Accession 7601674)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature, current meter, and other data were collected using moored buoy from July 15, 1974 to September 16, 1974. Data were submitted by University of Rhode...

  9. Impacts of the Mesoscale Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling on the Peru-Chile Ocean Dynamics: The Current-Induced Wind Stress Modulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oerder, V.; Colas, F.; Echevin, V.; Masson, S.; Lemarié, F.

    2018-02-01

    The ocean dynamical responses to the surface current-wind stress interaction at the oceanic mesoscale are investigated in the South-East Pacific using a high-resolution regional ocean-atmosphere coupled model. Two simulations are compared: one includes the surface current in the wind stress computation while the other does not. In the coastal region, absolute wind velocities are different between the two simulations but the wind stress remains very similar. As a consequence, the mean regional oceanic circulation is almost unchanged. On the contrary, the mesoscale activity is strongly reduced when taking into account the effect of the surface current on the wind stress. This is caused by a weakening of the eddy kinetic energy generation near the coast by the wind work and to intensified offshore eddy damping. We show that, above coherent eddies, the current-stress interaction generates eddy damping through Ekman pumping and eddy kinetic energy dissipation through wind work. This alters significantly the coherent eddy vertical structures compared with the control simulation, weakening the temperature and vorticity anomalies and increasing strongly the vertical velocity anomalies associated to eddies.

  10. Experimental Demonstration of the Formation of Liquid Brines under Martian Polar Conditions in the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Erik; Martinez, German; Elliott, Harvey; Borlina, Caue; Renno, Nilton

    2014-05-01

    Liquid water is one of the necessary ingredients for the development of life as we know it. The behavior of various liquid states of H2O such as liquid brine, undercooled liquid interfacial water, subsurface melt water and ground water [1] needs to be understood in order to address the potential habitability of Mars for microbes and future human exploration. It has been shown thermodynamically that liquid brines can exist under Martian polar conditions [2, 3]. We have developed the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber (MMEC) to simulate the entire range of Martian surface and shallow subsurface conditions with respect to temperature, pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation and soil wetness at equatorial and polar latitudes. Our experiments in the MMEC show that deliquescence of NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 and Ca(ClO4)2 occurs diurnally under the environmental conditions of the Phoenix landing site when these salts get in contact with water ice. Since Phoenix detected these salts and water ice at the landing site, including frost formation, it is extremely likely that deliquescence occurs at the Phoenix landing site. By layering NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 or Ca(ClO4)2 on top of a pure water ice slab at 800 Pa and 190 K and raising the temperature stepwise across the eutectic temperature of the perchlorate salts, we observe distinct changes in the Raman spectra of the samples when deliquescence occurs. When crossing the eutectic temperatures of NaClO4 (236 K), Mg(ClO4)2 (205 K) and Ca(ClO4)2 (199 K) [4, 5], the perchlorate band of the Raman spectrum shows a clear shift from 953 cm-1 to 936 cm-1. Furthermore, the appearance of a broad O-H vibrational stretching spectrum between 3244 cm-1 and 3580 cm-1 is another indicator of deliquescence. This process of deliquescence occurs on the order of seconds when the perchlorate salt is in contact with water ice. On the contrary, when the perchlorate salt is only subjected to water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, deliquescence was not

  11. An extensive phase space for the potential martian biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G; Lineweaver, Charles H; Clarke, Jonathan D

    2011-12-01

    We present a comprehensive model of martian pressure-temperature (P-T) phase space and compare it with that of Earth. Martian P-T conditions compatible with liquid water extend to a depth of ∼310 km. We use our phase space model of Mars and of terrestrial life to estimate the depths and extent of the water on Mars that is habitable for terrestrial life. We find an extensive overlap between inhabited terrestrial phase space and martian phase space. The lower martian surface temperatures and shallower martian geotherm suggest that, if there is a hot deep biosphere on Mars, it could extend 7 times deeper than the ∼5 km depth of the hot deep terrestrial biosphere in the crust inhabited by hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs. This corresponds to ∼3.2% of the volume of present-day Mars being potentially habitable for terrestrial-like life.

  12. Moessbauer Spectroscopy of Martian and Sverrefjell Carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agresti, David G.; Morris, Richard V.

    2011-01-01

    Mars, in its putative "warmer, wetter: early history, could have had a CO2 atmosphere much denser than its current value of Chocolate Pots in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are shown; they are the same within error. For Comanche carbonate summed over 210-270 K, (CS, QS) = (1.23, 1.95) mm/s. The value of QS for Sverrefjell carbonate at 295 K, (CS, QS) = (1.25, 1.87) mm/s, is also plotted, and the plot shows that the QS for the Sverrefjell carbonate agrees within error with the Comanche data extrapolated to 295 K. This agreement is additional evidence that the Sverrefjell carbonates are Mossbauer analogues for the Comanche carbonates, and that both carbonates might have precipitated from solutions that became carbonate rich by passing through buried carbonate deposits.

  13. The analysis of water in the Martian regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D M; Tice, A R

    1979-12-01

    One of the scientific objectives of the Viking Mission to Mars was to accomplish an analysis of water in the Martian regolith. The analytical scheme originally envisioned was severely compromised in the latter stages of the Lander instrument package design. Nevertheless, a crude soil water analysis was accomplished. Samples from each of the two widely separated sites yielded roughly 1 to 3% water by weight when heated successively to several temperatures up to 500 degrees C. A significant portion of this water was released in the 200 degrees to 350 degrees C interval indicating the presence of mineral hydrates of relatively low thermal stability, a finding in keeping with the low temperatures generally prevailing on Mars. The presence of a duricrust at one of the Lander sites is taken as possible evidence for the presence of hygroscopic minerals on Mars. The demonstrated presence of atmospheric water vapor and thermodynamic calculations lead to the belief that adsorbed water could provide a relatively favorable environment for endolithic organisms on Mars similar to types recently discovered in the dry antarctic deserts.

  14. The role of igneous sills in shaping the Martian uplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelms, D. E.; Baldwin, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    Relations among geologic units and landforms suggest that igneous sills lie beneath much of the intercrater and intracrater terrain of the Martian uplands. The igneous rocks crop out along the upland-lowland front and in crater floors and other depressions that are low enough to intersect the sill's intrusion horizons. It is suggested that heat from the cooling sills melted some of the ice contained in overlying fragmental deposits, creating valley networks by subsurface flow of the meltwater. Terrains with undulatory, smooth surfaces and softened traces of valleys were created by more direct contact with the sills. Widespread subsidence following emplacement of the sills deformed both them and the nonvolcanic deposits that overlie them, accounting for the many structures that continue from ridged plains into the hilly uplands. Crater counts show that the deposit that became valleyed, softened, and ridged probably began to form (and to acquire interstitial ice) during or shortly after the Middle Noachian Epoch, and continued to form as late as the Early Hesperian Epoch. The upper layers of this deposit, many of the visible valleys, and the ridged plains and postulated sills all have similar Early Hesperian ages. Continued formation of valleys is indicated by their incision of fresh-appearing crater ejecta. The dependence of valley formation on internal processes implies that Mars did not necessarily have a dense early atmosphere or warm climate.

  15. Influence of carbon dioxide clouds on early martian climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischna, M A; Kasting, J F; Pavlov, A; Freedman, R

    2000-06-01

    Recent studies have shown that clouds made of carbon dioxide ice may have warmed the surface of early Mars by reflecting not only incoming solar radiation but upwelling IR radiation as well. However, these studies have not treated scattering self-consistently in the thermal IR. Our own calculations, which treat IR scattering properly, confirm these earlier calculations but show that CO2 clouds can also cool the surface, especially if they are low and optically thick. Estimating the actual effect of CO2 clouds on early martian climate will require three-dimensional models in which cloud location, height, and optical depth, as well as surface temperature and pressure, are determined self-consistently. Our calculations further confirm that CO2 clouds should extend the outer boundary of the habitable zone around a star but that there is still a finite limit beyond which above-freezing surface temperatures cannot be maintained by a CO2-H2O atmosphere. For our own Solar System, the absolute outer edge of the habitable zone is at approximately 2.4 AU.

  16. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  17. Mars Atmosphere Effects on Arc Welds: Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has been unprecedented in achieving its goals related to space exploration and furthering the understanding of our solar system. In keeping with this trend, NASA's current mission is to land a team of astronauts on Mars and return them safely to Earth. In addition to comprising much of the structure and life support systems that will be brought to Mars for the habitat and vehicle, titanium and aluminum can be found and mined on Mars and may be used when building structures.Where metals are present, there will be a need for welding capabilities. For welds that need to be made quickly and are located far from heavy resistance or solid state welding machinery, there will be a need for basic arc welding. Arc welding has been a major cornerstone of manufacturing throughout the 20th century, and the portability and capability of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) will be necessary for repair, manufacturing, and survival on Mars. The two primary concerns for welding on Mars are that the Martian atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the atmospheric pressure is much lower than it is on Earth. The high levels of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere may dissociate and produce oxygen in the arc and therefore increase the risk of oxidation. For simplification, atmospheric pressure will not be taken into account for this experiment. For survival on Mars during this mission, the life support and water filtration systems must be kept operational at all times. In order to ensure that water filtration systems can be repaired in the event of an emergency, it is very important to have the capability to weld. The Orion capsule and Mars lander must also remain operational throughout the duration of the mission to ensure the safe return of the astronauts on the mission to Mars. A better understanding of welding in a Mars environment is important to ensure that repair welds are possible if the Orion capsule/Mars lander or water filtration system is damaged at any point

  18. Survival and death of the haloarchaeon Natronorubrum strain HG-1 in a simulated martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Z.; Vos, D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Selch, F.; van Sluis, C. A.; Sorokin, D. Yu.; Muijzer, G.; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2010-11-01

    Halophilic archaea are of interest to astrobiology due to their survival capabilities in desiccated and high salt environments. The detection of remnants of salty pools on Mars stimulated investigations into the response of haloarchaea to martian conditions. Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 is an extremely halophilic archaeon with unusual metabolic pathways, growing on acetate and stimulated by tetrathionate. We exposed Natronorubrum strain HG-1 to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, similar to levels currently prevalent on Mars. In addition, the effects of low temperature (4, -20, and -80 °C), desiccation, and exposure to a Mars soil analogue from the Atacama desert on the viability of Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cultures were investigated. The results show that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive for more than several hours when exposed to UV radiation equivalent to that at the martian equator. Even when protected from UV radiation, viability is impaired by a combination of desiccation and low temperature. Desiccating Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cells when mixed with a Mars soil analogue impaired growth of the culture to below the detection limit. Overall, we conclude that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive the environment currently present on Mars. Since other halophilic microorganisms were reported to survive simulated martian conditions, our results imply that survival capabilities are not necessarily shared between phylogenetically related species.

  19. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  20. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  1. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2005-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried to explained its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies formed at cold enviroment, sited at the Nevado de Toluca volcanoe near Toluca City, Mexico. We compare them with Martian gullies, choisen from four different areas, to recognize possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lenghts of those Martian gullies and their range was from 24 m 1775 m.

  2. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  3. Stratigraphy of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.

    1993-01-01

    The northern plains of Mars are roughly defined as the large continuous region of lowlands that lies below Martian datum, plus higher areas within the region that were built up by volcanism, sedimentation, tectonism, and impacts. These northern lowlands span about 50 x 10(exp 6) km(sup 2) or 35 percent of the planet's surface. The age and origin of the lowlands continue to be debated by proponents of impact and tectonic explanations. Geologic mapping and topical studies indicate that volcanic, fluvial, and eolian deposition have played major roles in the infilling of this vast depression. Periglacial, glacial, fluvial, eolian, tectonic, and impact processes have locally modified the surface. Because of the northern plains' complex history of sedimentation and modification, much of their stratigraphy was obscured. Thus the stratigraphy developed is necessarily vague and provisional: it is based on various clues from within the lowlands as well as from highland areas within and bordering the plains. The results are summarized.

  4. Studying the Mars atmosphere using a SOIR Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, R.; Vandaele, A.; Daerden, F.; Neefs, E.; Mahieux, A.; Wilquet, V.; Montmessin, F.; Bertaux, J.; McConnell, J. C.; Kaminski, J. W.

    2009-05-01

    SOIR (Solar Occultation InfraRed spectrometer) is currently part of the SPICAV/SOIR instrument on board the Venus Express orbiter (VEX). SOIR, an Echelle infrared spectrometer using an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for the order selection, is probing the atmosphere by solar occultation, operating between 2.2 and 4.3 μm, with a resolution of 0.15 cm-1. This spectral range is suitable for the detection of several key components of planetary atmospheres, including H2O and its isotopologue HDO, CH4 and other trace species. The SOIR instrument was designed to have a minimum of moving parts, to be light and compact in order to fit on top of the SPICAV instrument. The AOTF allows a narrow range of wavelengths to pass, according to the radio frequency applied to the TeO2 crystal; this selects the order. The advantage of the AOTF is that different orders can be observed quickly and easily during one occultation. To obtain a compact optical scheme, a Littrow configuration was implemented in which the usual collimating and imaging lenses are merged into a single off-axis parabolic mirror. The light is diffracted on the echelle grating, where orders overlap and addition occurs, and finally is recorded by the detector. The detector is 320x256 pixels and is cooled to 88K during an occultation measurement, to maximise the signal to noise ratio. SOIR on VEX has been in orbit around Venus since April 2006, allowing us to characterise the instrument and study its performance. These data have allowed the engineering team to devise several instrumental improvements. The next step in further improving the readiness for Martian atmospheric studies comes in close collaboration with the Mars Atmospheric Modelling group at BIRA-IASB. A General Circulation Model is used to simulate the Martian atmosphere. Currently work is underway with SPICAM data to verify the GCM inputs and outputs. Later the GCM output will be used as feedback for instrumental design of both an improved version

  5. Probing the Martian Exosphere and Neutral Escape Using Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Cravens, T.; Halekas, J. S.; Lillis, R. J.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Thiemann, E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dunn, P.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Espley, J. R.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Soon after the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft started orbiting Mars in September 2014, the SEP (Solar Energetic Particle), SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer), and STATIC (Supra-Thermal and Thermal Ion Composition) instruments onboard the spacecraft started detecting planetary pickup ions. SEP can measure energetic (>50 keV) oxygen pickup ions, the source of which is the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars. Model results show that these pickup ions originate from tens of Martian radii upstream of Mars and are energized by the solar wind motional electric field as they gyrate back towards Mars. SEP is blind to pickup hydrogen, as the low energy threshold for detection of hydrogen in SEP is 20 keV; well above the maximum pickup hydrogen energy, which is four times the solar wind proton energy. SWIA and STATIC, on the other hand, can detect both pickup oxygen and pickup hydrogen with energies below 30 keV and created closer to Mars. During the times when MAVEN is outside the Martian bow shock and in the upstream undisturbed solar wind, the solar wind velocity measured by SWIA and the solar wind (or interplanetary) magnetic field measured by the MAG (magnetometer) instrument can be used to model pickup oxygen and hydrogen fluxes near Mars. Solar wind flux measurements of the SWIA instrument are used in calculating charge-exchange frequencies, and data from the EUVM (Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor) and SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) instruments are also used in calculating photo-ionization and electron impact frequencies of neutral species in the Martian exosphere. By comparing SEP, SWIA, and STATIC measured pickup ion fluxes with model results, the Martian thermal hydrogen and hot oxygen neutral densities can be probed outside the bow shock, which would place constraints on estimates of oxygen and hydrogen neutral escape rates. We will present model-data comparisons of pickup ions measured outside the Martian bow shock. Our analysis reveals an

  6. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, Gregory T; Farrell, William M; Atreya, Sushil K; Renno, Nilton O; Wong, Ah-San; Cummer, Steven A; Sentman, Davis D; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and desert field tests indicate that aeolian dust transport can generate atmospheric electricity via contact electrification or "triboelectricity." In convective structures such as dust devils and dust storms, grain stratification leads to macroscopic charge separations and gives rise to an overall electric dipole moment in the aeolian feature, similar in nature to the dipolar electric field generated in terrestrial thunderstorms. Previous numerical simulations indicate that these storm electric fields on Mars can approach the ambient breakdown field strength of approximately 25 kV/m. In terrestrial dust phenomena, potentials ranging from approximately 20 to 160 kV/m have been directly measured. The large electrostatic fields predicted in martian dust devils and storms can energize electrons in the low pressure martian atmosphere to values exceeding the electron dissociative attachment energy of both CO2 and H2O, which results in the formation of the new chemical products CO/O- and OH/H-, respectively. Using a collisional plasma physics model, we present calculations of the CO/O- and OH/H- reaction and production rates. We demonstrate that these rates vary geometrically with the ambient electric field, with substantial production of dissociative products when fields approach the breakdown value of approximately 25 kV/m. The dissociation of H2O into OH/H- provides a key ingredient for the generation of oxidants; thus electrically charged dust may significantly impact the habitability of Mars.

  7. Radiation transport simulation of the Martian GCR surface flux and dose estimation using spherical geometry in PHITS compared to MSL-RAD measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-McLaughlin, John

    2017-08-01

    Planetary bodies and spacecraft are predominantly exposed to isotropic radiation environments that are subject to transport and interaction in various material compositions and geometries. Specifically, the Martian surface radiation environment is composed of galactic cosmic radiation, secondary particles produced by their interaction with the Martian atmosphere, albedo particles from the Martian regolith and occasional solar particle events. Despite this complex physical environment with potentially significant locational and geometric dependencies, computational resources often limit radiation environment calculations to a one-dimensional or slab geometry specification. To better account for Martian geometry, spherical volumes with respective Martian material densities are adopted in this model. This physical description is modeled with the PHITS radiation transport code and compared to a portion of measurements from the Radiation Assessment Detector of the Mars Science Laboratory. Particle spectra measured between 15 November 2015 and 15 January 2016 and PHITS model results calculated for this time period are compared. Results indicate good agreement between simulated dose rates, proton, neutron and gamma spectra. This work was originally presented at the 1st Mars Space Radiation Modeling Workshop held in 2016 in Boulder, CO. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Nitrogen and Martian Habitability: Insights from Five Years of Curiosity Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, D., Jr.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Jackson, W. A.; Conrad, P. G.; Glavin, D. P.; Trainer, M. G.; Malespin, C.; McAdam, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Teinturier, S.; Manning, C.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of "fixed" N on Mars in the form of nitrate by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover [1] has major implications for martian habitability. "Follow the nitrogen" has been proposed as a strategy in the search for both extant and extinct life on Mars [e.g., 2]. Nitrogen is so crucial to life on Earth that life developed metabolic pathways to break the triple bond of N2 and "fix" atmospheric nitrogen to more biologically available molecules for use in proteins and informational polymers. Sequestration of nitrate in regolith has long been predicted to contribute to the removal of N from the martian atmosphere [e.g., 3], and our detections confirm that nitrogen fixation was occurring on ancient Mars. Detections of fixed nitrogen, particularly within the context of the habitable environment in Yellowknife Bay characterized by the MSL payload, are an important tool to assess whether life ever could have existed on ancient Mars. We present 5 years of analyses and interpretation of nitrate in solid martian drilled and scooped samples by SAM on MSL. Nitrate abundance reported by SAM in situ measurements ranges from non-detection to 681 ± 304 mg/kg [1,4] in the samples examined to date. The measured abundances are consistent with nitrogen fixation via impact generated thermal shock on ancient Mars and/or dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO. We review the integration of SAM data with terrestrial Mars analog work in order to better understand the timing of nitrogen fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts, such as perchlorate, may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars [4]. Finally, we present a comparison of isotopic composition (δ15N) of nitrate with δ15N of atmospheric nitrogen (δ15N ≈ 574‰, [5

  9. Global map and spectroscopic analyses of Martian fluvial systems: paleoclimatic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemanno, Giulia; Orofino, Vincenzo; Mancarella, Francesca; Fonti, Sergio

    2017-04-01

    Currently environmental conditions on Mars do not allow the presence of liquid water on its surface for long periods of time. However, there are various evidences for past water flow at its surface. In fact, the ancient terrains of Mars are covered with fluvial and lacustrine features such as valley networks, longitudinal valleys and basin lakes. There are no doubts about the fact that the Martian valleys were originated by water flow. This led many researchers to think that probably, at the time of their formation, the conditions of atmospheric pressure and surface temperature were different from the present[1]. To infer the climate history of Mars from valley networks, a global approach is necessary. We produced a global map of Martian valleys. We manually mapped all the valleys (longer than 20 km) as vector-based polylines within the QGIS software, using THEMIS daytime IR (100 m/pixel), and where possible CTX images (up to 6 m/pixel), plus topographic MOLA data ( 500 m/pixel). Respect to the previous manual maps[1,2] data of higher image quality (new THEMIS mosaic) and topographic information allow us to identify new structures and more tributaries for a large number of systems. We also used the geologic map of Mars[3] in order to determine the valleys age distribution. Most valleys are too small for age determination from superposition of impact craters so we have assumed that a valley is as old as the terrain on which it has been carved[1]. Furthermore we are, currently, analyzing spectroscopic data from CRISM instrument (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, concerning the mapped valleys or associated basin lakes with the aim of assessing the mineralogy of these structures. Our attention is especially focused on the possible detection of any hydrated minerals (e.g. phyllosilicates, hydrated silica) or evaporites (e.g. carbonates, sulfates, chlorides). Phyllosilicates- bearing rocks are considered as an

  10. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; Harri, A.-M.; Kemppinen, O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, M. D.; de la Torre-Juárez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to today's Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars' present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions. Understanding the modern Martian climate is important to determine if Mars could have the conditions to support life and to prepare for future human exploration.

