October 14, 2014

A simulation of the OMEGA/Mars Express observations: Analysis of the atmospheric contribution

Melchiorri R., Drossart P., Fouchet T., Bezard B., Forget F., Gendrin A., Bibring J.P., Manaud N.
Planetary and Space Science

Summary: Spectral images of Mars obtained by the Mars Express/OMEGA experiment in the near infrared are the result of a complex combination of atmospheric, aerosol and ground features. Retrieving the atmospheric information from the data is important, not only to decorrelate mineralogical against atmospheric features, but also to retrieve the atmospheric variability. Once the illumination conditions have been taken into account, the main source of variation on the CO2 absorption is due to the altitude of the surface, which governs atmospheric pressure variation by more than an order of magnitude between the summit of Olympus Mons down to the bottom of Valles Marineris. In this article we present a simplified atmospheric spectral model without scattering, specially developed for the OMEGA observations, which is used to retrieve the local topography through the analysis of the 2.0 µm CO2 band. OMEGA atmospheric observations increase the horizontal resolution compared to MOLA altimetry measurements, and therefore complement the mineralogical studies from the same instrument. Finally, residual variations of the pressure can be related to atmospheric structure variation. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.