Survey of TES high albedo events in Mars' northern polar craters

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Abstract

[1] Following the work exploring Korolev Crater (Armstrong et al., 2005) for evidence of crater interior ice deposits, we have conducted a survey of Thermal Emission Spectroscopy (TES) temperature and albedo measurements for Mars' northern polar craters larger than 10 km. Specifically, we identify a class of craters that exhibits brightening in their interiors during a solar longitude, Ls, of 60 to 120 degrees, roughly depending on latitude. These craters vary in size, latitude, and morphology, but appear to have a specific regional association on the surface that correlates with the distribution of subsurface hydrogen (interpreted as water ice) previously observed on Mars. We suggest that these craters, like Korolev, exhibit seasonal high albedo frost events that indicate subsurface water ice within the craters. A detailed study of these craters may provide insight in the geographical distribution of the ice and context for future polar missions.

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