  11. Martian Pyroxenes in the Shergottite Meteorites; Zagami, SAU005, DAG476 and EETA79001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, N.; Benedix, G. K.; Bland, P.; Hamilton, V. E.

    2010-12-01

    The geology and surface mineralogy of Mars is characterised using remote sensing techniques such as thermal emission spectroscopy (TES) from instruments on a number of spacecraft currently orbiting Mars or gathered from roving missions on the Martian surface. However, the study of Martian meteorites is also important in efforts to further understand the geological history of Mars or to interpret mission data as they are believed to be the only available samples that give us direct clues as to Martian igneous processes [1]. We have recently demonstrated that the spectra of Martian-specific minerals can be determined using micro-spectroscopy [2] and that these spectra can be reliably obtained from thin sections of Martian meteorites [3]. Accurate modal mineralogy of these meteorites is also important [4]. In this study we are using a variety of techniques to build upon previous studies of these particular samples in order to fully characterise the nature of the 2 common pyroxenes found in Martian Shergottites; pigeonite and augite [5], [6]. Previous studies have shown that the Shergottite meteorites are dominated by pyroxene (pigeonite and augite in varying quantities) [4], [5], commonly but not always olivine, plagioclase or maskelynite/glass and also hydrous minerals, which separate the Martian meteorites from other achondrites [7]. Our microprobe study of meteorites Zagami, EETA79001, SAU005 and DAG476 in thin-section at the Natural History Museum, London shows a chemical variability within both the pigeonite and augite composition across individual grains in all thin sections; variation within either Mg or Ca concentration varies from core to rim within the grains. This variation can also be seen in modal mineralogy maps using SEM-derived element maps and the Photoshop® technique previously described [4], and in new micro-spectroscopy data, particularly within the Zagami meteorite. New mineral spectra have been gathered from the Shergottite thin-sections by

  12. Effects of Mars Atmosphere on Arc Welds: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Z. S.

    2018-01-01

    Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a vital fusion welding process widely used throughout the aerospace industry. Its use may be critical for the repair or manufacture of systems, rockets, or facilities on the Martian surface. Aluminum alloy AA2219-T87 and titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V butt welds have been investigated for weldability and weld properties in a simulated Martian gas environment. The resulting simulated Martian welds were compared to welds made in a terrestrial atmosphere, all of which used argon shielding gas. It was found that GTAW is a process that may be used in a Martian gas environment, not accounting for pressure and gravitational effects, as long as adequate argon shielding gas is used to protect the weld metal. Simulated Martian welds exhibited higher hardness in all cases and higher tensile strength in the case of AA2219-T87. This has been attributed to the absorption of carbon into the fusion zone, causing carbide precipitates to form. These precipitates may act to pin dislocations upon tensile testing of AA2219-T87. Dissolved carbon may have also led to carburization, which may have caused the increase in hardness within the fusion zone of the welds. Based on the results of this experiment and other similar experiments, GTAW appears to be a promising process for welding in a Martian gas environment. Additional funding and experimentation is necessary to determine the effects of the low pressure and low gravity environment found on Mars on GTAW.

  13. A model to calculate solar radiation fluxes on the Martian surface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicente-Retortillo Álvaro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a new comprehensive radiative transfer model to study the solar irradiance that reaches the surface of Mars in the spectral range covered by MetSIS, a sensor aboard the Mars MetNet mission that will measure solar irradiance in several bands from the ultraviolet (UV to the near infrared (NIR. The model includes up-to-date wavelength-dependent radiative properties of dust, water ice clouds, and gas molecules. It enables the characterization of the radiative environment in different spectral regions under different scenarios. Comparisons between the model results and MetSIS observations will allow for the characterization of the temporal variability of atmospheric optical depth and dust size distribution, enhancing the scientific return of the mission. The radiative environment at the Martian surface has important implications for the habitability of Mars as well as a strong impact on its atmospheric dynamics and climate.

  14. Cryolitozone of Mars- as the climatic indicator of the Martian relict ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozorovich, Y.; Fournier-Sicre, A.; Linkin, V.; Kosov, A.; Skulachev, D.; Gorbatov, S.; Ivanov, A.; Heggy, E.

    2015-10-01

    The existance of a large Martian cryolitozone consisting of different cryogenic formations both on the surface- polar caps ice and in subsurface layer (and probably overcooled salt solutions in lower horizons) is conditioned mostly by the planet's geological history and atmosphere evolution. The very structure of the cryolitozone with its strongly pronounced zone character owing to drying up of 0 to 200 m thick surface layer in the equatorial latitudes ranging from + 30 to - 300 was formed in the course of long-periodic climatic variations and at present is distincly heterogeneous both depthward and in latitudinal and longtudinal dimensions. The dryed up region of Martian frozen rocks is estimated to have been developing during more than 3.5 bln years, so the upper layer boundary of permafrost can serve as a sort of indicator reflecting the course of Martian climatic evolution. Since the emount of surface moisture and its distribition character are conditioned by the cryolitozone scale structure its investigation is considered to be an important aspect of the forthcoming Martian projects. In order to create Martian climate and atmosphere circulation models the whole complex information on surface provided by optical and infrared ranges observations, regional albedo surface measurements, ground layer thermal flow investigations, etc. must be carefully studed. The investigation of permafrost formation global distribution and their appearance in h ≤1 m thick subsurface layer may be provided successfully by using active-passive microwave remote sensing techniques [1]. Along with optical and infrared observations the method of orbital panoramic microwave radiometry in centi- and decimeter ranges would contribute to the mapping of the cryolitozone global surface distribution. This proposal discusses methodical and experimental possibilities of this global observation of Martian cryolitozone as the additional way for investigation subsurface of Mars. The main idea of

  15. Localized Models of Charged Particle Motion in Martian Crustal Magnetic Cusps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, D. A.; Poppe, A. R.; Jarvinen, R.; Dong, Y.; Egan, H. L.; Fang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The induced magnetosphere of Mars is punctuated by localized but strong crustal magnetic fields that are observed to play host to a variety of phenomena typically associated with global magnetic fields, such as auroral processes and particle precipitation, field-aligned current systems, and ion outflow. Each of these phenomena occur on the night side, in small-scale magnetic `cusp' regions of vertically aligned field. Cusp regions are not yet capable of being spatially resolved in global scale models that include the ion kinetics necessary for simulating charged particle transport along cusps. Local models are therefore necessary if we are to understand how cusp processes operate at Mars. Here we present the first results of an effort to model the kinetic particle motion and electric fields in Martian cusps. We are adapting both a 1.5D Particle-in-Cell (PIC) model for lunar magnetic cusps regions to the Martian case and a hybrid model framework (used previously for the global Martian plasma interaction and for lunar magnetic anomaly regions) to cusps in 2D. By comparing the models we can asses the importance of electron kinetics in particle transport along cusp field lines. In this first stage of our study we model a moderately strong nightside cusp, with incident hot hydrogen plasma from above, and cold planetary (oxygen) plasma entering the simulation from below. We report on the spatial and temporal distribution of plasma along cusp field lines for this initial case.

  16. Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Apatite in Northwest Africa 7034: A Record of the "Intermediate" H-Isotopic Reservoir in the Martian Crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Barnes, J. J.; Santos, A. R.; Boyce, J. W.; Anand, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    a H-isotopic composition that is intermediate (dD of 1000-2000per mille) between an isotopically light mantle (Delta D is less than 275per mille [10]) and an isotopically heavy atmosphere (dD of 2500-6100per mille [11, 12]). Apatites in NWA 7034 occur in a number of lithologic domains, however apatites across all lithologic domains have been affected by a Pb-loss event at about 1.5 Ga before present [5], so they are unlikely to have retained a primary composition and are more likely to have equilibrated with fluids within the martian crust that may or may not have exchanged with the martian atmosphere. Equilibration of apatite with crustal fluids is further supported by the chlorine-rich compositions exhibited by apatites in NWA 7034 in comparison to apatites from other martian meteorites (Figure 1; [13]). Cl is more hydrophilic than F, which promotes formation of Cl-rich apatite compositions in fluid-rich systems [e.g., 14, 15-17].

  17. Research Article: Effects of long-term simulated Martian conditions on a freeze-dried and homogenized bacterial permafrost community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Jensen, Lars Liengård; Kristoffersen, Tommy

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation......, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead......, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core...

  18. Alteration of Sedimentary Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Tartese, R.; Santos, A. R.; Domokos, G.; Muttik, N.; Szabo, T.; Vazquez, J.; Boyce, J. W.; Keller, L. P.; Jerolmack, D. J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and pairings represent the first brecciated hand sample available for study from the martian surface [1]. Detailed investigations of NWA 7034 have revealed substantial lithologic diversity among the clasts [2-3], making NWA 7034 a polymict breccia. NWA 7034 consists of igneous clasts, impact-melt clasts, and "sedimentary" clasts represented by prior generations of brecciated material. In the present study we conduct a detailed textural and geochemical analysis of the sedimentary clasts.

  19. On the link between martian total ozone and potential vorticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, James A.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Patel, Manish R.

    2017-01-01

    We demonstrate for the first time that total ozone in the martian atmosphere is highly correlated with the dynamical tracer, potential vorticity, under certain conditions. The degree of correlation is investigated using a Mars global circulation model including a photochemical model. Potential vorticity is the quantity of choice to explore the dynamical nature of polar vortices because it contains information on winds and temperature in a single scalar variable. The correlation is found to display a distinct seasonal variation, with a strong positive correlation in both northern and southern winter at poleward latitudes in the northern and southern hemisphere respectively. The identified strong correlation implies variations in polar total ozone during winter are predominantly controlled by dynamical processes in these spatio-temporal regions. The weak correlation in northern and southern summer is due to the dominance of photochemical reactions resulting from extended exposure to sunlight. The total ozone/potential vorticity correlation is slightly weaker in southern winter due to topographical variations and the preference for ozone to accumulate in Hellas basin. In northern winter, total ozone can be used to track the polar vortex edge. The ozone/potential vorticity ratio is calculated for both northern and southern winter on Mars for the first time. Using the strong correlation in total ozone and potential vorticity in northern winter inside the polar vortex, it is shown that potential vorticity can be used as a proxy to deduce the distribution of total ozone where satellites cannot observe for the majority of northern winter. Where total ozone observations are available on the fringes of northern winter at poleward latitudes, the strong relationship of total ozone and potential vorticity implies that total ozone anomalies in the surf zone of the northern polar vortex can potentially be used to determine the origin of potential vorticity filaments.

  20. The atmosphere of Mars - Detection of krypton and xenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, T.; Biemann, K.; Biller, J. E.; Lafleur, A. L.; Rushneck, D. R.; Howarth, D. W.

    1976-01-01

    Krypton and xenon have been discovered in the Martian atmosphere with the mass spectrometer on the second Viking lander. Krypton is more abundant than xenon. The relative abundances of the krypton isotopes appear normal, but the ratio of xenon-129 to xenon-132 is enhanced on Mars relative to the terrestrial value for this ratio. Some possible implications of these findings are discussed.

  1. Calibration OGSE for a multichannel radiometer for Mars atmosphere studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, J. J.; Álvarez, F. J.; Gonzalez-Guerrero, M.; Apéstigue, V.; Martin, I.; Fernández, J. M.; Fernán, A. A.; Arruego, I.

    2017-09-01

    This work describes several OGSEs (Optical Ground Support Equipment) developed by INTA (Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology - Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) for the calibration and characterization of their self-manufactured multichannel radiometers (Solar Irradiance Sensors - SIS) for planetary atmospheric studies in the frame of some Martian missions at which INTA is participating.

  2. Atmospheric Production of Perchlorate on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire, M.; Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Natural production and preservation of perchlorate on Earth occurs only in arid environments. Isotopic evidence suggests a strong role for atmospheric oxidation of chlorine species via pathways including ozone or its photochemical derivatives. As the Martian atmosphere is both oxidizing and drier than the driest places on Earth, we propose an atmospheric origin for the Martian perchlorates measured by NASA's Phoenix Lander. A variety of hypothetical formation pathways can be proposed including atmospheric photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Here, we investigate gas phase formation pathways using a 1-D photochemical model (Catling et al. 2009, accepted by JGR). Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we start with a study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. These results are sensitive to estimated reaction rates for ClO3 species. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for further investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate. In addition to the Atacama results, we will present a preliminary study incorporating chlorine chemistry into an existing Martian photochemical model (Zahnle et al. JGR 2008).

  3. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  4. MAVEN observations of magnetic reconnection in the Martian magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C. X.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J. R.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field topology and converts magnetic energy into particle energy. Although reconnection may play a key role in controlling ion escape processes at Mars, the fundamental properties of local physics and global dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the Martian environment remain unclear owing to the lack of simultaneous measurements of ions, electrons, and magnetic fields by modern instrumentation. Here we present comprehensive MAVEN observations of reconnection signatures in the near-Mars magnetotail. The observed reconnection signatures include (i) Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, (ii) counterstreaming ion beams along the current sheet normal direction, (iii) Hall magnetic fields, and (iv) trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones. The measured velocity distribution functions of different ion species exhibit mass-dependent characteristics which are qualitatively consistent with previous multi-species kinetic simulations and terrestrial tail observations. The MAVEN observations demonstrate that the near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

  5. Staging atmospheres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Mikkel; Bjerregaard, Peter; Sørensen, Tim Flohr

    2015-01-01

    The article introduces the special issue on staging atmospheres by surveying the philosophical, political and anthropological literature on atmosphere, and explores the relationship between atmosphere, material culture, subjectivity and affect. Atmosphere seems to occupy one of the classic...

  6. Critical assessment of the current state of scientific knowledge, terminology, and research needs concerning the role of organic aerosols in the atmosphere, climate, and global change

    OpenAIRE

    Fuzzi, S.; Andreae, M. O.; Huebert, B. J.; Kulmala, M.; Bond, T. C.; Boy, M.; Doherty, S. J.; Guenther, A.; Kanakidou, M.; Kawamura, K.; Kerminen, V.-M.; Lohmann, U.; Russell, L. M.; Pöschl, U.

    2006-01-01

    International audience; In spite of impressive advances in recent years, our present understanding of organic aerosol (OA) composition, physical and chemical properties, sources and transformation characteristics is still rather limited, and their environmental effects remain highly uncertain. Therefore, the three atmosphere-related projects of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) ? IGAC (International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project), iLEAPS (Integrated Land Ecosystem ...

  7. The noble gas concentrations of the Martian meteorites GRV 99027 and paired NWA 7906/NWA 7907

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Peter C.; Lin, Yangting; Leya, Ingo

    2017-12-01

    Here we present the isotopic concentrations of He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe for the three Martian meteorites, namely Grove Mountains 99027 (GRV 99027), Northwest Africa 7906 (NWA 7906), and Northwest Africa 7907 (NWA 7907). The cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age for GRV 99027 of 5.7 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ) is consistent with CRE ages for other poikilitic basaltic shergottites and suggests that all were ejected in a single event 5.6 Ma ago. After correcting for an estimated variable sodium concentration, the CRE ages for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907 of 5.4 ± 0.4 and 4.9 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ), respectively, are in good agreement with the CRE age of 5 Ma favored by Cartwright et al. for NWA 7034. The data, therefore, support the conclusion that all three basaltic regolith breccias are paired. The 40Ar gas retention age for NWA 7907 of 1.3 Ga is in accord with Cartwright et al. For NWA 7906, we were unable to determine a 40Ar gas retention age. The 4He gas retention ages for NWA 7906 and 7907 are in the range of 200 Ma and are much shorter than the 40Ar gas retention age of NWA 7907, indicating that about 86-88% of the radiogenic 4He has been lost. The Kr and Xe isotopic concentrations in GRV 99027 are composed almost exclusively of Martian interior (MI) gases, while for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907, they indicate gases from the MI, elementally fractionated air, and possibly Martian atmosphere.

  8. Parameterization of Rocket Dust Storms on Mars in the LMD Martian GCM: Modeling Details and Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Forget, François; Bertrand, Tanguy; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Navarro, Thomas

    2018-04-01

    The origin of the detached dust layers observed by the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is still debated. Spiga et al. (2013, https://doi.org/10.1002/jgre.20046) revealed that deep mesoscale convective "rocket dust storms" are likely to play an important role in forming these dust layers. To investigate how the detached dust layers are generated by this mesoscale phenomenon and subsequently evolve at larger scales, a parameterization of rocket dust storms to represent the mesoscale dust convection is designed and included into the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Martian Global Climate Model (GCM). The new parameterization allows dust particles in the GCM to be transported to higher altitudes than in traditional GCMs. Combined with the horizontal transport by large-scale winds, the dust particles spread out and form detached dust layers. During the Martian dusty seasons, the LMD GCM with the new parameterization is able to form detached dust layers. The formation, evolution, and decay of the simulated dust layers are largely in agreement with the Mars Climate Sounder observations. This suggests that mesoscale rocket dust storms are among the key factors to explain the observed detached dust layers on Mars. However, the detached dust layers remain absent in the GCM during the clear seasons, even with the new parameterization. This implies that other relevant atmospheric processes, operating when no dust storms are occurring, are needed to explain the Martian detached dust layers. More observations of local dust storms could improve the ad hoc aspects of this parameterization, such as the trigger and timing of dust injection.

  9. Small martian valleys: Pristine and degraded morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, V.R.; Partridge, J.B.

