Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in Space & Planetary Sciences (PhD)
Richard K. Ulrich
Second Committee Member
Vincent F. Chevrier
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Pure sciences; Earth sciences; lapetus; Icy satellites; Mars; Saturn-moons; Volatile stability; Water on mars
The stability and transport of water on solid planetary surfaces strongly affects both atmospheric and surfaces processes. In this work, two bodies are specifically investigated where transport of water is relevant: Iapetus and Mars. Iapetus, an icy Kronian satellite, has a drastic albedo contrast on its surface and one of the darkest surfaces in the solar system. This extreme brightness contrast is suggested to occur via the transport of water ice from the leading hemisphere to the trailing hemisphere and the poles. Here a global heat and mass transfer model is developed for Iapetus in order to study the current state of H2O transport and to make inferences about the temporal evolution of this process on its surface. On Mars, atmosphere-regolith interactions have been suggested to control the near-surface water vapor cycle. Due to the large amount of experimental values of the absorptivity of soil materials, a model is developed in order to study the effects of an active regolith on the transport of water vapor. Liquid water has been a controversial subject in the martian literature. However, there exists sufficient evidence of past standing bodies of liquid on Mars. If these paleolakes contained dissolved salts, their evolution would be drastically affected. Therefore, a model is developed in order to study the effect of dissolved salts and investigate if there exists the possibility for brine residue formation. Recent observations also strongly suggest that liquid may be possible on present-day Mars. A model is developed in order to investigate the possibility of brine flows as the source for recurring slope lineae.
Rivera-Valentin, Edgard Giovanni, "Modeling Water Stability and Transport on Mars and Iapetus: Exploring their Effects on Geomorphic and Atmospheric Processes" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 326.