Applications of an energy transfer model to three problems in planetary regoliths: The solid-state greenhouse, thermal beaming, and emittance spectra


  • Bruce Hapke


Several problems of interest in planetary infrared remote sensing are investigated using a new radiative-conductive model of energy transfer in regoliths: the solid-state greenhouse effect, thermal beaming, and reststrahlen spectra. The results of the analysis are as follows: (1) The solid-state greenhouse effect is self-limiting to a rise of a few tens of degrees in bodies of the outer solar system. (2) Non-Lambertian directional emissivity can account for only about 20% of the observed thermal beaming factor. The remainder must have another cause, presumably surface roughness effects. (3) The maximum in a reststrahlen emissivity spectrum does not occur exactly at the Christiansen wavelength where, by definition, the real part of the refractive index equals one, but rather at the first transition minimum in reflectance associated with the transition from particle scattering being dominated by volume scattering to that dominated by strong surface scattering. The transparency feature is at the second transition minimum and does not require the presence of a second band at longer wavelength for its occurance. Subsurface temperature gradients have only a small effect on emissivity bands.