University of Twente Student Theses


Characterizing clouds over Arsia Mons using OMEGA and CRISM

Nair, Ashwathy (2023) Characterizing clouds over Arsia Mons using OMEGA and CRISM.

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Abstract:Mars, our neighboring planet, has been a source of fascination for scientists and planetary enthusiasts for its unique atmospheric phenomena. Clouds are an intriguing feature observed on Mars, which play a crucial role in influencing the planet’s weather patterns and climate system. Arsia Mons is a Martian volcanic mountain that experiences distinct types of cloud occurrences, including the recently discovered mysterious elongated cloud called the AMEC (Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud). This research focuses on investigating the clouds observed over the Martian volcanic mountain, Arsia Mons using spectral datasets to gain insights into the cloud occurrences in this area with respect to its morphology and composition. Data obtained over a period of 18 years from OMEGA and CRISM spectrometers was utilized to search for new cloud images, characterize clouds based on their morphologies and investigate cloud constituents using spectral analysis techniques. The study compiled a total of 102 cloud images from both OMEGA and CRISM. A novel observation of an elongated cloud was discovered at the volcanic mountain Pavonis Mons, situated adjacent to the Arsia Mons volcano. Additionally, a distinct cloud morphology was identified in the Pavonis Mons region, referred to as the ‘puffy’ cloud in this research. The study also adds an observation of a rarely observed spiral cloud in the Arsia Mons region along with other cloud morphologies such as streaky clouds, orographic clouds and small cloud regions. Spectral analysis of the clouds to investigate cloud constituents and confirm the presence of dust, H2O ice, and CO2 ice showed no contribution of dust and CO2 ice in the clouds. H2O ice was detected in the examined clouds characterized by the 3.2 µm absorption feature. New cloud observations, their observed morphologies and inferred cloud constituents in this study will be useful to add to our current knowledge and understanding of clouds in the Arsia Mons region.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:38 earth sciences
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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