Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Space & Planetary Sciences (MS)

Degree Level



Space & Planetary Sciences


Vincent Chevrier

Committee Member

Jason Tullis

Second Committee Member

Xiao Huang


CO2, CRISM, Ice, Mapping, Mars, Polar


This research exhibits a new foundation for the rates of change in CO2 and water ice on the southern polar cap of Mars, where the annual precipitation cycles are known to fluctuate seasonally between the north and south pole, based on observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM). The conventional belief is that both CO2 ice and water ice on the southern polar cap condenses and evaporates over the course of a Martian year (MY), condensing during the Martian spring and summer and evaporating during the Martian fall and winter. With this theory in mind, CO2 and water ice sublimation will be observable in the CRISM imagery. By using CRISM, a quantitative analysis can be done to evaluate and extract an accurate representation of the water and CO2 ice both lost and gained over Martian seasons and years. This data can also provide estimated rates of change between these variables for future use in determining the expected water and CO2 ice on the southern polar cap at any given time. To show these rates of change, a series of images are created using time series change detection over the course of available imagery in three separate areas on the southern polar cap of Mars. Each area is separated by Martian seasons and Martian years, and well as analyzed by the water ice band and the CO2 ice band. The numerical changes in the ice are then extrapolated and turned into change analysis histograms. Analyses of the data show that both CO2 and water ice increase from spring to summer, increases from summer to autumn, and increases between 2007 and 2009. This analysis both supports the conventional theory on condensation and evaporation throughout the MY, and demonstrates a reproducible methodology for ongoing observation of the CO2 and water ice cycles.