    1986-01-01

    The equatorial heavily cratered uplands of Mars are dissected by two classes of small valleys that are intimately associated in compound networks. Pristine valleys with steep valley walls preferentially occupy downstream portions of compound basins. Degraded valleys with eroded walls are laterally more extensive and have higher drainage densities than pristine valleys. Morphometric and crater-counting studies indicate that relatively dense drainage networks were emplaced on Mars during the heavy bombardment about 4.0 b.y. ago. Over a period of approximately 10 8 years, these networks were degraded and subsequently invaded by headwardly extending pristine valleys. The pristine valleys locally reactivated the compound networks, probably through sapping processes dependent upon high water tables. Fluvial activity in the heavily cratered uplands generally ceased approximately 3.8--3.9 b.y. ago, coincident with the rapid decline in cratering rates. The relict compound valleys on Mars are morphometrically distinct from most terrestrial drainage systems. The differences might be caused by a Martian valley formation episode characterized by hyperaridity, by inadequate time for network growth, by very permeable rock types, or by a combination of factors

  10. Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae: Martian Lacustrine basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David H.; Rice, James W., Jr.; Dohm, James M.; Chapman, Mary G.

    1992-01-01

    Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae are two large (greater than 10(exp 6) sq. km) basins on Mars having morphological features commonly associated with former lakes. The investigation of these areas is an extension of our previous paleolake studies in the Elysium basin. Using Viking images, we are searching for familiar geologic forms commonly associated with standing bodies of water on Earth. Like Elysium, the two basins exhibit terraces and lineations resembling shorelines, etched and infilled floors with channel-like sinuous markings in places, inflow channels along their borders, and other geomorphic indicators believed to be related to the presence of water and ice. In some areas these features are better displayed than in others where they may be very tenuous; their value as indicators can be justified only by their association with related features. Even though these postulated paleolakes are very young in the Martian stratigraphic sequence, their shoreline features are poorly preserved and they are probably much older than large Pleistocene lakes on Earth.

  11. The new Martians a scientific novel

    CERN Document Server

    Kanas, Nick

    2014-01-01

    The year is 2035, and the crew from the first expedition to Mars is returning to Earth. The crewmembers are anxious to get home, and ennui pervades the ship. The mood is broken by a series of mysterious events that jeopardize their safety. Someone or something is threatening the crew. Is it an alien being? A psychotic crewmember? A malfunctioning computer? The truth raises questions about the crewmembers’ fate and that of the human race. In this novel, the intent is to show real psychological issues that could affect a crew returning from a long-duration mission to Mars. The storyline presents a mystery that keeps the reader guessing, yet the issues at stake are based on the findings from the author’s research and other space-related work over the past 40+ years. The novel touches on actual plans being discussed for such an expedition as well as notions involving the search for Martian life and panspermia. The underlying science, in particular the psychological, psychiatric, and interpersonal elements...

  12. Escape of the martian protoatmosphere and initial water inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, N V; Lammer, H; Elkins-Tanton, L T; Stökl, A; Odert, P; Marcq, E; Dorfi, E A; Kislyakova, K G; Kulikov, Yu N; Leitzinger, M; Güdel, M

    2014-08-01

    Latest research in planet formation indicates that Mars formed within a few million years (Myr) and remained as a planetary embryo that never grew to a more massive planet. It can also be expected from dynamical models that most of Mars' building blocks consisted of material that formed in orbital locations just beyond the ice line which could have contained [Formula: see text] of H 2 O. By using these constraints, we estimate the nebula-captured and catastrophically outgassed volatile contents during the solidification of Mars' magma ocean and apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model for the study of the soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) driven thermal escape of the martian protoatmosphere during the early active epoch of the young Sun. The amount of gas that has been captured from the protoplanetary disk into the planetary atmosphere is calculated by solving the hydrostatic structure equations in the protoplanetary nebula. Depending on nebular properties such as the dust grain depletion factor, planetesimal accretion rates and luminosities, hydrogen envelopes with masses [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] could have been captured from the nebula around early Mars. Depending on the before mentioned parameters, due to the planets low gravity and a solar XUV flux that was [Formula: see text] times stronger compared to the present value, our results indicate that early Mars would have lost its nebular captured hydrogen envelope after the nebula gas evaporated, during a fast period of [Formula: see text]. After the solidification of early Mars' magma ocean, catastrophically outgassed volatiles with the amount of [Formula: see text] H 2 O and [Formula: see text] CO 2 could have been lost during [Formula: see text], if the impact related energy flux of large planetesimals and small embryos to the planet's surface lasted long enough, that the steam atmosphere could have been prevented from condensing. If this was not the case, then our results suggest

  13. Gone with the Wind: Three Years of MAVEN Measurements of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; MAVEN Team

    2017-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is making measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere and near space environment, and their interactions with energy inputs from the Sun. A major goal of the mission is to evaluate the loss of atmospheric gases to space in the present epoch, and over Martian history. MAVEN is equipped with instruments that measure both the neutral and charged upper atmospheric system (thermosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and magnetosphere), inputs from the Sun (extreme ultraviolet flux, solar wind and solar energetic particles, and interplanetary magnetic field), and escaping atmospheric particles. The MAVEN instruments, coupled with models, allow us to more completely understand the physical processes that control atmospheric loss and the particle reservoirs for loss.Here, we provide an overview of the significant results from MAVEN over approximately 1.5 Mars years (nearly three Earth years) of observation, from November 2014 to present. We argue that the MAVEN measurements tell us that the loss of atmospheric gases to space was significant over Martian history, and present the seasonal behavior of the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. We also discuss the influence of extreme events such as solar storms, and a variety of new discoveries and observations of the Martian system made by MAVEN.

  14. The influence of stabilizers on the production of gold nanoparticles by direct current atmospheric pressure glow microdischarge generated in contact with liquid flowing cathode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dzimitrowicz, Anna; Jamroz, Piotr, E-mail: piotr.jamroz@pwr.edu.pl; Greda, Krzysztof; Nowak, Piotr; Nyk, Marcin; Pohl, Pawel [Wroclaw University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry (Poland)

    2015-04-15

    Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were prepared by direct current atmospheric pressure glow microdischarge (dc-μAPGD) generated between a miniature argon flow microjet and a flowing liquid cathode. The applied discharge system was operated in a continuous flow liquid mode. The influence of various stabilizers added to the solution of the liquid cathode, i.e., gelatin (GEL), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), as well as the concentration of the Au precursor (chloroauric acid, HAuCl{sub 4}) in the solution on the production growth of Au NPs was investigated. Changes in the intensity of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) band in UV/Vis absorption spectra of solutions treated by dc-μAPGD and their color were observed. The position and the intensity of the LSPR band indicated that relatively small nanoparticles were formed in solutions containing GEL as a capping agent. In these conditions, the maximum of the absorption LSPR band was at 531, 534, and 535 nm, respectively, for 50, 100, and 200 mg L{sup −1} of Au. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) were used to analyze the structure and the morphology of obtained Au NPs. The shape of Au NPs was spherical and uniform. Their mean size was ca. 27, 73, and 92 nm, while the polydispersity index was 0.296, 0.348, and 0.456 for Au present in the solution of the flowing liquid cathode at a concentration of 50, 100, and 200 mg L{sup −1}, respectively. The production rate of synthesized Au NPs depended on the precursor concentration with mean values of 2.9, 3.5, and 5.7 mg h{sup −1}, respectively.

  15. The influence of stabilizers on the production of gold nanoparticles by direct current atmospheric pressure glow microdischarge generated in contact with liquid flowing cathode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzimitrowicz, Anna; Jamroz, Piotr; Greda, Krzysztof; Nowak, Piotr; Nyk, Marcin; Pohl, Pawel

    2015-04-01

    Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were prepared by direct current atmospheric pressure glow microdischarge (dc-μAPGD) generated between a miniature argon flow microjet and a flowing liquid cathode. The applied discharge system was operated in a continuous flow liquid mode. The influence of various stabilizers added to the solution of the liquid cathode, i.e., gelatin (GEL), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), as well as the concentration of the Au precursor (chloroauric acid, HAuCl4) in the solution on the production growth of Au NPs was investigated. Changes in the intensity of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) band in UV/Vis absorption spectra of solutions treated by dc-μAPGD and their color were observed. The position and the intensity of the LSPR band indicated that relatively small nanoparticles were formed in solutions containing GEL as a capping agent. In these conditions, the maximum of the absorption LSPR band was at 531, 534, and 535 nm, respectively, for 50, 100, and 200 mg L-1 of Au. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) were used to analyze the structure and the morphology of obtained Au NPs. The shape of Au NPs was spherical and uniform. Their mean size was ca. 27, 73, and 92 nm, while the polydispersity index was 0.296, 0.348, and 0.456 for Au present in the solution of the flowing liquid cathode at a concentration of 50, 100, and 200 mg L-1, respectively. The production rate of synthesized Au NPs depended on the precursor concentration with mean values of 2.9, 3.5, and 5.7 mg h-1, respectively.

  16. Application of Direct Current Atmospheric Pressure Glow Microdischarge Generated in Contact with a Flowing Liquid Solution for Synthesis of Au-Ag Core-Shell Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzimitrowicz, Anna; Jamroz, Piotr; Nyk, Marcin; Pohl, Pawel

    2016-04-06

    A direct current atmospheric pressure glow microdischarge (dc-μAPGD) generated between an Ar nozzle microjet and a flowing liquid was applied to produce Au-Ag core-shell nanoparticles (Au@AgCSNPs) in a continuous flow system. Firstly, operating dc-μAPGD with the flowing solution of the Au(III) ions as the cathode, the Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) core was produced. Next, to produce the core-shell nanostructures, the collected AuNPs solution was immediately mixed with an AgNO₃ solution and passed through the system with the reversed polarity to fabricate the Ag nanoshell on the AuNPs core. The formation of Au@AgCSNPs was confirmed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance spectrophotometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Three localized surface plasmon resonance absorption bands with wavelengths centered at 372, 546, and 675 nm were observed in the UV-Vis spectrum of Au@AgCSNPs, confirming the reduction of both the Au(III) and Ag(I) ions. The right configuration of metals in Au@AgCSNPs was evidenced by TEM. The Au core diameter was 10.2 ± 2.0 nm, while the thickness of the Ag nanoshell was 5.8 ± 1.8 nm. The elemental composition of the bimetallic nanoparticles was also confirmed by EDS. It is possible to obtain 90 mL of a solution containing Au@AgCSNPs per hour using the applied microdischarge system.

  17. The Search for Ammonia in Martian Soils with Curiosity's SAM Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, James J.; Archer, P. D.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second or third most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere [1,2]. It is a bioessential element, a component of all amino acids and nucleic acids that make up proteins, DNA and RNA, so assessing its availability is a key part of Curiosity's mission to characterize Martian habitability. In oxidizing desert environments it is found in nitrate salts that co-occur with perchlorates [e.g., 3], inferred to be widespread in Mars soils [4-6]. A Mars nitrogen cycle has been proposed [7], yet prior missions have not constrained the state of surface N. Here we explore Curiosity's ability to detect N compounds using data from the rover's first solid sample. Companion abstracts describe evidence for nitrates [8] and for nitriles (C(triple bond)N) [9]; we focus here on nonnitrile, reduced-N compounds as inferred from bonded N-H. The simplest such compound is ammonia (NH3), found in many carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in NH4(+) salts and organic compounds [e.g., 10].

  18. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    Water in the interior of terrestrial planets can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) like olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Although these minerals contain only tens to hundreds of ppm H2O, this water can amount to at least one ocean in mass when added at planetary scales because of the modal dominance of NAM in the mantle and crust [4]. Moreover these trace amounts of water can have drastic effects on melting temperature, rheology, electrical and heat conductivity, and seismic wave attenuation [5]. There is presently a debate on how much water is present in the martian mantle. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) studies of NAM [6], amphiboles and glass in melt inclusions [7-10], and apatites [11, 12] from Martian meteorites report finding as much water as in the same phases from Earth's igneous rocks. Most martian hydrous minerals, however, generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [13, 14], and experiments using Cl [15] in parent melts can reproduce Martian basalt compositions as well as those with water [16]. We are in the process of analyzing Martian meteorite minerals by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) in order to constrain the role of water in this planet s formation and magmatic evolution

  19. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    Like evidence left at a crime scene, the mineral olivine may be the clue that helps scientists piece together Marss possibly violent history. Could a long-ago giant impact have flung pieces of Mars throughout our inner solar system? Two researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are on the case.A Telltale MineralOlivine, a mineral that is common in Earths subsurface but weathers quickly on the surface. Olivine is a major component of Marss upper mantle. [Wilson44691]Olivine is a major component of the Martian upper mantle, making up 60% of this region by weight. Intriguingly, olivine turns up in other places in our solar system too for instance, in seven out of the nine known Mars Trojans (a group of asteroids of unknown origin that share Marss orbit), and in the rare A-type asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt.How did these asteroids form, and why are they so olivine-rich? An interesting explanation has been postulated: perhaps this olivine all came from the same place Mars as the result of a mega impact billions of years ago.Evidence for ImpactMars bears plenty of signs pointing to a giant impact in its past. The northern and sourthern hemispheres of Mars look very different, a phenomenon referred to as the Mars hemisphere dichotomy. The impact of a Pluto-sized body could explain the smooth Borealis Basin that covers the northern 40% of Marss surface.This high-resolution topographic map of Mars reveals the dichotomy between its northern and sourthern hemispheres. The smooth region in the northern hemisphere, the Borealis basin, may have been formed when a giant object impacted Mars billions of years ago. [NASA/JPL/USGS]Other evidence piles up: Marss orbit location, its rotation speed, the presence of its two moons all could be neatly explained by a large impact around 4 billion years ago. Could such an impact have also strewn debris from Marss mantle across the solar system?To test this theory, we need to determine if a mega impact is

  20. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  1. In Situ Measurement of Atmospheric Krypton and Xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Malespin, C. A.; Franz, H. B.; Pepin, R. O.; Trainer, M. G.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Atreya, S. K.; Freissinet, C.; Jones, J. H.; Manning, H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratorys Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation has measured all of the stable isotopes of the heavy noble gases krypton and xenon in the martian atmosphere, in situ, from the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, Mars. Previous knowledge of martian atmospheric krypton and xenon isotope ratios has been based upon a combination of the Viking missions krypton and xenon detections and measurements of noble gas isotope ratios in martian meteorites. However, the meteorite measurements reveal an impure mixture of atmospheric, mantle, and spallation contributions. The xenon and krypton isotopic measurements reported here include the complete set of stable isotopes, unmeasured by Viking. The new results generally agree with Mars meteorite measurements but also provide a unique opportunity to identify various non-atmospheric heavy noble gas components in the meteorites. Kr isotopic measurements define a solar-like atmospheric composition, but deviating from the solar wind pattern at 80Kr and 82Kr in a manner consistent with contributions originating from neutron capture in Br. The Xe measurements suggest an intriguing possibility that isotopes lighter than 132Xe have been enriched to varying degrees by spallation and neutron capture products degassed to the atmosphere from the regolith, and a model is constructed to explore this possibility. Such a spallation component, however, is not apparent in atmospheric Xe trapped in the glassy phases of martian meteorites.

  2. Jovian atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allison, M.; Travis, L.D.

    1986-10-01

    A conference on the atmosphere of Jupiter produced papers in the areas of thermal and ortho-para hydrogen structure, clouds and chemistry, atmospheric structure, global dynamics, synoptic features and processes, atmospheric dynamics, and future spaceflight opportunities. A session on the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune was included, and the atmosphere of Saturn was discussed in several papers

  3. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  4. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Danielson, L. R.; Martin, A. M.; Newville, M.; Choi, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Martian meteorites record a range of oxygen fugacities from near the IW buffer to above FMQ buffer [1]. In terrestrial magmas, Fe(3+)/ SigmaFe for this fO2 range are between 0 and 0.25 [2]. Such variation will affect the stability of oxides, pyroxenes, and how the melt equilibrates with volatile species. An understanding of the variation of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe for martian magmas is lacking, and previous work has been on FeO-poor and Al2O3-rich terrestrial basalts. We have initiated a study of the iron redox systematics of martian magmas to better understand FeO and Fe2O3 stability, the stability of magnetite, and the low Ca/high Ca pyroxene [3] ratios observed at the surface.

  5. Temporal and seasonal variation of atmospheric concentrations of currently used pesticides in Champagne in the centre of Reims from 2012 to 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villiot, A.; Chrétien, E.; Drab-Sommesous, E.; Rivière, E.; Chakir, A.; Roth, E.

    2018-02-01

    For four years (2012-2015), pesticides were analyzed in atmospheric samples in the Centre of Reims (France). Among the analyzed substances, 28 have been quantified at least one time during the 4 sampling years. The annual cumulated pesticide concentrations were respectively 158.8, 38.5, 84.5 and 86.6 ng m-3 from 2012 to 2015, showing a great variability in the presence of pesticides in the atmosphere of the Centre of Reims. The top nine pesticides quantified in the atmosphere were cymoxanil, chlorothalonil and prosulfocarb reaching concentrations up to 13-14 ng m-3 and folpel, cyazofamid, fluazinam, pendimethalin, fenpropidin and spiroxamine reaching concentrations between 1 and 5 ng m-3. Among the nine predominant pesticides, seven of them were fungicides especially used against septoriose, mildew and oïdium occurring as well in vineyard and arable crops. Herbicides quantified were those which are used in arable crops. Insecticides especially carbaryl, chlorpyrifos ethyl and lindane were negligible in the atmosphere. The role of meteorological conditions in the development of diseases and the application rates of pesticide was related to the presence of pesticide in the atmosphere.

  6. Effect of non-equilibrium flow chemistry on the heating distribution over the MESUR forebody during a Martian entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yih-Kang

    1992-01-01

    Effect of flow field properties on the heating distribution over a 140 deg blunt cone was determined for a Martian atmosphere using Euler, Navier-Stokes (NS), viscous shock layer (VSL), and reacting boundary layer (BLIMPK) equations. The effect of gas kinetics on the flow field and the surface heating distribution were investigated. Gas models with nine species and nine reactions were implemented into the codes. Effects of surface catalysis on the heating distribution were studied using a surface kinetics model having five reactions.

  7. The Licancabur Project: Exploring the Limits of Life in the Highest Lake on Earth as an Analog to Martian Paleolakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Grin, E. A.; McKay, C. P.; Friedmann, I.; Diaz, G. Chong; Demergasso, C.; Kisse, K.; Grigorszky, I.; Friedmann, R. Ocampo; Hock, A.

    2003-01-01

    The Licancabur volcano (6017 m) hosts the highest and one of the least explored lakes in the world in its summit crater. It is located 22 deg.50 min. South / 67 deg.53 min. West at the boundary of Chile and Bolivia in the High-Andes. In a freezing environment, the lake located in volcano-tectonic environment combines low-oxygen, low atmospheric pressure due to altitude, and high-UV radiation (see table). However, its bottom water temperature remains above 0 C year-round. These conditions make Licancabur a unique analog to Martian paleolakes considered high-priority sites for the search for life on Mars.

  8. Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Flesch, G. J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A. C.; Miller, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Niles, P. B.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R. O.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Summons, R. E.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M. G.; Wray, J. J.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Stalport, Fabien; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Garvin, James; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample. Decomposition of fine-grained Fe or Mg carbonate is the likely source of much of the evolved CO2. Evolved O2 is coincident with the release of Cl, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound. Elevated δD values are consistent with recent atmospheric exchange. Carbon isotopes indicate multiple carbon sources in the fines. Several simple organic compounds were detected, but they are not definitively martian in origin.

