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2006 Annual Science Report

University of California, Berkeley Reporting  |  JUL 2005 – JUN 2006

Interaction Between the Atmosphere and Water on Mars

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer and electron reflectometer (MAG/ER) data were used to create a global map of crustal magnetic field magnitude at 180 km above the Martian surface. Using this map, the magnetic signatures and surface ages of volcanoes and large craters are being analyzed in detail and modeled to constrain the ambient magnetic conditions which existed during their formation and later alteration (Lillis et al., 2006ab). In this way we place constraints on the history of the ancient Martian dynamo, whose strength and duration determine the extent to which the early Martian atmosphere was shielded from solar wind erosion by the more active early sun. Therefore, our work is directly relevant the history of surface liquid water stability and hence habitability.

    Michael Manga
    Rob Lillis
    Doctoral Student

    Objective 1.1
    Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets