Knowledge of the physical and thermal properties of the South Polar Layer Deposits (SPLD) is key to constrain the source of bright basal reflections at Ultimi Scopuli detected by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) radar sounder. Here we present a detailed analysis of attenuation, based on data acquired by MARSIS at 3, 4, and 5 MHz. We show that attenuation is frequency dependent, and that its behavior is consistent throughout the entire region. This suggests that the SPLD are compositionally homogeneous at Ultimi Scopuli, and our results are consistent with dust contents of 5 to 12%. Using these values as input, and plausible estimates of surface temperature and heat flux, we inferred basal temperatures around 200 K: these are consistent with perchlorate brines within liquid vein networks as the source of the reflections. Furthermore, extrapolation of the attenuation to higher frequencies explains why SHARAD (Shallow Radar) has thus far not detected basal reflections within the SPLD at Ultimi Scopuli.

Lauro, S.E., Pettinelli, E., Caprarelli, G., Baniamerian, J., Mattei, E., Cosciotti, B., et al. (2022). Using MARSIS signal attenuation to assess the presence of South Polar Layered Deposit subglacial brines. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS.

Using MARSIS signal attenuation to assess the presence of South Polar Layered Deposit subglacial brines

Sebastian E. Lauro;Elena Pettinelli
;
Jamaledin Baniamerian;Elisabetta Mattei;Barbara Cosciotti;
2022

Abstract

Knowledge of the physical and thermal properties of the South Polar Layer Deposits (SPLD) is key to constrain the source of bright basal reflections at Ultimi Scopuli detected by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) radar sounder. Here we present a detailed analysis of attenuation, based on data acquired by MARSIS at 3, 4, and 5 MHz. We show that attenuation is frequency dependent, and that its behavior is consistent throughout the entire region. This suggests that the SPLD are compositionally homogeneous at Ultimi Scopuli, and our results are consistent with dust contents of 5 to 12%. Using these values as input, and plausible estimates of surface temperature and heat flux, we inferred basal temperatures around 200 K: these are consistent with perchlorate brines within liquid vein networks as the source of the reflections. Furthermore, extrapolation of the attenuation to higher frequencies explains why SHARAD (Shallow Radar) has thus far not detected basal reflections within the SPLD at Ultimi Scopuli.
Lauro, S.E., Pettinelli, E., Caprarelli, G., Baniamerian, J., Mattei, E., Cosciotti, B., et al. (2022). Using MARSIS signal attenuation to assess the presence of South Polar Layered Deposit subglacial brines. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/419789
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