  9. Critical assessment of the current state of scientific knowledge, terminology, and research needs concerning the role of organic aerosols in the atmosphere, climate, and global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fuzzi

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In spite of impressive advances in recent years, our present understanding of organic aerosol (OA composition, physical and chemical properties, sources and transformation characteristics is still rather limited, and their environmental effects remain highly uncertain. This paper discusses and prioritizes issues related to organic aerosols and their effects on atmospheric processes and climate, providing a basis for future activities in the field. Four main topical areas are addressed: i sources of OA; ii formation transformation and removal of OA; iii physical, chemical and mixing state of OA; iv atmospheric modelling of OA. Key questions and research priorities regarding these four areas are synthesized in this paper, and outstanding issues for future research are presented for each topical area. In addition, an effort is made to formulate a basic set of consistent and universally applicable terms and definitions for coherent description of atmospheric OA across different scales and disciplines.

  10. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  11. Variable g- Mars environmental chamber: a small window of the martian environment for life science investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgambati, Antonella; Slenzka, Klaus; Schmeyers, Bernd; Di Capua, Massimiliano; Harting, Benjamin

    Human exploration and permanent settlement on the Martian surface is the one of the most attractive and ambitious endeavors mankind has ever faced. As technology and research progress, solutions and information that were before unavailable are slowly making the dream become everyday more feasible. In the past years a huge amount of knowledge was gathered by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and now, even more insight is being gathered through the latest rover of the family, Curiosity. In this work, data from the various missions will be used to define and reproduce on Earth the characteristic Martian atmospheric conditions. A small Mars environmental chamber has been designed and built with the objective of studying the effects of the Martian environment on biological systems. The Variable gravity Mars Environmental Chamber (VgMEC) will allow researchers to replicate atmospheric pressure, gas composition, temperature and UVA/B exposure typical of the equatorial regions of Mars. By exposing biological systems to a controllable set of stressor it will be possible to identify both multi and single stressor effects on the system of interest. While several Mars environment simulation facilities exist, due to their size and mass, all are confined to floor-fixed laboratory settings. The VgMEC is an OHB funded project that wishes to bring together the scientific community and the industry. Collaborations will be enabled by granting low cost access to cutting-edge instrumentation and services. Developed at OHB System AG, VgMEC has been designed from the ground up to be a 28L, compact and lightweight test volume capable of being integrated in existing centrifuges (such as the ESA-ESTEC LCD), gimbal systems and parabolic flight aircraft. The VgMEC support systems were designed to accommodate continuous operations of virtually unlimited duration through the adoption of solutions such as: hot swappable gas/liquid consumables bottles, low power requirements, an

  12. Fair weather atmospheric electricity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, R G

    2011-01-01

    Not long after Franklin's iconic studies, an atmospheric electric field was discovered in 'fair weather' regions, well away from thunderstorms. The origin of the fair weather field was sought by Lord Kelvin, through development of electrostatic instrumentation and early data logging techniques, but was ultimately explained through the global circuit model of C.T.R. Wilson. In Wilson's model, charge exchanged by disturbed weather electrifies the ionosphere, and returns via a small vertical current density in fair weather regions. New insights into the relevance of fair weather atmospheric electricity to terrestrial and planetary atmospheres are now emerging. For example, there is a possible role of the global circuit current density in atmospheric processes, such as cloud formation. Beyond natural atmospheric processes, a novel practical application is the use of early atmospheric electrostatic investigations to provide quantitative information on past urban air pollution.

  13. Interaction of ice storms and management practices on current carbon sequestration in forests with potential mitigation under future CO2 atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather R. McCarthy; Ram Oren; Hyun-Seok Kim; Kurt H. Johnsen; Chris Maier; Seth G. Pritchard; Michael A. Davis

    2006-01-01

    Ice storms are disturbance events with potential impacts on carbon sequestration. Common forest management practices, such as fertilization and thinning, can change wood and stand properties and thus may change vulnerability to ice storm damage. At the same time, increasing atmospheric CO2 levels may also influence ice storm vulnerability. Here...

  14. Formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere on Mars accreting in the solar nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies of the chronology of Martian meteorites suggest that the growth of Mars was almost complete within a few Myr after the birth of the Solar system. During such rapid accretion, proto-Mars likely gravitationally maintained both the solar nebula component and the impact degassing component, containing H2O vapour and reduced gas species, as a proto-atmosphere to be called a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere. Here we numerically analyse the mass and composition of the degassed component and the atmospheric thermal structure sustained by accretional heating. Our results predict that a growing Mars possibly acquired a massive and hot hybrid-type proto-atmosphere with surface pressure and temperature greater than several kbar and 2000 K, respectively, which is sufficient to produce a deep magma ocean. In such a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, a significant amount of H2O, CH4, CO, and H2 is expected to be partitioned into the planetary interior, although this would strongly depend on the dynamics of the magma ocean and mantle solidification. The dissolved H2O may explain the wet Martian mantle implied from basaltic Martian meteorites. Along with the remnant reduced atmosphere after the hydrodynamic atmospheric escape, dissolved reduced gas species may have maintained an earliest Martian surface environment that allowed prebiotic chemical evolution and liquid H2O activities.

  15. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Great advances have been achieved recently in our understanding of the surface of Mars at global scales from orbital missions and at local scales from landed missions. This presentation seeks to provide links between the chemistry and mineralogy observed by landed missions with remote detections of minerals from orbit. Spectral data from CRISM, OMEGA and TES characterize a mostly basaltic planet with some outcrops of hematite, clays, sulfates and carbonates at the surface. Recent alteration of these rocks to form soils has likely been dominated by physical processes; however, martian soils probably also contain relicts of early alteration involving aqueous processes. Clays, hydroxides, sulfates, carbonates and perchlorates are examples of surface components that may have formed early in the planet’s history in the presence of liquid water. Some of these minerals have not been detected in the soil, but all have likely contributed to the current soil composition. The grain size, shape, chemistry, mineralogy, and magnetic properties of Martian soils are similar to altered volcanic ash found at many analog sites on Earth. Reflectance and emission spectra of some of these analog soils are consistent with the basic soil spectral properties observed from orbit. The cemented soil units observed by rovers may have formed through interaction of the soil grains with salts, clays, and hydroxides. Lab experiments have shown that cementing of analog grains darkens the VN reflectance, which could explain the low reflectance of Martian soils compared to analog sites. Reflectance spectra of an analog soil mixture containing altered ash and sulfate are shown in Figure 1. A pellet was made by adding water and allowing the sample to dry in air. Finally, the pellet was crushed and ground again to properties might be.

  16. Radio Emissions from Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.; Schulter, T.; White, L.

    2017-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, event rate, and the strength of the generated electric fields. The detection and characterization of electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for habitability, and preparations for human exploration of the red planet. Furthermore, electrostatic discharges may be linked to local chemistry and plays an important role in the predicted global electrical circuit. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is the only facility in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity from large scale convective dust storms at Mars. We will describe a newly inaugurated program at NASA's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex to carry out a long-term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The ground-based detections will also have important implications for the design of a future instrument that could make similar in-situ measurements from orbit or from the surface of Mars, with far greater sensitivity and duty cycle, opening up a new window in our understanding of the Martian environment.

  17. Martian gullies: possible formation mechanism by dry granular material..

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    section Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies Some theories developed tried explain its origin either by liquid water liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows In winter CO 2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain In spring the CO 2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO 2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies By experimental work with dry granular material we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material section We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City M e xico We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas to target goal recognize or to distinguish to identify possible processes evolved in its formation Also we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters Finally we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material

  18. Atmospheric contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gruetter, Juerg

    1997-01-01

    It is about the levels of contamination in center America, the population's perception on the problem, effects of the atmospheric contamination, effects in the environment, causes of the atmospheric contamination, possibilities to reduce the atmospheric contamination and list of Roeco Swisscontac in atmospheric contamination

  19. Thermal Tides During the 2001 Martian Global-Scale Dust Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Wilson, R. John; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Bandfield, Donald J.; Smith, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    The 2001 (Mars Year 25) global dust storm radically altered the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere. Using observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and Mars WRF general circulation model simulations, we examine the changes to thermal tides and planetary waves caused by the storm. We find that the extratropical diurnal migrating tide is dramatically enhanced during the storm, particularly in the southern hemisphere, reaching amplitudes of more than 20 K. The tropical diurnal migrating tide is weakened to almost undetectable levels. The diurnal Kelvin waves are also significantly weakened, particularly during the period of global expansion at Ls=200deg-210deg. In contrast, the westward propagating diurnal wavenumber 2 tide strengthens to 4-8 K at altitudes above 30km. The wavenumber 1 stationary wave reaches amplitudes of 10-12 K at 50deg-70degN, far larger than is typically seen during this time of year. The phase of this stationary wave and the enhancement of the diurnal wavenumber 2 tide appear to be responses to the high-altitude westward propagating equatorial wavenumber 1 structure in dust mixing ratio observed during the storm in previous works. This work provides a global picture of dust storm wave dynamics that reveals the coupling between the tropics and high-latitude wave responses. We conclude that the zonal distribution of thermotidal forcing from atmospheric aerosol concentration is as important to understanding the atmospheric wave response as the total global mean aerosol optical depth.

  20. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  1. Physical properties of Martian meteorites: Porosity and density measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Ian M.; Beech, Martin; Nie, Wenshuang

    Martian meteorites are fragments of the Martian crust. These samples represent igneous rocks, much like basalt. As such, many laboratory techniques designed for the study of Earth materials have been applied to these meteorites. Despite numerous studies of Martian meteorites, little data exists on their basic structural characteristics, such as porosity or density, information that is important in interpreting their origin, shock modification, and cosmic ray exposure history. Analysis of these meteorites provides both insight into the various lithologies present as well as the impact history of the planet's surface. We present new data relating to the physical characteristics of twelve Martian meteorites. Porosity was determined via a combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) imagery/image analysis and helium pycnometry, coupled with a modified Archimedean method for bulk density measurements. Our results show a range in porosity and density values and that porosity tends to increase toward the edge of the sample. Preliminary interpretation of the data demonstrates good agreement between porosity measured at 100× and 300× magnification for the shergottite group, while others exhibit more variability. In comparison with the limited existing data for Martian meteorites we find fairly good agreement, although our porosity values typically lie at the low end of published values. Surprisingly, despite the increased data set, there is little by way of correlation between either porosity or density with parameters such as shock effect or terrestrial residency. Further data collection on additional meteorite samples is required before more definitive statements can be made concerning the validity of these observations.

  2. Atmospheric energy for subsurface life on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, B. P.; Yung, Y. L.; Nealson, K. H.

    2000-01-01

    The location and density of biologically useful energy sources on Mars will limit the biomass, spatial distribution, and organism size of any biota. Subsurface Martian organisms could be supplied with a large energy flux from the oxidation of photochemically produced atmospheric H(2) and CO diffusing into the regolith. However, surface abundance measurements of these gases demonstrate that no more than a few percent of this available flux is actually being consumed, suggesting that biological activity driven by atmospheric H(2) and CO is limited in the top few hundred meters of the subsurface. This is significant because the available but unused energy is extremely large: for organisms at 30-m depth, it is 2,000 times previous estimates of hydrothermal and chemical weathering energy and far exceeds the energy derivable from other atmospheric gases. This also implies that the apparent scarcity of life on Mars is not attributable to lack of energy. Instead, the availability of liquid water may be a more important factor limiting biological activity because the photochemical energy flux can only penetrate to 100- to 1,000-m depth, where most H(2)O is probably frozen. Because both atmospheric and Viking lander soil data provide little evidence for biological activity, the detection of short-lived trace gases will probably be a better indicator of any extant Martian life.

  3. Multiple current peaks in room-temperature atmospheric pressure homogenous dielectric barrier discharge plasma excited by high-voltage tunable nanosecond pulse in air

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, De-Zheng; Wang, Wen-Chun; Zhang, Shuai; Tang, Kai; Liu, Zhi-jie; Wang, Sen [Key Lab of Materials Modification, Dalian University of Technology, Ministry of Education, Dalian 116024 (China)

    2013-05-13

    Room temperature homogenous dielectric barrier discharge plasma with high instantaneous energy efficiency is acquired by using nanosecond pulse voltage with 20-200 ns tunable pulse width. Increasing the voltage pulse width can lead to the generation of regular and stable multiple current peaks in each discharge sequence. When the voltage pulse width is 200 ns, more than 5 organized current peaks can be observed under 26 kV peak voltage. Investigation also shows that the organized multiple current peaks only appear in homogenous discharge mode. When the discharge is filament mode, organized multiple current peaks are replaced by chaotic filament current peaks.

  4. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airieau, S.; Picenco, Y.; Andersen, G.

    2007-08-01

    Introduction: The best extraterrestrial analogs for microbiology are meteorites. The chemistry and mineralogy of Asteroid Belt and martian (SNC) meteorites are used as tracers of processes that took place in the early solar system. Meteoritic falls, in particular those of carbonaceous chondrites, are regarded as pristine samples of planetesimal evolution as these rocks are primitive and mostly unprocessed since the formation of the solar system 4.56 billion years ago. Yet, questions about terrestrial contamination and its effects on the meteoritic isotopic, chemical and mineral characteristics often arise. Meteorites are hosts to biological activity as soon as they are in contact with the terrestrial biosphere, like all rocks. A wide biodiversity was found in 21 chondrites and 8 martian stones, and was investigated with cell culture, microscopy techniques, PCR, and LAL photoluminetry. Some preliminary results are presented here. The sample suite included carbonaceous chondrites of types CR, CV, CK, CO, CI, and CM, from ANSMET and Falls. Past studies documented the alteration of meteorites by weathering and biological activity [1]-[4]. Unpublished observations during aqueous extraction for oxygen isotopic analysis [5], noted the formation of biofilms in water in a matter of days. In order to address the potential modification of meteoritic isotopic and chemical signatures, the culture of microbial contaminating species was initiated in 2005, and after a prolonged incubation, some of the species obtained from cell culture were analyzed in 2006. The results are preliminary, and a systematic catalog of microbial contaminants is developing very slowly due to lack of funding. Methods: The primary method was cell culture and PCR. Chondrites. Chondritic meteorite fragments were obtained by breaking stones of approximately one gram in sterile mortars. The core of the rocks, presumably less contaminated than the surface, was used for the present microbial study, and the

  5. Morphometric analysis of Martian valley network basins using a circularity function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Wei; Howard, Alan D.

    2005-12-01

    This paper employs a circularity function to quantify the internal morphology of Martian watershed basins in Margaritifer Sinus region and to infer the primary erosional processes that led to their current geomorphologic characteristics and possible climatic conditions under which these processes operated. The circularity function describes the elongation of a watershed basin at different elevations. We have used the circularity functions of terrestrial basins that were interpreted as having been modified by (1) erosion related to primarily groundwater sapping and (2) erosion related to primarily rainfall and surface run-off, as well as the circularity functions of cratering basins on the Moon, in order to formulate discriminant functions that are able to separate the three types of landforms. The spatial pattern of the classification of Martian basins based on discriminant functions shows that basins that look morphologically similar to terrestrial fluvial basins are mostly clustered near the mainstream at low elevation, while those that look morphologically similar to terrestrial basins interpreted as groundwater sapping origin are located near the tributaries and at higher elevation. There are more of the latter than the former. This spatial distribution is inconsistent with a continuous Earth-like warm and wet climate for early Mars. Instead, it is more aligned with an overall early dry climate punctuated with episodic wet periods. Alternatively, the concentrated erosion in the mainstream could also be caused by a change of water source from rainfall to snowfall or erosion cut through a duricrust layer.

  6. The feasibility of TEA CO2 laser-induced plasma for spectrochemical analysis of geological samples in simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savovic, Jelena; Stoiljkovic, Milovan; Kuzmanovic, Miroslav; Momcilovic, Milos; Ciganovic, Jovan; Rankovic, Dragan; Zivkovic, Sanja; Trtica, Milan

    2016-04-01

    The present work studies the possibility of using pulsed Transversely Excited Atmospheric (TEA) carbon dioxide laser as an energy source for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysis of rocks under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions. Irradiation of a basaltic rock sample with the laser intensity of 56 MW cm- 2, in carbon-dioxide gas at a pressure of 9 mbar, created target plasma with favorable conditions for excitation of all elements usually found in geological samples. Detection limits of minor constituents (Ba, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, and Zr) were in the 3 ppm-30 ppm range depending on the element. The precision varied between 5% and 25% for concentration levels of 1% to 10 ppm, respectively. Generally, the proposed relatively simple TEA CO2 laser-LIBS system provides good sensitivity for geological studies under reduced CO2 pressure.

  7. Fractionation and current time trends of PCB congeners: evolvement of distributions 1950–2010 studied using a global atmosphere-ocean general circulation model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lammel

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available PCBs are ubiquitous environmental pollutants expected to decline in abiotic environmental media in response to decreasing primary emissions since the 1970s. A coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model with embedded dynamic sub-models for atmospheric aerosols and the marine biogeochemistry and air-surface exchange processes with soils, vegetation and the cryosphere is used to study the transport and fate of four PCB congeners covering a range of 3–7 chlorine atoms.

    The change of the geographic distribution of the PCB mixture reflects the sources and sinks' evolvement over time. Globally, secondary emissions (re-volatilisation from surfaces are on the long term increasingly gaining importance over primary emissions. Secondary emissions are most important for the congeners with 5–6 chlorine atoms. Correspondingly, the levels of these congeners are predicted to decrease slowest. Changes in congener mixture composition (fractionation are characterized both geographically and temporally. In high latitudes enrichment of the lighter, less persistent congeners and more delayed decreasing levels in response to decreasing emissions are found. The delivery of the contaminants to high latitudes is predicted to be more efficient than previously suggested. The results suggest furthermore that the effectiveness of emission control measures may significantly vary among substances. The trends of decline of organic contaminant levels in the abiotic environmental media do not only vary with latitude (slow in high latitudes, but do also show longitudinal gradients.

  8. Methanogens and Martian natural resources: Investigations regarding the possibility of biogenic methane on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chastain, Brendon Kelly

    Archaeal methanogens were suggested as terrestrial models of possible subsurface martian microbial life prior to the actual detection of methane in Mars' atmosphere. This idea gained even more interest after the methane on Mars was observed. However, the amount of methane detected was very small, and release of methane was localized and episodic. This led some scientists to doubt that an active or ancient biosphere could be the source of the methane. Moreover, even extremophilic methanogens have not been shown to metabolize in conditions exactly analogous to those known to be available on Mars. The following chapters present a realistic and viable mechanism that allows a large or ancient biosphere to be the original source of the observed methane, and they detail experimental work that was done in order to systematically investigate nutritional and conditional variables related to those that might be available in the martian subsurface. The results of the experimental work indicate that some components of Mars' regolith can support methanogenic metabolism without being detrimental to the organisms, and that certain known components of Mars' regolith can promote periods of methanogenic dormancy without being lethal to the methanogens. The results of the experimental studies also show that material known to exist at and near Mars' surface has the potential to supply electrons for biological methanogenesis and that methanogenic metabolism can occur even when artificial media, buffers, and reductants are omitted in order to create more Mars-relevant conditions. These findings may have implications regarding the viability of methanogenic organisms as a source of the observed methane and should assist future efforts to study methanogenic metabolism in conditions exactly analogous to those available in niches on Mars.

