Venus surface thermal emission at 1 μm in VIRTIS imaging observations: Evidence for variation of crust and mantle differentiation conditions

N. Mueller, J. Helbert, Joji Hashimoto, C. C C Tsang, S. Erard, G. Piccioni, P. Drossart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

[1] The Venus Express spacecraft images the nightside thermal emissions using the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS). At 1.02, 1.10, and 1.18 μm, thermal emission from the surface is observed. The signal is attenuated by scattering and absorption in the dense atmosphere. The measured flux at the top of the atmosphere is positively correlated with surface temperature and surface emissivity. The surface temperature of Venus is relatively well constrained as being mainly a function of altitude with a gradient lesser or equal to the adiabatic lapse rate. This study examines the correlation of VIRTIS images showing a signal of the surface at 1.02 μm with viewing geometry, stray sunlight, cloud opacity, and topography and applies semiempirical relations to remove their influence. The remaining contrast can be either ascribed to surface emissivity or unexpected temperature variations. Temperature variations due to active volcanism are unlikely to be persistent over the time of observations; therefore, the mosaic of all processed images is here interpreted in terms of surface emissivity variation. The emissivity variation found is correlated with geomorphological features established from Magellan synthetic aperture radar images. It is generally lower at tessera terrain. Some, but not all, volcanic edifices show increased emissivity. Large lava flows in the Lada terra-Lavinia planitia region also show an increased thermal emission. This might indicate a more felsic surface composition of tessera highlands and large-scale extrusive volcanism of ultramafic composition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Volume114
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Venus surface
imaging spectrometers
Infrared imaging
thermal emission
Venus
Spectrometers
emissivity
crusts
Earth mantle
spectrometer
crust
mantle
Imaging techniques
tessera
Venus (planet)
surface temperature
volcanism
adiabatic lapse rate
lapse rate
atmospheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Venus surface thermal emission at 1 μm in VIRTIS imaging observations : Evidence for variation of crust and mantle differentiation conditions. / Mueller, N.; Helbert, J.; Hashimoto, Joji; Tsang, C. C C; Erard, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, Vol. 114, No. 5, 05.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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