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Multi-Band Search for Volcanic Outgassing in the Tharsis and Syrtis Major Regions on Mars

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Item Summary

Title: Multi-Band Search for Volcanic Outgassing in the Tharsis and Syrtis Major Regions on Mars
Authors: Khayat, Alain
Issue Date: Dec 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
Abstract: We carried out the first and most comprehensive to date (2015), ground-based, semisimultaneous, multi-band and multi-species search for sulphuretted gases (SO2, H2S, OCS and SO) above the Tharsis and Syrtis volcanic regions on Mars. The submillimeter search extended between 23 November 2011 and 25 May 2014 which corresponded to Mars' mid Northern Spring and mid Northern Summer seasons (Ls = 34 - 135°). SO2, SO and H2S were targeted at their rotational transitions at 346.652 GHz, 304.078 GHz and 300.505 Ghz, respectively, using the high-resolution heterodyne receiver Barney on the 10.4 m single-dish antenna of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), and SO2 at HARP on the 15 m James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) at Maunakea, Hawai'i. No sulphuretted gases were detected. We infer 2σ upper limits across the disk of the planet using the CSO of 1.1 ppb, 0.7 ppb and 1.3 ppb for SO2, SO and H2S, respectively, and 3.1 ppb on SO2 using the JCMT. The infrared search covered OCS in its combination band (v1+v3) at 3.42 μm (2924 cm-1), during Mars' late Northern Spring and mid Northern Summer seasons, spanning Ls= 43° and Ls= 145°, between 15 Dec. 2011 and 13 June 2014, using the high resolution infrared spectrometer CSHELL on the 3 m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). No absorption of atmospheric OCS has been detected, and we infer a 2σ upper limit of 0.8 ppb on OCS. Our current limit 1.1 ppb for SO2 yields an outgassing rate of less than 55 tons/day. Compared to two terrestrial analogs, we would have been able to detect any volcanic release that is more than 4% the size of Kilauea (Hawai`i) or one twentieth the size of the Masaya volcano (Nicaragua). The mass rate of magma that is able to degas 55 tons of SO2 per day is estimated as 37 kilotons of magma per day, or 12,000 m3 per day (0.14 m3/s). The non detection of any of the sulfur compounds in the atmosphere of Mars provides limits to the level of current volcanic activity in the crust of Mars.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51631
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Astronomy


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