  9. Control parameters of the martian dune field positions at planetary scale: tests by the MCD

    Science.gov (United States)

    allemand, pascal

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is occupied by more than 500 dunes fields mainly located inside impact craters of the south hemisphere and near the north polar cap. The questions of the activity of martian dunes and of the localization of the martian dune fields are not completely solved. It has been demonstrated recently by image observation and image correlation that some of these dune fields are clearly active. The sand flux of one of them has been even estimated. But there is no global view of the degree of activity of each the dune fields. (2)The topography of impact craters in which dune fields are localized is an important factor of their position. But there is no consensus of the effect of global atmospheric circulation on dune field localization. These two questions are addressed using the results of Mars Climate Database 5.2 (MCD) (Millour, 2015; Forget et al., 1999). The wind fields of the MCD have been first validated against the observations made on active dune fields. Using a classical transport law, the Drift Potential (DP) and the Relative Drift Potential (RDP) have been computed for each dune fields. A good correlation exists between the position of dune fields and specific values of these two parameters. The activity of each dune field is estimated from these parameters and tested on some examples by image observations. Finally a map of sand flow has been computed at the scale of the planet. This map shows that sand and dust is trapped in specific regions. These regions correspond to the area of dune field concentration.

  10. Thirteen Iron Meteorites Found at Gale Crater, Meridiani Planum, and Gusev Crater — Exogenic Witnesses to Weathering Processes Near the Martian Equator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J.

    2014-12-01

    At least 20 meteorites and meteorite candidates have now been found by science teams at three Mars rover landing sites, all within 15 degrees of the martian equator. Thirteen of these are iron meteorites, comprising 65% of the population — an order of magnitude greater abundance than found among witnessed iron falls in Earth-based collections (~6%). Chondritic meteorites, which comprise some 86% of Earth-based falls, are conspicuously absent from the Mars inventory. The reasons for this disproportion may involve a) post-fall environmental resistance differences favoring iron survivability; b) fragmentation from impact shock (and possibly internal weathering stresses associated with oxide production in desert environments [1]); combined with c) selection biases arising from residual chondritic fragments appearing less conspicuous. Impact features along rover traverses often show evidence of dark materials likely to be impactor fragments [e.g., 2], which could represent the missing chondritic fraction. The reactivity of reduced (metallic) iron to aqueous alteration, combined with the near equatorial and widely distributed locations of these rocks, makes them particularly useful to the assessment of climate models arguing for geologically recent ice at the martian equator. Exposure histories involving alternating wind/water cycles are imprinted on several Meridiani irons, for example [3]. Evidence for oxide coating removal demonstrates the current epoch to be one of coating destruction, not production, showing that atmospheric exposure alone is insufficient to produce the coating. Cavernous weathering is likely associated with acidic corrosion, while evidence of aeolian scouring is found in Widmanstätten patterns, sharp-crested scallops, regmaglypt enlargement, and abundant pitting. Further study of these features could help constrain wind direction and velocity during epochs of sculpting [e.g., 4], and assist in exposure age estimation. References: [1] Ashley J. W

  11. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

  12. Orbital evolution and origin of the Martian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szeto, A.M.K.

    1983-01-01

    The orbital evolution of the Martian satellites is considered from a dynamical point of view. Celestial mechanics relevant to the calculation of satellite orbital evolution is introduced and the physical parameters to be incorporated in the modeling of tidal dissipation are discussed. Results of extrapolating the satellite orbits backward and forward in time are presented and compared with those of other published work. Collision probability calculations and results for the Martian satellite system are presented and discussed. The implications of these calculations for the origin scenarios of the satellites are assessed. It is concluded that Deimos in its present form could not have been captured, for if it had been, it would have collided with Phobos at some point. An accretion model is therefore preferred over capture, although such a model consistent with the likely carbonaceous chondritic composition of the satellites has yet to be established. 91 references

  13. Stable Isotope Systematics of Martian Perchlorate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, P.; Farley, K. A.; Archer, D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Fairen, A.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malespin, C.; Ming, D. W.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Sutter, B.

    2015-12-01

    Chlorine isotopic compositions in HCl released during evolved gas analysis (EGA) runs have been detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover ranging from approximately -9‰ to -50‰ δ37Cl, with two spatially and isotopically separated groups of samples averaging -15‰ and -45‰. These extremely low values are the first such detection of any known natural material; common terrestrial values very rarely exceed ±5‰, and the most extreme isotopic signature yet detected elsewhere in the solar system are values of around +24‰ on the Moon. The only other known location in the solar system with large negative chlorine isotopes is the Atacama Desert, where perchlorate with -14‰ δ37Cl has been detected. The Atacama perchlorate has unusual Δ17O signatures associated with it, indicating a formation mechanism involving O3, which suggests an atmospheric origin of the perchlorate and associated large isotopic anomalies. Identification of non-zero positive Δ17O signatures in the O2 released during EGA runs would allow definitive evidence for a similar process having occurred on Mars. Perchlorate is thought to be the most likely source of HCl in EGA runs due to the simultaneous onset of O2 release. If perchlorate is indeed the HCl source, atmospheric chemistry could be responsible for the observed isotopic anomalies, with variable extents of perchlorate production producing the isotopic variability. However, chloride salts have also been observed to release HCl upon heating; if the timing of O2 release is merely coincidental, observed HCl could be coming from chlorides. At thermodynamic equilibrium, the fractionation factor of perchlorate reduction is 0.93, meaning that differing amounts of post-deposition reduction of isotopically normal perchlorate to chloride could account for the highly variable Cl isotopes. Additionally, post-deposition reduction could account for the difference between the two Cl isotopic groups if perchlorate

  14. Interactive effects of preindustrial, current and future atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature on soil fungi associated with two Eucalyptus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ian C; Drigo, Barbara; Keniry, Kerry; Ghannoum, Oula; Chambers, Susan M; Tissue, David T; Cairney, John W G

    2013-02-01

    Soil microbial processes have a central role in global fluxes of the key biogenic greenhouse gases and are likely to respond rapidly to climate change. Whether climate change effects on microbial processes lead to a positive or negative feedback for terrestrial ecosystem resilience is unclear. In this study, we investigated the interactive effects of [CO(2)] and temperature on soil fungi associated with faster-growing Eucalyptus saligna and slower-growing Eucalyptus sideroxylon, and fungi that colonised hyphal in-growth bags. Plants were grown in native soil under controlled soil moisture conditions, while subjecting the above-ground compartment to defined atmospheric conditions differing in CO(2) concentrations (290, 400, 650 μL L(-1)) and temperature (26 and 30 °C). Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing methods were used to examine effects on the structure of the soil fungal communities. There was no significant effect of host plant or [CO(2)]/temperature treatment on fungal species richness (α diversity); however, there was a significant effect on soil fungal community composition (β diversity) which was strongly influenced by eucalypt species. Interestingly, β diversity of soil fungi associated with both eucalypt species was significantly influenced by the elevated [CO(2) ]/high temperature treatment, suggesting that the combination of future predicted levels of atmospheric [CO(2)] and projected increases in global temperature will significantly alter soil fungal community composition in eucalypt forest ecosystems, independent of eucalypt species composition. These changes may arise through direct effects of changes in [CO(2)] and temperature on soil fungi or through indirect effects, which is likely the case in this study given the plant-dependent nature of our observations. This study highlights the role of plant species in moderating below-ground responses to future predicted changes to [CO(2)] and temperature and the

  15. Mars atmosphere. Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Atreya, Sushil K; Flesch, Gregory J; Mischna, Michael A; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Farley, Kenneth A; Conrad, Pamela G; Christensen, Lance E; Pavlov, Alexander A; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, María-Paz; McConnochie, Timothy H; Owen, Tobias; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Glavin, Daniel P; Steele, Andrew; Malespin, Charles A; Archer, P Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Coll, Patrice; Freissinet, Caroline; McKay, Christopher P; Moores, John E; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Bridges, John C; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Gellert, Ralf; Lemmon, Mark T

    2015-01-23

    Reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation to date. From in situ measurements made over a 20-month period by the tunable laser spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on Curiosity at Gale crater, we report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane of mean value 0.69 ± 0.25 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) at the 95% confidence interval (CI). This abundance is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, in four sequential measurements spanning a 60-sol period (where 1 sol is a martian day), we observed elevated levels of methane of 7.2 ± 2.1 ppbv (95% CI), implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. Post-Viking view of Martian geologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Goettel, K.A.; Hohenberg, C.M.

    1980-01-01

    The mean density, 3.393 g/cm 3 , and the estimated moment of inertia factor constrain the density distribution within Mars but do not define it uniquely. For plausible core density, core radii can range from approx. 1350 to approx. 2200 km, with the core constituting from approx. 13 to approx. 35% of the planet's mass. Possible extremes for the zero-pressure density of the Martian mantle could be as high as 3.6 g/cm 3 or as low as 3.3 g/cm 3 . The Martian mantle is probably denser than the terrestrial mantle. The dominant Martian lavas are probably mafic or ultramafic. Martian surface materials probably consist of variable proportions of mafic igneous minerals and weathering products, the latter primarily oxides and carbonates. A major geologic dichotomy exists between the complex northern plains and the ancient southern cratered terrain. The Tharsis plateau, which dominates the low-degree harmonics of the gravity field, appears to be only partially compensated; Olympus Mons appears to be completely uncompensated. Substantial stresses must be supported, either statically by a thick, rigid lithosphere, or dynamically. Mean crustal thicknesses from 23 to 40 km have been obtained from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Lithospheric thicknesses from 25 to 50 km under volcanoes in the Tharsis and Elysium provinces to >150 km under olympus Mons have been obtained from consideration of the effects of mass loading by volcanic constructs. Many of the compressional and extensional features on Mars have orientations consistent with formation by fracturing in response to loading by the Tharsis plateau. The deficiency of small craters within cratered terrain is attributed to obliteration by volcanism. The maximum resurfacing rate due to volcanism occurred between 1.0 and 1.5 b.y. ago if a constant cratering flux is assumed and between 3.5 and 4.0 b.y. ago if the lunar cratering flux (scaled to Mars) is assumed

  17. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  18. Microwave Palaeointensity Experiments On Terrestrial and Martian Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, J.; Hill, M.; Gratton, M.

    The microwave palaeointensity technique was developed in Liverpool University (Walton et al 1996) and has successfully been applied to archaeological ceramics and recent lavas (Shaw et al 1996, 1999.; Hill et al 1999,2000). These published results show that microwave analysis provides accurate palaeointensity determinations com- bined with a very high success rate. Most recently the technique has been successfully applied to Martian material (Shaw et al, 2001) to look for the existence of an internal Martian dynamo early in Martian history. New experiments have been carried out us- ing microwaves to demagnetise synthetic muti-component TRM's and new palaeoin- tensity experiments providing a comparison between microwave analysis of laboratory TRM's and conventional thermal Thellier analysis of microwave generated mTRM's. These experiments demonstrate the equivalence of microwave and thermally gener- ated TRM's. D. Walton, S Snape, T.C. Rolph, J. Shaw and J.A. Share, Application of ferromagnetic resonance heating to palaeointensity determinations.1996, Phys Earth Planet Int,94, 183-186. J. Shaw, D. Walton, S Yang, T.C.Rolph, and J.A. Share. Microwave Archaeointensities from Peruvian Ceramics. 1996, Geophys. J. Int,124,241-244 J. Shaw, S. Yang, T. C. Rolph, and F. Y. Sun. A comparison of archaeointensity results from Chinese ceramics using Microwave and conventional ThellierSs and ShawSs methods.,1999, G J Int.136, 714-718 M. Hill, and J. Shaw, 1999, Palaeointensity results for Historic Lavas from Mt. Etna using microwave demagnetisation/remagnetisation in a modified Thellier type exper- iment. G. J. Int, 139, 583-590 M. J. Hill, and J. Shaw, 2000. Magnetic field intensity study of the 1960 Kilauea lava flow, Hawaii, using the microwave palaeointensity technique, Geophys. J. Int., 142, 487-504. J. Shaw, M. Hill, and S. J. Openshaw, 2001, Investigating the ancient Martian magnetic field using microwaves, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 190 (2001) 103-109

  19. Martian North Polar Water-Ice Clouds During the Viking Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D. S.

    2000-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars' northern residual cap consists of water ice. Observed atmospheric water vapor abundances in the equatorial regions have been related to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, the regolith and between different phases in the atmosphere. Kahn modeled the physical characteristics of ice hazes seen in Viking Orbiter imaging limb data, hypothesizing that ice hazes provide a method for scavenging water vapor from the atmosphere and accumulating it into ice particles. Given that Jakosky found that these particles had sizes such that fallout times were of order one Martian sol, these water-ice hazes provided a method for returning more water to the regolith than that provided by adsorption alone. These hazes could also explain the rapid hemispheric decrease in atmospheric water in late northern summer as well as the increase during the following early spring. A similar comparison of water vapor abundance versus polar cap brightness has been done for the north polar region. They have shown that water vapor decreases steadily between L(sub s) = 100-150 deg while polar cap albedo increases during the same time frame. As a result, they suggested that late summer water-ice deposition onto the ice cap may be the cause of the cap brightening. This deposition could be due to adsorption directly onto the cap surface or to snowfall. Thus, an examination of north polar waterice clouds could lend insight into the fate of the water vapor during this time period. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. The atmosphere and climate of Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Clancy, R Todd; Forget, François; Smith, Michael D; Zurek, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Humanity has long been fascinated by the planet Mars. Was its climate ever conducive to life? What is the atmosphere like today and why did it change so dramatically over time? Eleven spacecraft have successfully flown to Mars since the Viking mission of the 1970s and early 1980s. These orbiters, landers and rovers have generated vast amounts of data that now span a Martian decade (roughly eighteen years). This new volume brings together the many new ideas about the atmosphere and climate system that have emerged, including the complex interplay of the volatile and dust cycles, the atmosphere-surface interactions that connect them over time, and the diversity of the planet's environment and its complex history. Including tutorials and explanations of complicated ideas, students, researchers and non-specialists alike are able to use this resource to gain a thorough and up-to-date understanding of this most Earth-like of planetary neighbours.

  1. Effect of the greenhouse gases (CO2, H2O, SO2) on Martian paleoclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postawko, S. E.; Kuhn, W. R.

    1986-01-01

    There is general agreement that certain surface features on Mars are indicative of the presence of liquid water at various times in the geologic past. In particular, the valley networks are difficult to explain by a mechanism other than the flow of liquid water. It has been suggested in several studies that a thick CO2 atmosphere on Mars early in its history could have provided a greenhouse warming that would have allowed the flow of water either on the surface or just below the surface. However, this effect was examined with a detailed radiation model, and it was found that if reduced solar luminosity early in the history of the solar system is taken into account, even three bars of CO2 will not provide sufficient greeenhouse warming. The addition of water vapor and sulflur dioxide (both plausible gases that may have been emitted by Martian volcanoes) to the atmosphere also fail to warm the surface above 273 K for reduced solar luminosity conditions. The increase in temperature may be large enough, however, for the formation of these features by brines.

  2. A Martian origin for the Mars Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, D.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Aharonson, O.

    2017-08-01

    Seven of the nine known Mars Trojan asteroids belong to an orbital cluster1,2 named after its largest member, (5261) Eureka. Eureka is probably the progenitor of the whole cluster, which formed at least 1 Gyr ago3. It has been suggested3 that the thermal YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect spun up Eureka, resulting in fragments being ejected by the rotational-fission mechanism. Eureka's spectrum exhibits a broad and deep absorption band around 1 μm, indicating an olivine-rich composition4. Here we show evidence that the Trojan Eureka cluster progenitor could have originated as impact debris excavated from the Martian mantle. We present new near-infrared observations of two Trojans ((311999) 2007 NS2 and (385250) 2001 DH47) and find that both exhibit an olivine-rich reflectance spectrum similar to Eureka's. These measurements confirm that the progenitor of the cluster has an achondritic composition4. Olivine-rich reflectance spectra are rare amongst asteroids5 but are seen around the largest basins on Mars6. They are also consistent with some Martian meteorites (for example, Chassigny7) and with the material comprising much of the Martian mantle8,9. Using numerical simulations, we show that the Mars Trojans are more likely to be impact ejecta from Mars than captured olivine-rich asteroids transported from the main belt. This result directly links specific asteroids to debris from the forming planets.

  3. Potential Antifreeze Compounds in Present-Day Martian Seepage Groundwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiin-Shuh Jean

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Is the recently found seepage groundwater on Mars pure H2O, or mixed with salts and other antifreeze compounds? Given the surface conditions of Mars, it is unlikely that pure water could either exist in its liquid state or have shaped Mars¡¦ fluid erosional landforms (gullies, channels, and valley networks. More likely is that Mars¡¦ seepage groundwater contains antifreeze and salt compounds that resist freezing and suppress evaporation. This model better accounts for Mars¡¦ enigmatic surface erosion. This paper suggests 17 antifreeze compounds potentially present in Martian seepage groundwater. Given their liquid state and physical properties, triethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, and 1,3-propylene glycol are advanced as the most likely candidate compounds. This paper also explores how a mixing of glycol or glycerol with salts in the Martian seepage groundwater may have lowered water¡¦s freezing point and raised its boiling point, with consequences that created fluid gully and channel erosion. Ethylene glycol and related hydrocarbon compounds have been identified in Martian and other interstellar meteorites. We suggest that these compounds and their proportions to water be included for detection in future explorations.

  4. Modeling steam pressure under martian lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, Colin M.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.

    2013-01-01

    Rootless cones on Mars are a valuable indicator of past interactions between lava and water. However, the details of the lava–water interactions are not fully understood, limiting the ability to use these features to infer new information about past water on Mars. We have developed a model for the pressurization of a dry layer of porous regolith by melting and boiling ground ice in the shallow subsurface. This model builds on previous models of lava cooling and melting of subsurface ice. We find that for reasonable regolith properties and ice depths of decimeters, explosive pressures can be reached. However, the energy stored within such lags is insufficient to excavate thick flows unless they draw steam from a broader region than the local eruption site. These results indicate that lag pressurization can drive rootless cone formation under favorable circumstances, but in other instances molten fuel–coolant interactions are probably required. We use the model results to consider a range of scenarios for rootless cone formation in Athabasca Valles. Pressure buildup by melting and boiling ice under a desiccated lag is possible in some locations, consistent with the expected distribution of ice implanted from atmospheric water vapor. However, it is uncertain whether such ice has existed in the vicinity of Athabasca Valles in recent history. Plausible alternative sources include surface snow or an aqueous flood shortly before the emplacement of the lava flow.

  5. Seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars atmosphere: Complete global results of the Viking atmospheric water detector experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jakosky, B.M.; Farmer, C.B.

    1982-01-01

    The water vapor content of the Mars atmosphere was measured from the Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) for a period of more than 1 Martian year, from June 1976 through April 1979. Results are presented in the form of global maps of column abundance for 24 periods throughout each Mars year. The data reduction incorporates spatial and seasonal variations in surface pressure and supplements earlier published versions of less complete data

  6. Reference Atmosphere for Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.

    2002-01-01

    We propose that Ar-40 measured in the lunar atmosphere and that in Mercury's atmosphere is due to current diffusion into connected pore space within the crust. Higher temperatures at Mercury, along with more rapid loss from the atmosphere will lead to a smaller column abundance of argon at Mercury than at the Moon, given the same crustal abundance of potassium. Because the noble gas abundance in the Hermean atmosphere represents current effusion, it is a direct measure of the crustal potassium abundance. Ar-40 in the atmospheres of the planets is a measure of potassium abundance in the interiors, since Ar-40 is a product of radiogenic decay of K-40 by electron capture with the subsequent emission of a 1.46 eV gamma-ray. Although the Ar-40 in the Earth's atmosphere is expected to have accumulated since the late bombardment, Ar-40 in the atmospheres of Mercury and the Moon is eroded quickly by photoionization and electron impact ionization. Thus, the argon content in the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury is representative of current effusion rather than accumulation over the lifetime of the planet.

