How thick are Mercury's polar water ice deposits?

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, November 21, 2016

Vincent R. Eke, David J. Lawrence, Lu─▒s F. A. Teodoro
(Submitted on 16 Nov 2016)

An estimate is made of the thickness of the radar-bright deposits in craters near to the north pole of Mercury. To construct an objective set of craters for this measurement, an automated crater finding algorithm is developed and applied to a digital elevation model based on data from the Mercury Laser Altimeter on board the MESSENGER spacecraft. This produces a catalogue of 663 craters with diameters exceeding 4 km, northwards of latitude +55 degrees. A subset of 12 larger, well-sampled and fresh polar craters are selected to search for correlations between topography and radar same-sense backscatter cross-section. It is found that the typical excess height associated with the radar-bright regions within these fresh polar craters is (50+/-35)m. This puts an approximate upper limit on the total polar water ice deposits on Mercury of 3e15 kg.

Comments: 10 pages, 6 figures, submitted to Icarus
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1611.05395 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1611.05395v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Vincent Eke
[v1] Wed, 16 Nov 2016 18:15:26 GMT (639kb,D) 

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