Twin Peaks, Mars Pathfinder Image

Site developed by Eddy Barratt, Sam Van Kooten, and Than Putzig

Funding provided by NASA MFRP Grant NNX11AM44G and PGG Grant NNX14AN09G

South West Research Institute
University of Colorado, Boulder

Welcome to MARSTHERM, the home of thermophysical analysis tools developed by Mars researchers at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

If you are a first-time user, please register for a free account.

Otherwise, please login to access our thermal modeling tools.


The Thermal Model

The heart of the MARSTHERM thermophysical analyis tools is the thermal model (Putzig and Mellon, 2007). Users may specify the location and properties (thermal inertia, albedo, slope angle and azimuth, amongst others) of a surface site on Mars, and the model will calculate the diurnal or seasonal variations in brightness and surface temperatures.

Thermal Model Documentation

Model diurnal temperatures at northern fall equinox on the Martian equator.
Model seasonal temperatures at 08:00 on the Martian equator.

TES and MOLA Global Maps

Putzig and Mellon (2007) generated a lookup table from the thermal model and used it to derive apparent thermal inertia from single-point temperature measurements by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). Nightside and dayside global maps at 20 pixels per degree were produced and may be viewed or downloaded. Annual-median maps and two varieties of seasonal maps are also available, with the latter binned in solar longitude at Δ10° Ls and Δ40° Ls.

Because albedo can change dramatically after dust storms, annual maps of albedo were produced for the four Mars years of the MGS mission and used in the derivation of thermal inertia. Additionally, a global elevation map at the same 3-km resolution as TES was created from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data to calculate surface pressure. These maps are also available to view or download.

Annual-median apparent thermal inertia from dayside TES data.
Annual-median apparent thermal inertia from nightside TES data.

User Projects

Users may designate areas of interest as projects for examining TES results and for processing THEMIS images for thermal inertia (see next section). Creating a new project causes MARSTHERM to extract regional maps from the global ones of MOLA elevation, TES albedo, and TES thermal inertia, and it will also produce a history of TES atmospheric dust opacity that is needed for THEMIS processing. Seasonal curves of TES and model apparent thermal inertia are produced, the latter for a series of simple two-component surfaces. All of the trimmed maps and regional data sets can be viewed or downloaded.

Projects Documentation

Map of MOLA elevation created for a project centered on Gale Crater.
Map of TES thermal inertia created for a project centered on Gale Crater.

THEMIS Thermal Inertia

The same derivation technique used for TES can be applied to 100-m-per-pixel images taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) onboard the Mars Odyssey orbiter (Putzig et al. 2013). To process THEMIS images for thermal inertia, users are required to define a project area (see previous section). Limiting the image processing to areas of interest is necessary due to the level of available computing resources. MARSTHERM provides links to help users find images that sample regions of interest, and it will process a user-provided list of images to derive apparent thermal inertia, producing HDF5 data files and georeferenced TIFF images.

THEMIS Processing Documentation

Thermal inertia from a THEMIS image of Gale crater.
A subset of the THEMIS image at left, overlain on a Mars Context Camera image using Quantum GIS, demonstrating the high resolution of THEMIS images. Elongated feature at center in lower thermal inertia trending to southeast is Peace Vallis.

index.php last modified by Sam on 2016-04-04 at 13:38:15.