  7. Revision of the Martian relative age chronology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1987-01-01

    This study has provided a more detailed chronology than currently exists in the literature and has created some changes to the currently accepted geological evolutionary sequence of Mars. The period of heavy bombardment, although dominated by impact processes, experienced many forms of volcanic activity and at least one episode of intense fracturing. Most small volcanic constructs and the ridged plains regions are found to date from this early period, contrary to common belief. The fracturing and dissection of the highlands helps to provide further constraints on the timing of events such as the formation of the hemispheric dichotomy and the formation of the Tharsis Bulge. The northern plains are found to consist of a number of differently aged regions. The difference in age between the chaotic terrain and the outflow channels together with differences in the distribution curves among craters of various erosional states found on the channels support the theory of episodic periods of flooding

  8. Mars analog minerals' spectral reflectance characteristics under Martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, J. T.; Cloutis, E. A.; Salvatore, M. R.; Mertzman, S. A.; Applin, D. M.; Mann, P.

    2018-05-01

    We investigated the spectral reflectance properties of minerals under a simulated Martian environment. Twenty-eight different hydrated or hydroxylated phases of carbonates, sulfates, and silica minerals were selected based on past detection on Mars through spectral remote sensing data. Samples were ground and dry sieved to <45 μm grain size and characterized by XRD before and after 133 days inside a simulated Martian surface environment (pressure 5 Torr and CO2 fed). Reflectance spectra from 0.35 to 4 μm were taken periodically through a sapphire (0.35-2.5 μm) and zinc selenide (2.5-4 μm) window over a 133-day period. Mineral stability on the Martian surface was assessed through changes in spectral characteristics. Results indicate that the hydrated carbonates studied would be stable on the surface of Mars, only losing adsorbed H2O while maintaining their diagnostic spectral features. Sulfates were less stable, often with shifts in the band position of the SO, Fe, and OH absorption features. Silicas displayed spectral shifts related to SiOH and hydration state of the mineral surface, while diagnostic bands for quartz were stable. Previous detection of carbonate minerals based on 2.3-2.5 μm and 3.4-3.9 μm features appears to be consistent with our results. Sulfate mineral detection is more questionable since there can be shifts in band position related to SO4. The loss of the 0.43 μm Fe3+ band in many of the sulfates indicate that there are fewer potential candidates for Fe3+ sulfates to permanently exist on the Martian surface based on this band. The gypsum sample changed phase to basanite during desiccation as demonstrated by both reflectance and XRD. Silica on Mars has been detected using band depth ratio at 1.91 and 1.96 μm and band minimum position of the 1.4 μm feature, and the properties are also used to determine their age. This technique continues to be useful for positive silica identifications, however, silica age appears to be less consistent

  9. The Influence of Topography on the Emplacement Dynamics of Martian Lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, J.; Fitch, E. P.; Fagents, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Lava flows on the Martian surface exhibit a diverse array of complex morphologies. Previous emplacement models, based on terrestrial flows, do not fully account for these observed complex morphologies. We assert that the topography encountered by the flow can exert substantial control over the thermal, rheological, and morphological evolution of the flow, and that these effects can be better incorporated into flow models to predict Martian flow morphologies. Our development of an updated model can be used to account for these topographical effects and better constrain flow parameters. The model predicts that a slope break or flow meander induces eddy currents within the flow, resulting in the disruption of the flow surface crust. The exposure of the flow core results in accelerated cooling of the flow and a resultant increase in viscosity, leading to slowing of the flow. A constant source lava flux and a stagnated flow channel would then result in observable morphological changes, such as overflowing of channel levees. We have identified five morphological types of Martian flows, representing a range of effusion rates, eruption durations and topographic settings, which are suitable for application of our model. To characterize flow morphology, we used imaging and topographic data sets to collect data on flow dimensions. For eight large (50 to hundreds of km long) channelized flows in the Tharsis region, we used the MOLA 128 ppd DEM and/or individual MOLA shot points to derive flow cross-sectional thickness profiles, from which we calculated the cross-sectional area of the flow margins adjacent to the main channel. We found that the largest flow margin cross sectional areas (excluding the channel) occur in association with a channel bend, typically near the bend apex. Analysis of high-resolution images indicates that these widened flow margins are the result of repeated overflows of the channel levees and emplacement of short flow lobes adjacent to the main flow. In

  10. Implantation of Martian Materials in the Inner Solar System by a Mega Impact on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-04-01

    Observations and meteorites indicate that the Martian materials are enigmatically distributed within the inner solar system. A mega impact on Mars creating a Martian hemispheric dichotomy and the Martian moons can potentially eject Martian materials. A recent work has shown that the mega-impact-induced debris is potentially captured as the Martian Trojans and implanted in the asteroid belt. However, the amount, distribution, and composition of the debris has not been studied. Here, using hydrodynamic simulations, we report that a large amount of debris (∼1% of Mars’ mass), including Martian crust/mantle and the impactor’s materials (∼20:80), are ejected by a dichotomy-forming impact, and distributed between ∼0.5–3.0 au. Our result indicates that unmelted Martian mantle debris (∼0.02% of Mars’ mass) can be the source of Martian Trojans, olivine-rich asteroids in the Hungarian region and the main asteroid belt, and some even hit the early Earth. The evidence of a mega impact on Mars would be recorded as a spike of 40Ar–39Ar ages in meteorites. A mega impact can naturally implant Martian mantle materials within the inner solar system.

  11. Atmosphere Impact Losses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlichting, Hilke E.; Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy

    2018-02-01

    } ρ0 (π h R)^{3/2}, r_{cap}˜25 km for the current Earth), that are able to eject all the atmosphere above the tangent plane of the impact site, where h, R and ρ0 are the atmospheric scale height, radius of the target, and its atmospheric density at the ground. 3) Small impactors (m_{min}>4 πρ0 h3, r_{min}˜ 1 km for the current Earth), that are only able to eject a fraction of the atmospheric mass above the tangent plane. We demonstrate that per unit impactor mass, small impactors with r_{min} < r < r_{cap} are the most efficient impactors in eroding the atmosphere. In fact for the current atmospheric mass of the Earth, they are more than five orders of magnitude more efficient (per unit impactor mass) than giant impacts, implying that atmospheric mass loss must have been common. The enormous atmospheric mass loss efficiency of small impactors is due to the fact that most of their impact energy and momentum is directly available for local mass loss, where as in the giant impact regime a lot of energy and momentum is 'wasted' by having to create a strong shock that can transverse the entirety of the planet such that global atmospheric loss can be achieved. In the absence of any volatile delivery and outgassing, we show that the population of late impactors inferred from the lunar cratering record containing 0.1% M_{\\oplus } is able to erode the entire current Earth's atmosphere implying that an interplay of erosion, outgassing and volatile delivery is likely responsible for determining the atmospheric mass and composition of the early Earth. Combining geochemical observations with impact models suggest an interesting synergy between small and big impacts, where giant impacts create large magma oceans and small and larger impacts drive the atmospheric loss.

  12. Letter to the editor: Critical assessments of the current state of scientific knowledge, terminology, and research needs concerning the ecological effects of elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yuepeng; Liu, Yongwen; Wentworth, Gregory R.; Zhang, Lin; Zhao, Yuanhong; Li, Yi; Liu, Xuejun; Du, Enzai; Fang, Yunting; Xiao, Hongwei; Ma, Hongyuan; Wang, Yuesi

    2017-03-01

    In a publication in Atmospheric Environment (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.10.081), Gu et al. (2015) estimated that "the total nitrogen (N) deposition in 2010 was 2.32 g N m-2 yr-1" in China. This value is comparable with previous estimations based on a synthesized dataset of wet/bulk inorganic N deposition observations, which underestimates the total N deposition since their algorithm (equations (2) and (3) in their paper) does not account for dry deposition of NH3, HNO3, NOx and wet/dry deposition of HONO and organic nitrogen (e.g. amines, amides, PAN). Indeed, Gu et al. (2015) mixed the terminology of wet/bulk deposition and total deposition. Another flawed assumption by Gu et al. (2015) is that all inorganic N in precipitation estimated by their algorithm originates from fertilizer and coal combustion. This is incorrect and almost certainly causes biases in the spatial and temporal distribution of estimated wet/bulk inorganic N deposition (Fig. 5 in their paper), further considering the fact that they neglected important N sources like livestock and they did not consider the nonlinearity between various sources and deposition. Besides the input data on N deposition, the model validation (Sect. 2.3.2) described in their paper also requires clarification because the detailed validation information about the time series of observational dataset versus modeling results was not given. As a result of these combined uncertainties in their estimation of N deposition and the lack of detail for model-measurement comparison, their estimates of the impacts of N deposition on carbon storage in Chinese forests may need further improvement. We suggest the clarification of the terminology regarding N deposition, especially for wet deposition, bulk deposition, gaseous and particulate dry deposition or total deposition since the accurate distinction between these terms is crucial to investigating and estimating the effects of N deposition on ecosystems.

  13. Responses to atmospheric CO2 concentrations in crop simulation models: a review of current simple and semicomplex representations and options for model development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanuytrecht, Eline; Thorburn, Peter J

    2017-05-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentrations ([CO 2 ]) cause direct changes in crop physiological processes (e.g. photosynthesis and stomatal conductance). To represent these CO 2 responses, commonly used crop simulation models have been amended, using simple and semicomplex representations of the processes involved. Yet, there is no standard approach to and often poor documentation of these developments. This study used a bottom-up approach (starting with the APSIM framework as case study) to evaluate modelled responses in a consortium of commonly used crop models and illuminate whether variation in responses reflects true uncertainty in our understanding compared to arbitrary choices of model developers. Diversity in simulated CO 2 responses and limited validation were common among models, both within the APSIM framework and more generally. Whereas production responses show some consistency up to moderately high [CO 2 ] (around 700 ppm), transpiration and stomatal responses vary more widely in nature and magnitude (e.g. a decrease in stomatal conductance varying between 35% and 90% among models was found for [CO 2 ] doubling to 700 ppm). Most notably, nitrogen responses were found to be included in few crop models despite being commonly observed and critical for the simulation of photosynthetic acclimation, crop nutritional quality and carbon allocation. We suggest harmonization and consideration of more mechanistic concepts in particular subroutines, for example, for the simulation of N dynamics, as a way to improve our predictive understanding of CO 2 responses and capture secondary processes. Intercomparison studies could assist in this aim, provided that they go beyond simple output comparison and explicitly identify the representations and assumptions that are causal for intermodel differences. Additionally, validation and proper documentation of the representation of CO 2 responses within models should be prioritized. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Pluto's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliot, J.L.; Dunham, E.W.; Bosh, A.S.; Slivan, S.M.; Young, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    Airborne CCD photometer observations of Pluto's June 9, 1988 stellar occultation have yielded an occultation lightcurve, probing two regions on the sunrise limb 2000 km apart, which reveals an upper atmosphere overlying an extinction layer with an abrupt upper boundary. The extinction layer may surround the entire planet. Attention is given to a model atmosphere whose occultation lightcurve closely duplicates observations; fits of the model to the immersion and emersion lightcurves exhibit no significant derived atmosphere-structure differences. Assuming a pure methane atmosphere, surface pressures of the order of 3 microbars are consistent with the occultation data. 43 references

  15. Atmospheric electricity

    CERN Document Server

    Chalmers, J Alan

    1957-01-01

    Atmospheric Electricity brings together numerous studies on various aspects of atmospheric electricity. This book is composed of 13 chapters that cover the main problems in the field, including the maintenance of the negative charge on the earth and the origin of the charges in thunderstorms. After a brief overview of the historical developments of atmospheric electricity, this book goes on dealing with the general principles, results, methods, and the MKS system of the field. The succeeding chapters are devoted to some aspects of electricity in the atmosphere, such as the occurrence and d

  16. Nonlinear MHD waves and discontinuities in the Martian magnetosheath. Observations and 2D bi-ion MHD simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, K.; Dubinin, E.; Baumgärtel, K.

    1998-09-01

    The characteristic scale of the Martian magnetosheath is less than the pick-up gyroradius of oxygen ions. This leads to admissible differential motion of protons and heavies and a strong coupling between both ion fluids. 2D bi-ion MHD simulations reveal many new interesting features in such Large Larmour Radius systems. The formation of an ion-composition boundary, which separates both plasmas, and structuring of the transition from proton dominated plasma of the solar wind origin to massive planetary plasma are the main features of the interaction. A comprehensive multi-instrument study of Martian plasma environment and the comparison with theoretical modelling initiated in the framework of the Visiting Science Programme of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern (Switzerland) gives confirmation that Mars interacts with the solar wind like a comet which has a outgassing rate near to that of Grigg-Skjellerup. The results may also be relevant for small bodies which are surrounded by a neutral gas atmosphere (icy moons, asteroids, Mercury).

  17. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria-A Challenge for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N; Larsen, Michael G; Moeller, Ralf; Nissen, Silas B; Jensen, Lasse R; Nørnberg, Per; Jensen, Svend J K; Finster, Kai

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis , and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  18. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebbe N. Bak

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  19. Numerical investigation on the dynamics and evolution mechanisms of multiple-current-pulse behavior in homogeneous helium dielectric-barrier discharges at atmospheric pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhui Zhang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A systematic investigation on the dynamics and evolution mechanisms of multiple-current-pulse (MCP behavior in homogeneous dielectric barrier discharge (HDBD is carried out via fluid modelling. Inspecting the simulation results, two typical discharge regimes, namely the MCP-Townsend regime and MCP-glow regime, are found prevailing in MCP discharges, each with distinctive electrical and dynamic properties. Moreover, the evolution of MCP behavior with external parameters altering are illustrated and explicitly discussed. It is revealed that the discharge undergoes some different stages as external parameters vary, and the discharge in each stage follows a series of distinctive pattern in morphological characteristics and evolution trends. Among those stages, the pulse number per half cycle is perceived to observe non-monotonic variations with applied voltage amplitude (Vam and gap width (dg increasing, and a merging effect among pulses, mainly induced by the enhanced contribution of sinusoidal component to the total current, is considered responsible for such phenomenon. The variation of incipient discharge peak phase (Φpm is dominated by the value of Vam as well as the proportion of total applied voltage that drops across the gas gap. Moreover, an abnormal, dramatic elevation in Jpm with dg increasing is observed, which could be evinced by the strengthened glow discharge structure and therefore enhanced space charge effect.

  20. Ozone and dinitrogen monoxide production in atmospheric pressure air dielectric barrier discharge plasma effluent generated by nanosecond pulse superimposed alternating current voltage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takashima, Keisuke; Kaneko, Toshiro

    2017-06-01

    The effects of nanosecond pulse superposition to alternating current voltage (NS + AC) on the generation of an air dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma and reactive species are experimentally studied, along with measurements of ozone (O3) and dinitrogen monoxide (N2O) in the exhausted gas through the air DBD plasma (air plasma effluent). The charge-voltage cycle measurement indicates that the role of nanosecond pulse superposition is to induce electrical charge transport and excess charge accumulation on the dielectric surface following the nanosecond pulses. The densities of O3 and N2O in NS + AC DBD are found to be significantly increased in the plasma effluent, compared to the sum of those densities generated in NS DBD and AC DBD operated individually. The production of O3 and N2O is modulated significantly by the phase in which the nanosecond pulse is superimposed. The density increase and modulation effects by the nanosecond pulse are found to correspond with the electrical charge transport and the excess electrical charge accumulation induced by the nanosecond pulse. It is suggested that the electrical charge transport by the nanosecond pulse might result in the enhancement of the nanosecond pulse current, which may lead to more efficient molecular dissociation, and the excess electrical charge accumulation induced by the nanosecond pulse increases the discharge coupling power which would enhance molecular dissociation.

  1. Spectroscopic studies of non-thermal plasma jet at atmospheric pressure formed in low-current nonsteady-state plasmatron for biomedical applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demkin, V. P.; Melnichuk, S. V.; Demkin, O. V. [National Research Tomsk State University, Lenin 36, 634050 Tomsk, The Russian Federation (Russian Federation); Kingma, H.; Van de Berg, R. [National Research Tomsk State University, Lenin 36, 634050 Tomsk, The Russian Federation (Russian Federation); Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, 6211 LK Maastricht (Netherlands)

    2016-04-15

    The optical and electrophysical characteristics of the nonequilibrium low-temperature plasma formed by a low-current nonsteady-state plasmatron are experimentally investigated in the present work. It is demonstrated that experimental data on the optical diagnostics of the plasma jet can provide a basis for the construction of a self-consistent physical and mathematical plasma model and for the creation of plasma sources with controllable electrophysical parameters intended for the generation of the required concentration of active particles. Results of spectroscopic diagnostics of plasma of the low-current nonsteady-state plasmatron confirm that the given source is efficient for the generation of charged particles and short-wavelength radiation—important plasma components for biomedical problems of an increase in the efficiency of treatment of biological tissues by charged particles. Measurement of the spatial distribution of the plasma jet potential by the probe method has demonstrated that a negative space charge is formed in the plasma jet possibly due to the formation of electronegative oxygen ions.

  2. Articulating Atmospheres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinch, Sofie

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents an architectural approach to designing computational interfaces by articulating the notion of atmosphere in the field of interaction design. It draws upon the concept of kinesthetic interaction and a philosophical notion on atmosphere emphasizing the importance of bodily...

  3. Atmospheric electrodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volland, H.

    1984-01-01

    The book Atmospheric Electrodynamics, by Hans Voland is reviewed. The book describes a wide variety of electrical phenomena occurring in the upper and lower atmosphere and develops the mathematical models which simulate these processes. The reviewer finds that the book is of interest to researchers with a background in electromagnetic theory but is of only limited use as a reference work

  4. The Mars Hopper: Development, Simulation and Experimental Validation of a Radioisotope Exploration Probe for the Martian Surface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nathan D. Jerred; Spencer Cooley; Robert C. O' Brien; Steven D. Howe; James E. O' Brien

    2012-09-01

    An advanced exploration probe has been proposed by the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) to acquire detailed data from the Martian surface and subsurface, ‘hop’ large distances to multiple sites in short periods of time and perform this task repeatedly. Although several similar flying vehicles have been proposed utilizing various power sources and complex designs, e.g. solar-electric and chemical-based, the CSNR’s Mars Hopper is based on a radioisotope thermal rocket (RTR) concept. The Mars Hopper’s design relies on the high specific energies [J/kg] of radioisotopes and enhances their low specific power [W/kg] through the use of a thermal capacitance material to store thermal energy over time. During operation, the RTR transfers the stored thermal energy to a flowing gas, which is then expanded through a converging-diverging nozzle, producing thrust. Between flights, the platform will have ample time to perform in-depth science at each location while the propellant tanks and thermal capacitor recharge. Recharging the propellant tanks is accomplished by sublimation freezing of the ambient CO2 atmosphere with a cryocooler, followed by heating and pressurization to yield a liquid storage state. The proposed Mars Hopper will undergo a ballistic flight, consuming the propellant in both ascent and descent, and by using multiple hopper platforms, information can be gathered on a global scale, enabling better resource resolution and providing valuable information for a possible Mars sample-return mission. The CSNR, collaborating with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and three universities (University of Idaho, Utah State University and Oregon State University), has identified key components and sub-systems necessary for the proposed hopper. Current project activities include the development of a lab-scale prototypic Mars Hopper and test facility, along with computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/thermal-hydraulic models to yield a better understanding of the

  5. Interannual Similarity in the Martian Atmosphere During the Dust Storm Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, D. M.; Kleinboehl, A.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Smith, M. D.

    2016-01-01

    We find that during the dusty season on Mars (southern spring and summer) of years without a global dust storm there are three large regional-scale dust storms. The storms are labeled A, B, and C in seasonal order. This classification is based on examining the zonal mean 50 Pa (approximately 25 km) daytime temperature retrievals from TES/MGS and MCS/MRO over 6 Mars Years. Regional-scale storms are defined as events where the temperature exceeds 200 K. Examining the MCS dust field at 50 Pa indicates that warming in the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by direct heating, while northern high latitude warming is a dynamical response. A storms are springtime planet encircling Southern Hemisphere events. B storms are southern polar events that begin near perihelion and last through the solstice. C storms are southern summertime events starting well after the end of the B storm. C storms show the most interannual variability.

  6. Urban atmospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandy, Matthew

    2017-07-01

    What is an urban atmosphere? How can we differentiate an 'atmosphere' from other facets of urban consciousness and experience? This essay explores some of the wider cultural, political, and philosophical connotations of atmospheres as a focal point for critical reflections on space and subjectivity. The idea of an 'affective atmosphere' as a distinctive kind of mood or shared corporeal phenomenon is considered in relation to recent developments in phenomenology, extended conceptions of agency, and new understandings of materialism. The essay draws in particular on the changing characteristics of air and light to reflect on different forms of sensory experience and their wider cultural and political connotations. The argument highlights some of the tensions and anomalies that permeate contemporary understandings of urban atmospheres.

  7. MAVEN Observations of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Shannon; Luhmann, Janet; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Brain, David; LeBlanc, Francis; Modolo, Ronan; Halekas, Jasper S.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; McFadden, James; Espley, Jared R.; Mitchell, David L.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dong, Yaxue; Dong, Chuanfei; Ma, Yingjuan; Cohen, Ofer; Fränz, Markus; Holmström, Mats; Ramstad, Robin; Hara, Takuya; Lillis, Robert J.

    2016-06-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has been making observations of the Martian upper atmosphere and its escape to space since November 2014. The subject of atmospheric loss at terrestrial planets is a subject of intense interest not only because of the implications for past and present water reservoirs, but also for its impacts on the habitability of a planet. Atmospheric escape may have been especially effective at Mars, relative to Earth or Venus, due to its smaller size as well as the lack of a global dynamo magnetic field. Not only is the atmosphere less gravitationally bound, but also the lack of global magnetic field allows the impinging solar wind to interact directly with the Martian atmosphere. When the upper atmosphere is exposed to the solar wind, planetary neutrals can be ionized and 'picked up' by the solar wind and swept away.Both neutral and ion escape have played significant roles the long term climate change of Mars, and the MAVEN mission was designed to directly measure both escaping planetary neutrals and ions with high energy, mass, and time resolution. We will present 1.5 years of observations of atmospheric loss at Mars over a variety of solar and solar wind conditions, including extreme space weather events. We will report the average ion escape rate and the spatial distribution of escaping ions as measured by MAVEN and place them in context both with previous measurements of ion loss by other spacecraft (e.g. Phobos 2 and Mars Express) and with estimates of neutral escape rates by MAVEN. We will then report on the measured variability in ion escape rates with different drivers (e.g. solar EUV, solar wind pressure, etc.) and the implications for the total ion escape from Mars over time. Additionally, we will also discuss the implications for atmospheric escape at exoplanets, particularly weakly magnetized planetary bodies orbiting M-dwarfs, and the dominant escape mechanisms that may drive atmospheric erosion in other

  8. Thermal Evolution and Crystallisation Regimes of the Martian Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, C. J.; Pommier, A.

    2015-12-01

    Though it is accepted that Mars has a sulfur-rich metallic core, its chemical and physical state as well as its time-evolution are still unconstrained and debated. Several lines of evidence indicate that an internal magnetic field was once generated on Mars and that this field decayed around 3.7-4.0 Gyrs ago. The standard model assumes that this field was produced by a thermal (and perhaps chemical) dynamo operating in the Martian core. We use this information to construct parameterized models of the Martian dynamo in order to place constraints on the thermochemical evolution of the Martian core, with particular focus on its crystallization regime. Considered compositions are in the FeS system, with S content ranging from ~10 and 16 wt%. Core radius, density and CMB pressure are varied within the errors provided by recent internal structure models that satisfy the available geodetic constraints (planetary mass, moment of inertia and tidal Love number). We also vary the melting curve and adiabat, CMB heat flow and thermal conductivity. Successful models are those that match the dynamo cessation time and fall within the bounds on present-day CMB temperature. The resulting suite of over 500 models suggest three possible crystallization regimes: growth of a solid inner core starting at the center of the planet; freezing and precipitation of solid iron (Fe- snow) from the core-mantle boundary (CMB); and freezing that begins midway through the core. Our analysis focuses on the effects of core properties that are expected to be constrained during the forthcoming Insight mission.

  9. "Martian Boneyards": Sustained Scientific Inquiry in a Social Digital Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbell-Clarke, Jordis

    Social digital gaming is an explosive phenomenon where youth and adults are engaged in inquiry for the sake of fun. The complexity of learning evidenced in social digital games is attracting the attention of educators. Martian Boneyards is a proof-of-concept game designed to study how a community of voluntary gamers can be enticed to engage in sustained, high-quality scientific inquiry. Science educators and game designers worked together to create an educational game with the polish and intrigue of a professional-level game, striving to attract a new audience to scientific inquiry. Martian Boneyards took place in the high-definition, massively multiplayer online environment, Blue Mars, where players spent an average of 30 hours in the game over the 4-month implementation period, with some exceeding 200 hours. Most of the players' time was spent in scientific inquiry activities and about 30% of the players' in-game interactions were in the analysis and theory-building phases of inquiry. Female players conducted most of the inquiry, in particular analysis and theory building. The quality of scientific inquiry processes, which included extensive information gathering by players, and the resulting content were judged to be very good by a team of independent scientists. This research suggests that a compelling storyline, a highly aesthetic environment, and the emergent social bonds among players and between players and the characters played by designers were all responsible for sustaining high quality inquiry among gamers in this free-choice experience. The gaming environment developed for Martian Boneyards is seen as an evolving ecosystem with interactions among design, players' activity, and players' progress.

  10. An investigation of Martian and terrestrial dust devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringrose, Timothy John

    2004-10-01

    It is the purpose of this work to provide an insight into the theoretical and practical dynamics of dust devils and how they are detected remotely from orbit or in situ on planetary surfaces. There is particular interest in the detection of convective vortices on Mars; this has been driven by involvement in the development of the Beagle 2 Environmental Sensor Suite. This suite of sensors is essentially a martian weather station and will be the first planetary lander experiment specifically looking for the presence of dust devils on Mars. Dust devils are characterised by their visible dusty core and intense rotation. The physics of particle motion, including dust lofting and the rotational dynamics within convective vortices are explained and modelled. This modelling has helped in identifying dust devils in meteorological data from both terrestrial and martian investigations. An automated technique for dust devil detection using meteorological data has been developed. This technique searches data looking for the specific vortex signature as well as detecting other transient events. This method has been tested on both terrestrial and martian data with surprising results. 38 possible convective vortices were detected in the first 60 sols of the Viking Lander 2 meteorological data. Tests were also carried out on data from a terrestrial dust devil campaign, which provided conclusive evidence from visual observations of the reliability of this technique. A considerable amount of this work does focus on terrestrial vortices. This is to aid in the understanding of dust devils, specifically how, why and when they form. Both laboratory and terrestrial fieldwork is investigated, providing useful data on the general structure of dust devils.

  11. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, R.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; Di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; Harri, A.-M.; Montmessin, F.; Wilson, C.; Arruego Rodriguez, I.; Abbaki, S.; Apestigue, V.; Bellucci, G.; Berthelier, J. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Forget, F.; Genzer, M.; Gilbert, P.; Haukka, H.; Jimenez, J. J.; Jimenez, S.; Josset, J. L.; Karatekin, O.; Landis, G.; Lorenz, R.; Martinez, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Moirin, D.; Palomba, E.; Pateli, M.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Popa, C. I.; Rafkin, S.; Rannou, P.; Renno, N. O.; Schmidt, W.; Simoes, F.; Spiga, A.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Vivat, F.; Witasse, O.

    2017-08-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) experiment on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification, to measure for the first time key parameters linked to hazard conditions for future manned explorations. Although with very limited mass and energy resources, DREAMS would be able to operate autonomously for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing in a very harsh environment as it was supposed to land on Mars during the dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) relying on its own power supply. ExoMars mission was successfully launched on 14th March 2016 and Schiaparelli entered the Mars atmosphere on October 20th beginning its 'six minutes of terror' journey to the surface. Unfortunately, some unexpected behavior during the parachuted descent caused an unrecoverable critical condition in navigation system of the lander driving to a destructive crash on the surface. The adverse sequence of events at 4 km altitude triggered the transition of the lander in surface operative mode, commanding switch on the DREAMS instrument, which was therefore able to correctly power on and send back housekeeping data. This proved the nominal performance of all DREAMS hardware before touchdown demonstrating the highest TRL of the unit for future missions. This paper describes this experiment in terms of scientific goals, design, performances, testing and operational capabilities with an overview of in flight performances and available mission data.

  12. Martian Water: Are There Extant Halobacteria on Mars?

    OpenAIRE

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    On Earth, life exists in all niches where water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles. Even if present-day life is not present on Mars, it is an interesting speculation that ancient bacteria preserved in salt deposits could be retrieved from an era when the climate of Mars was mor...

  13. TDEM for Martian in situ resource prospecting missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Tacconi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a TDEM (Time Domain Electromagnetic Methods application, addressed to the search for water on Mars. In this context, the opportunities for a TDEM system as payload in a future mission are investigated for different in situ exploration scenarios. The TDEM sounding capability is evaluated with respect to the expected Martian environment, and some considerations are made about the many unknown variables (above all the background EM noise and the subsoil composition altogether with the limited resources availability (mission constraints in mass, time and power and the way they could represent an obstacle for operations and measurements.

  14. Climate, atmosphere, and volatile inventory evolution: polar processes, climate records, volatile inventories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollack, J.B.

    1988-01-01

    Climate change on Mars was driven by long term changes in the solar luminosity, variations in the partitioning of volatiles between the atmosphere and near-surface reservoirs, and astronomical variations in axial and orbital properties. There are important parallels between these drives for Mars and comparable ones for Earth. In the early history of the solar system, the Sun's luminosity was 25 to 30 percent lower than its current value. It is suggested that an early benign climate on Earth was due to the presence of much more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere at these early times than currently resides there. Such a partitioning of carbon dioxide, at the expense of the carbonate rock reservoir, may have resulted from a more vigorous tectonic and volcanic style at early times. Such a line of reasoning may imply that much more carbon dioxide was present in the Martian atmosphere during the planet's early history than resides there today. It is now widely recognized that astronomical variations of the Earth's axial and orbital characteristics have played a dominant role in causing the succession of glacial and interglacial periods characterizing the last several million years. The magnitude of the axial and eccentricity variations are much larger for Mars than for Earth. Such changes on Mars could result in sizeable variations in atmospheric pressure, dust storm activity, and the stability of perennial carbon dioxide and water ice polar caps. These quasi-periodic climate changes occur on periods of 100,000 to 1,000,000 years and may be recorded in the sedimentary layers of the polar layered terrain

  15. Current meter components and other data from fixed platforms from TOGA Area - Pacific (30 N to 30 S) and other locations in support of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) and the Equatorial Pacific Ocean Climate Studies (EPOCS) projects from 1989-04-16 to 1990-05-14 (NODC Accession 9200266)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Current meter components data were collected from fixed platforms from the TOGA Area - Pacific (30 N to 30 S) and other locations from 16 April 1989 to 14 May 1990....

  16. Current meter components and other data from FIXED PLATFORMS from the NW Atlantic (limit-40 W) and others locations as part of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) and other projects from 1984-02-26 to 1986-06-01 (NODC Accession 9100048)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Current meter components data were collected from FIXED PLATFORMS in the NW Atlantic (limit-40 W) and others locations from 26 February 1984 to 01 June 1986. Data...

  17. Preliminary findings of the Viking gas exchange experiment and a model for Martian surface chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oyama, V.I.; Berdahl, B.J.; Carle, G.C.

    1977-01-01

    It is stated that O 2 and CO 2 were evolved from humidified Martian soil in the gas exchange experiment on Viking Lander 1. Small changes in N 2 gas were also recorded. A model of the morphology and a hypothesis of the mechanistics of the Martian surface are proposed. (author)

  18. Comparison of atmospheric concentrations of currently used pesticides between urban and rural areas during intensive application period in Alsace (France) by using XAD-2® based passive samplers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liaud, Celine; Schwartz, Jean-Jacques; Millet, Maurice

    2017-07-03

    XAD-2® passive samplers (PAS) have been exposed simultaneously for 14 days on two sites, one rural and one urban, situated in Alsace (East of France) during intensive pesticides application in agriculture (between March and September). PAS have been extracted and analyzed for current-used pesticides and lindane with an analytical method coupling accelerated solvent extraction (ASE), solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and GC/MS/MS. Results show the detection of pesticides is linked to the period of application and spatial and temporal variabilities can be observed with these PAS during the selected sampling period. The spatial and temporal variability is comparable to the one previously observed by comparing data obtained with PAS with data from Hi.-Vol. samplers in an urban area. Sampling rates were calculated for some pesticides and values are comparable to the data already available in the literature. From these sampling rates, concentrations in ng m -3 of pesticides in PAS have been calculated and are in the same order of magnitude as those obtained with Hi.Vol. sampling during the same period of time.

  19. Ground-atmosphere interactions at Gale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renno, N. O.; Martinez, G.; Ramos, M.; Hallet, B.; Gómez, F. G.; Jun, I.; Fisk, M. R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Hamilton, V. E.; Mischna, M. A.; Sletten, R. S.; Martin-Torres, J.; De La Torre Juarez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.; Zorzano, M.

    2013-12-01

    Antarctica. Indeed, salts might be responsible for the ubiquitous martian duricrust. More importantly, salt crusts have the potential to create pockets of wet regolith in the shallow martian subsurface that could be habitable. A better understanding of ground-atmosphere interactions has the potential to shed new light into aqueous processes in the shallow martian subsurface.

  20. Resistance of Terrestrial Microbial Communities to Impack of Physical Conditinos of Subsurface Layers of Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptsov, V. S.; Vorobyova, E. A.

    2017-05-01

    Currently, astrobiology is focused on Mars as one of the most perspective objects in the Solar System to search for microbial life. It was assumed that the putative biosphere of Mars could be cryopreserved and had been stored for billions of years in anabiotic state like microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic permafrost deposits have been preserved till now for millions of years. In this case microbial cells should be not able to repair the damages or these processes have to be significantly depressed, and the main factor causing cell's death should be ionizing radiation. In a series of experiments we simulated the effects of combination of physical factors known as characteristics of the Martian regolith (and close to the space environment) on the natural microbial communities inhabiting xerophytic harsh habitats with extreme temperature conditions: polar permafrost and desert soils. The aim of the study was to examine the cumulative effect of factors (gamma radiation, low temperature, low pressure) to assess the possibility of metabolic reactions, and to find limits of the viability of natural microbial communities after exposure to the given conditions. It was found that microbial biomarkers could be reliably detected in soil samples after radiation dose accumulation up to 1 MGy (not further investigated) in combination with exposure to low temperature and low pressure. Resistance to extremely high doses of radiation in simulated conditions proves that if there was an Earth-like biosphere on the early Mars microorganisms could survive in the surface or subsurface layers of the Martian regolith for more than tens of millions of years after climate change. The study gives also some new grounds for the approval of transfer of viable microorganisms in space.

  1. Ecological impacts of atmospheric pollution and interactions with climate change in terrestrial ecosystems of the Mediterranean Basin: Current research and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Munzi, Silvana; Alonso, Rocío; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Avila, Anna; Bermejo, Victoria; Bobbink, Roland; Branquinho, Cristina; Concostrina-Zubiri, Laura; Cruz, Cristina; Cruz de Carvalho, Ricardo; De Marco, Alessandra; Dias, Teresa; Elustondo, David; Elvira, Susana; Estébanez, Belén; Fusaro, Lina; Gerosa, Giacomo; Izquieta-Rojano, Sheila; Lo Cascio, Mauro; Marzuoli, Riccardo; Matos, Paula; Mereu, Simone; Merino, José; Morillas, Lourdes; Nunes, Alice; Paoletti, Elena; Paoli, Luca; Pinho, Pedro; Rogers, Isabel B; Santos, Arthur; Sicard, Pierre; Stevens, Carly J; Theobald, Mark R

    2017-08-01

    Mediterranean Basin ecosystems, their unique biodiversity, and the key services they provide are currently at risk due to air pollution and climate change, yet only a limited number of isolated and geographically-restricted studies have addressed this topic, often with contrasting results. Particularities of air pollution in this region include high O 3 levels due to high air temperatures and solar radiation, the stability of air masses, and dominance of dry over wet nitrogen deposition. Moreover, the unique abiotic and biotic factors (e.g., climate, vegetation type, relevance of Saharan dust inputs) modulating the response of Mediterranean ecosystems at various spatiotemporal scales make it difficult to understand, and thus predict, the consequences of human activities that cause air pollution in the Mediterranean Basin. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement coordinated research and experimental platforms along with wider environmental monitoring networks in the region. In particular, a robust deposition monitoring network in conjunction with modelling estimates is crucial, possibly including a set of common biomonitors (ideally cryptogams, an important component of the Mediterranean vegetation), to help refine pollutant deposition maps. Additionally, increased attention must be paid to functional diversity measures in future air pollution and climate change studies to establish the necessary link between biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services in Mediterranean ecosystems. Through a coordinated effort, the Mediterranean scientific community can fill the above-mentioned gaps and reach a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the combined effects of air pollution and climate change in the Mediterranean Basin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Ecological impacts of atmospheric pollution and interactions with climate change in terrestrial ecosystems of the Mediterranean Basin: Current research and future directions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Munzi, Silvana; Alonso, Rocío; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Avila, Anna; Bermejo, Victoria; Bobbink, Roland; Branquinho, Cristina; Concostrina-Zubiri, Laura; Cruz, Cristina; Cruz de Carvalho, Ricardo; De Marco, Alessandra; Dias, Teresa; Elustondo, David

    2017-01-01

    Mediterranean Basin ecosystems, their unique biodiversity, and the key services they provide are currently at risk due to air pollution and climate change, yet only a limited number of isolated and geographically-restricted studies have addressed this topic, often with contrasting results. Particularities of air pollution in this region include high O 3 levels due to high air temperatures and solar radiation, the stability of air masses, and dominance of dry over wet nitrogen deposition. Moreover, the unique abiotic and biotic factors (e.g., climate, vegetation type, relevance of Saharan dust inputs) modulating the response of Mediterranean ecosystems at various spatiotemporal scales make it difficult to understand, and thus predict, the consequences of human activities that cause air pollution in the Mediterranean Basin. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement coordinated research and experimental platforms along with wider environmental monitoring networks in the region. In particular, a robust deposition monitoring network in conjunction with modelling estimates is crucial, possibly including a set of common biomonitors (ideally cryptogams, an important component of the Mediterranean vegetation), to help refine pollutant deposition maps. Additionally, increased attention must be paid to functional diversity measures in future air pollution and climate change studies to establish the necessary link between biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services in Mediterranean ecosystems. Through a coordinated effort, the Mediterranean scientific community can fill the above-mentioned gaps and reach a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the combined effects of air pollution and climate change in the Mediterranean Basin. - Highlights: • Mediterranean Basin ecosystems are at risk due to air pollution and climate change. • A more robust monitoring network in conjunction with modelling estimates is crucial. • Monitoring networks should

  3. Thermal analysis, optimization and design of a Martian oxygen production plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Venkatesh A.; Sridhar, K. R.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to optimally design the thermal components of a system that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Martian atmosphere to produce oxygen (O2) for spacecraft propulsion and/or life-support. Carbon dioxide is thermally decomposed into carbon monoxide (CO) and O2 followed by the electrochemical separation of O2. The design of the overall system and its various individual components depends on, among other things, the fraction of the stoichiometric yield of O2 that can be realized in the system and the temperature of operation of the electrochemical separation membrane. The analysis indicates that a substantial reduction could be obtained in the mass and power requirements of the system if the unreacted CO2 were to be recycled. The concepts of an optimum temperature of the zirconia cell and impracticality of plant operation at low cell efficiencies are also discussed. The design of the thermal equipment is such that the mass and power requirements of the individual components and of the overall system are optimized.

  4. The effects of the diurnal atmospheric variability on entry, descent and landing on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marčeta D.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Landing on Mars is extremely challenging task due to the fact that the Martian atmosphere is the most hostile environment in the Solar system to perform the entry, descent and landing (EDL process, because it is thick enough to create substantial heating of the entry vehicle but not thick enough to reduce its velocity to the one necessary for safe landing. Beside this, the atmosphere is very dynamic mainly due to high eccentricity of the Martian orbit, obliquity of the orbital to the equatorial plane and close alignment of the winter solstice and the orbital perihelion. Although seasonal variations of atmospheric parameters are significantly larger than the diurnal, it is very important to analyze diurnal cycles as they can significantly change vertical and horizontal atmospheric profiles in very short time intervals. This can present a serious threat to missions which have very precise timings and specific requirements such as the requirement for the daytime landing to enable ground images acquisition during the descent and landing phase. A 3-degrees-of-freedom trajectory integration routine was combined with the Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model (Mars-GRAM to identify the dependence of the EDL profiles on the diurnal cycles of atmospheric parameters throughout the Martian year. The obtained results show that the influence of the diurnal cycles is the largest at the equator and decreases relatively symmetrically towards the poles with a slightly stronger influence in the northern hemisphere. Also, there is a significant influence of the orbital position of Mars on the effect of diurnal atmospheric variations which causes that, around the orbital perihelion and winter solstice, there is some kind of inversion of the dependance of optimal entry timing on latitude of the landing site comparing to the rest of the Martian year. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 176002

  5. Habitable periglacial landscapes in martian mid-latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, M.; Wagner, D.; Hauber, E.; de Vera, J.-P.; Schirrmeister, L.

    2012-05-01

    Subsurface permafrost environments on Mars are considered to be zones where extant life could have survived. For the identification of possible habitats it is important to understand periglacial landscape evolution and related subsurface and environmental conditions. Many landforms that are interpreted to be related to ground ice are located in the martian mid-latitudinal belts. This paper summarizes the insights gained from studies of terrestrial analogs to permafrost landforms on Mars. The potential habitability of martian mid-latitude periglacial landscapes is exemplarily deduced for one such landscape, that of Utopia Planitia, by a review and discussion of environmental conditions influencing periglacial landscape evolution. Based on recent calculations of the astronomical forcing of climate changes, specific climate periods are identified within the last 10 Ma when thaw processes and liquid water were probably important for the development of permafrost geomorphology. No periods could be identified within the last 4 Ma which met the suggested threshold criteria for liquid water and habitable conditions. Implications of past and present environmental conditions such as temperature variations, ground-ice conditions, and liquid water activity are discussed with respect to the potential survival of highly-specialized microorganisms known from terrestrial permafrost. We conclude that possible habitable subsurface niches might have been developed in close relation to specific permafrost landform morphology on Mars. These would have probably been dominated by lithoautotrophic microorganisms (i.e. methanogenic archaea).

  6. Implications of Earth analogs to Martian sulfate-filled Fractures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, R. M.; Powers, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    Sulfate-filled fractures in fine-grained sediments on Mars are interpreted to be the result of fluid movement during deep burial. Fractures in the Dewey Lake (aka Quartermaster) Formation of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas are filled with gypsum that is at least partially synsedimentary. Sulfate in the Dewey Lake takes two principal forms: gypsum cement and gypsum (mainly fibrous) that fills fractures ranging from horizontal to vertical. Apertures are mainly mm-scale, though some are > 1 cm. The gypsum is antitaxial, fibrous, commonly approximately perpendicular to the wall rock, and displays suture lines and relics of the wall rock. Direct evidence of synsedimentary, near-surface origin includes gypsum intraclasts, intraclasts that include smaller intraclasts that contain gypsum clasts, intraclasts of gypsum with suture lines, gypsum concentrated in small desiccation cracks, and intraclasts that include fibrous gypsum-filled fractures that terminate at the eroded clast boundary. Dewey Lake fracture fillings suggest that their Martian analogs may also have originated in the shallow subsurface, shortly following the deposition of Martian sediments, in the presence of shallow aquifers.

  7. Qualification of Fiber Optic Cables for Martian Extreme Temperature Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesham, Rajeshuni; Lindensmith, Christian A.; Roberts, William T.; Rainen, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    Means have been developed for enabling fiber optic cables of the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer instrument to survive ground operations plus the nominal 670 Martian conditions that include Martian summer and winter seasons. The purpose of this development was to validate the use of the rover external fiber optic cabling of ChemCam for space applications under the extreme thermal environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Flight-representative fiber optic cables were subjected to extreme temperature thermal cycling of the same diurnal depth (or delta T) as expected in flight, but for three times the expected number of in-flight thermal cycles. The survivability of fiber optic cables was tested for 600 cumulative thermal cycles from -130 to +15 C to cover the winter season, and another 1,410 cumulative cycles from -105 to +40 C to cover the summer season. This test satisfies the required 3 times the design margin that is a total of 2,010 thermal cycles (670 x 3). This development test included functional optical transmission tests during the course of the test. Transmission of the fiber optic cables was performed prior to and after 1,288 thermal cycles and 2,010 thermal cycles. No significant changes in transmission were observed on either of the two representative fiber cables subject through the 3X MSL mission life that is 2,010 thermal cycles.

  8. Martian channels and valleys - Their characteristics, distribution, and age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M. H.; Clow, G. D.

    1981-01-01

    The distribution and ages of Martian channels and valleys, which are generally believed to have been cut by running water, are examined with particular emphasis on the small branching networks referred to as runoff channels or valley networks. Valleys at latitudes from 65 deg S to 65 deg N were surveyed on Viking images at resolutions between 125 and 300 m. Almost all of the valleys are found in the old cratered terrain, in areas characterized by high elevations, low albedos and low violet/red ratios. The networks are deduced to have formed early in the history of the planet, with a formation rate declining rapidly shortly after the decline of the cratering rate 3.9 billion years ago. Two types of outflow channels are distinguished: unconfined, in which broad swaths of terrain are scoured, and confined, in which flow is restricted to discrete channels. Both types start at local sources, and have formed episodically throughout Martian history. Fretted channels, found mainly in two latitude belts characterized by relatively rapid erosion along escarpments, are explained by the lateral enlargement of other channels by mass wasting.

  9. Periodic orbits around areostationary points in the Martian gravity field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaodong; Baoyin Hexi; Ma Xingrui

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the problem of areostationary orbits around Mars in three-dimensional space. Areostationary orbits are expected to be used to establish a future telecommunication network for the exploration of Mars. However, no artificial satellites have been placed in these orbits thus far. The characteristics of the Martian gravity field are presented, and areostationary points and their linear stability are calculated. By taking linearized solutions in the planar case as the initial guesses and utilizing the Levenberg-Marquardt method, families of periodic orbits around areostationary points are shown to exist. Short-period orbits and long-period orbits are found around linearly stable areostationary points, but only short-period orbits are found around unstable areostationary points. Vertical periodic orbits around both linearly stable and unstable areostationary points are also examined. Satellites in these periodic orbits could depart from areostationary points by a few degrees in longitude, which would facilitate observation of the Martian topography. Based on the eigenvalues of the monodromy matrix, the evolution of the stability index of periodic orbits is determined. Finally, heteroclinic orbits connecting the two unstable areostationary points are found, providing the possibility for orbital transfer with minimal energy consumption.

  10. Atmospheric Science using CRISM EPF Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, M. J.; Clancy, R. T.; Arvidson, R.; Smith, M. D.; Murchie, S. L.; McGuire, P. C.

    2006-12-01

    Near the end of September 2006, the MRO/CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars; Murchie et al., 2006, JGR, in press.) will acquire its first observations of Mars. MRO's Primary Science Phase beginning in early November. One of CRISM's investigations is characterization of seasonal variations in dust and ice aerosols and trace gases using a systematic, global grid of hyperspectral measurements of emission phase functions (EPFs) acquired repetitively throughout the Martian year. EPFs will also be obtained as part of each of approximately 5000 "targeted" observations of surface geologic features. EPF measurements allow accurate determination of column abundances of water vapor, CO, dust and ice aerosols, and their seasonal variations (e.g., Clancy et al., 2003, 108(E9), 5098). EPFs are measured using eleven superimposed images within which the slit field-of-view is swept across a target point on the Martian surface. When EPFs are taken as part of a global grid, 10x spatial pixel binning will be used in all of the images, providing data at 150-200 m/pixel. In the targeted observations, the central image will be obtained at either full resolution or with 2x binning (15-38 m/pixel). In all cases, hyperspectral data (545 wavelengths) will be taken during each of the 11 superimposed scans. There are two types of global EPF grids, one with better temporal sampling and one with better spatial sampling of the atmosphere. The "atmospheric monitoring campaign" consists one Martian day of pole-to-pole EPF's every ~9°\\ of solar longitude (Ls). There is sufficient time for 8 EPFs in an orbit, one approximately every 22°\\ of latitude. Alternate orbits (projected onto the planet) are offset in latitude by about 11°\\ north or south to increase latitudinal resolution. Longitude spacing between the orbits is about 27°. The "seasonal change campaign" occurs approximately every ~36°\\ of Ls. A grid similar to that executed during the atmospheric monitoring

  11. Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses of Sulfate, Nitrate, and Carbonate-bearing Atacama Desert Soils: Analogs for the Interpretation of Infrared Spectra from the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth, receiving only a few mm of rain per decade. The Mars climate may, in the past, have been punctuated by short-lived episodes of aqueous activity. The paleo-Martian environment may have had aqueous conditions similar to the current conditions that exist in the Atacama, and Mars soils may have formed with soil chemistry and mineralogy similar to those found in the Atacama. Remote and in-situ analysis of the Martian surface using infrared technology has a long heritage. Future investigations of the subsurface mineralogy are likely to build upon this heritage, and will benefit from real life lessons to be learned from terrestrial analog studies. To that end, preliminary results from a near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic study of Atacama soil profiled at a range of depths are presented.

  12. Atmospheric Photochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Harrie; Potter, A. E.

    1961-01-01

    The upper atmosphere offers a vast photochemical laboratory free from solid surfaces, so all reactions take place in the gaseous phase. At 30 km altitude the pressure has fallen to about one-hundredth of that at ground level, and we shall, rather arbitrarily, regard the upper atmosphere as beginning at that height. By a little less than 100 km the pressure has fallen to 10(exp -3) mm Hg and is decreasing by a power of ten for every 15 km increase in altitude. Essentially we are concerned then with the photochemistry of a nitrogen-oxygen mixture under low-pressure conditions in which photo-ionization, as well as photodissociation, plays an important part. Account must also be taken of the presence of rare constituents, such as water vapour and its decomposition products, including particularly hydroxyl, oxides of carbon, methane and, strangely enough, sodium, lithium and calcium. Many curious and unfamiliar reactions occur in the upper atmosphere. Some of them are luminescent, causing the atmosphere to emit a dim light called the airglow. Others, between gaseous ions and neutral molecules, are almost a complete mystery at this time. Similar interesting phenomena must occur in other planetary atmospheres, and they might be predicted if sufficient chemical information were available.

  13. Physical and chemical properties of the Martian soil: Review of resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Gooding, James L.; Banin, A.; Clark, Benton C.; Roush, Ted

    1991-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of Martian surface materials are reviewed from the perspective of using these resources to support human settlement. The resource potential of Martian sediments and soils can only be inferred from limited analyses performed by the Viking Landers (VL), from information derived from remote sensing, and from analysis of the SNC meteorites thought to be from Mars. Bulk elemental compositions by the VL inorganic chemical (x ray fluorescence) analysis experiments have been interpreted as evidence for clay minerals (possibly smectites) or mineraloids (palagonite) admixed with sulfate and chloride salts. The materials contained minerals bearing Fe, Ti, Al, Mg and Si. Martian surface materials may be used in many ways. Martian soil, with appropriate preconditioning, can probably be used as a plant growth medium, supplying mechanical support, nutrient elements, and water at optimal conditions to the plants. Loose Martian soils could be used to cover structures and provide radiation shielding for surface habitats. Martian soil could be wetted and formed into abode bricks used for construction. Duricrete bricks, with strength comparable to concrete, can probably be formed using compressed muds made from martian soil.

  14. Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Lê Binh San; Karatekin, Ozgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2009-01-01

    Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (approximately 3.7-4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

  15. Atmospheric thermodynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Iribarne, J V

    1973-01-01

    The thermodynamics of the atmosphere is the subject of several chapters in most textbooks on dynamic meteorology, but there is no work in English to give the subject a specific and more extensive treatment. In writing the present textbook, we have tried to fill this rather remarkable gap in the literature related to atmospheric sciences. Our aim has been to provide students of meteorology with a book that can playa role similar to the textbooks on chemical thermodynamics for the chemists. This implies a previous knowledge of general thermodynamics, such as students acquire in general physics courses; therefore, although the basic principles are reviewed (in the first four chapters), they are only briefly discussed, and emphasis is laid on those topics that will be useful in later chapters, through their application to atmospheric problems. No attempt has been made to introduce the thermodynamics of irreversible processes; on the other hand, consideration of heterogeneous and open homogeneous systems permits a...

  16. Atmospheric pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lambrozo, J.; Guillossou, G.

    2008-01-01

    The atmosphere is the reservoir of numerous pollutants (nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon oxides, particulates, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from natural origin or anthropogenic origin ( industry, transport, agriculture, district heating). With epidemiologic studies the atmospheric pollution is associated with an increase of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. At the european level, the technological progress, the legislation have allowed a reduction of pollutant emissions, however these efforts have to be continued because the sanitary impact of atmospheric pollution must not be underestimated, even if the risks appear less important that these ones in relation with tobacco, inside pollution or others factors of cardiovascular risks. Indeed, on these last factors an individual action is possible for the exposure to air pollution people have no control. (N.C.)

  17. [Development and current status of atmospheric pollution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elichegaray, C; Bouallala, S; Maitre, A; Ba, M

    2009-02-01

    Air quality is a public health issue and this article includes a reminder of the related causes and issues and a description of the monitoring of ambient air quality in France. It also provides a review of major developments in recent years of the pollutants measured. Emissions of major air pollutants have declined significantly since the 1970s, and this is reflected in an overall improvement in the quality of ambient air. Nevertheless, various forms of air pollution remain a concern (in the case of photochemical pollution) and health data show that air pollution is still a cause of morbidity and mortality. The fight against air pollution must remain a priority and requires multi-pollutant and multi-effect approaches. The National Health and Environment Program adopted during the Grenelle environment stakeholder consultation processes includes targets for reducing human exposure to air pollution, especially particulate matter, as well as measures to improve indoor air quality. In a context dominated by the struggle against the emission of greenhouse gases, problems of air quality should not be underestimated and policies relating to climate protection must be taken into account.

  18. MARs Tools for Interactive ANalysis (MARTIAN): Google Maps Tools for Visual Exploration of Geophysical Modeling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrova, L. L.; Haines, M.; Holt, W. E.; Schultz, R. A.; Richard, G.; Haines, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Interactive maps of surface-breaking faults and stress models on Mars provide important tools to engage undergraduate students, educators, and scientists with current geological and geophysical research. We have developed a map based on the Google Maps API -- an Internet based tool combining DHTML and AJAX, -- which allows very large maps to be viewed over the World Wide Web. Typically, small portions of the maps are downloaded as needed, rather than the entire image at once. This set-up enables relatively fast access for users with low bandwidth. Furthermore, Google Maps provides an extensible interactive interface making it ideal for visualizing multiple data sets at the user's choice. The Google Maps API works primarily with data referenced to latitudes and longitudes, which is then mapped in Mercator projection only. We have developed utilities for general cylindrical coordinate systems by converting these coordinates into equivalent Mercator projection before including them on the map. The MARTIAN project is available at http://rock.geo.sunysb.edu/~holt/Mars/MARTIAN/. We begin with an introduction to the Martian surface using a topography model. Faults from several datasets are classified by type (extension vs. compression) and by time epoch. Deviatoric stresses due to gravitational potential energy differences, calculated from the topography and crustal thickness, can be overlain. Several quantitative measures for the fit of the stress field to the faults are also included. We provide introductory text and exercises spanning a range of topics: how are faults identified, what stress is and how it relates to faults, what gravitational potential energy is and how variations in it produce stress, how the models are created, and how these models can be evaluated and interpreted. The MARTIAN tool is used at Stony Brook University in GEO 310: Introduction to Geophysics, a class geared towards junior and senior geosciences majors. Although this project is in its

  19. Mineralogy of the Martian Surface: Crustal Composition to Surface Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Over the course of this award we have: 1) Completed and published the results of a study of the effects of hyperfine particles on reflectance spectra of olivine and quartz, which included the development of scattering codes. Research has also progressed in the analysis of the effects of fine particle sizes on clay spectra. 2) Completed the analysis of the mineralogy of dark regions, showed the insitu compositions are highly correlated to the SNC meteorites, and determined that the martian mantle was depleted in aluminum prior to 2-3 GA ago; Studies of the mineralogic heterogeneity of surficial materials on Mars have also been conducted. and 3) Performed initial work on the study of the physical and chemical processes likely to form and modify duricrust. This includes assessments of erosion rates, solubility and transport of iron in soil environments, and models of pedogenic crust formation.

  20. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  1. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  2. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

  3. The Petrochemistry of Jake_M: A Martian Mugearite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolper, E. M.; Baker, M. B.; Newcombe, M. E.; Schmidt, M. E.; Treiman, A. H.; Cousin, A.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gellert, R.; King, P. L.; Leshin, L.; Maurice, S.; McLennan, S. M.; Minitti, M. E.; Perrett, G.; Rowland, S.; Sautter, V.; Wiens, R. C.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Jones, Andrea; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    “Jake_M,” the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake_M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake_M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).

  4. The origin and evolution of terrestrial and Martian rock labyrinths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    The morphological characteristics and evolutionary development of rock labyrinths on Earth (in sandstone, volcanics, and carbonates) are compared with those on Mars. On Earth rock labyrinths originate as parallel, an echelon, or intersecting narrow grabens, or develop where fault and joint networks are selectively eroded. Labyrinths frequently contain both downfaulted and erosional elements. Closed labyrinths contain depressions; open labyrinths do not, they are simple part of a fluvial network gene