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Balme M.R.,Open University Milton Keynes | Balme M.R.,Planetary Science Institute Tucson | Gallagher C.J.,University College Dublin | Hauber E.,Institute For Planetenforschung
Progress in Physical Geography | Year: 2013

Liquid water is generally only meta-stable on Mars today; it quickly freezes, evaporates or boils in the cold, dry, thin atmosphere (surface pressure is about 200 times lower than on Earth). Nevertheless, there is morphological evidence that surface water was extensive in more ancient times, including the Noachian Epoch (∼4.1 Ga to ∼3.7 Ga bp), when large lakes existed and river-like channel networks were incised, and early in the Hesperian Epoch (∼3.7 Ga to ∼2.9 Ga bp), when megafloods carved enormous channels and smaller fluvial networks developed in association with crater-lakes. However, by the Amazonian Epoch (∼3.0 Ga to present), most surface morphogenesis associated with liquid water had ceased, with long periods of water sequestration as ice in the near-surface and polar regions. However, inferences from observations using imaging data with sub-metre pixel sizes indicate that periglacial landscapes, involving morphogenesis associated with ground-ice and/or surface-ice thaw and liquid flows, has been active within the last few million years. In this paper, three such landform assemblages are described: a high-latitude assemblage comprising features interpreted to be sorted clastic stripes, circles and polygons, non-sorted polygonally patterned ground, fluvial gullies, and solifluction lobes; a mid-latitude assemblage comprising gullies, patterned ground, debris-covered glaciers and hillslope stripes; and an equatorial assemblage of linked basins, patterned ground, possible pingos, and channel-and-scarp features interpreted to be retrogressive thaw-slumps. Hypotheses to explain these observations are explored, including recent climate change, and hydrated minerals in the regolith 'thawing' to form liquid brines at very low temperatures. The use of terrestrial analogue field sites is also discussed. © The Author(s) 2013. Source

Thoma P.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Raasch J.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Scheuring A.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Hofherr M.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | And 11 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity | Year: 2013

High-temperature superconducting YBa2Cu3O 7 - δ (YBCO) thin-film detectors with improved responsivities were developed for fast time-domain measurements in the THz frequency range. YBCO thin films of ≈ 30 nm thickness were patterned to micro- and nanobridges and embedded into planar log-spiral THz antennas. The YBCO thin-film detectors were characterized with continuous wave radiation at 0.65 THz. Responsivity values as high as 710 V/W were found for the YBCO nanobridges. Pulsed measurements in the THz frequency range were performed at the electron storage ring ANKA from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Due to the high responsivities of the nanobridges no biasing was required for the detection of the coherent synchrotron radiation pulses achieving very good agreement between the measured pulse shapes and simulations. © 2011 IEEE. Source

Godolt M.,Institute For Planetenforschung | Godolt M.,TU Berlin | Grenfell J.L.,Institute For Planetenforschung | Hamann-Reinus A.,Free University of Berlin | And 11 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2015

The potential habitability of a terrestrial planet is usually defined by the possible existence of liquid water on its surface, since life as we know it needs liquid water at least during a part of its life cycle. The potential presence of liquid water on a planetary surface depends on many factors such as, most importantly, surface temperatures. The properties of the planetary atmosphere and its interaction with the radiative energy provided by the planet's host star are thereby of decisive importance. In this study we investigate the influence of different main-sequence stars (F, G, and K-type stars) upon the climate of Earth-like extrasolar planets and their potential habitability by applying a state-ofthe-art three-dimensional (3D) Earth climate model accounting for local and dynamical processes. The calculations have been performed for planets with Earth-like atmospheres at orbital distances (and corresponding orbital periods) where the total amount of energy received from the various host stars equals the solar constant. In contrast to previous 3D modeling studies, we include the effect of ozone radiative heating upon the vertical temperature structure of the atmospheres. The global orbital mean results obtained have been compared to those of a one-dimensional (1D) radiative convective climate model to investigate the approximation of global mean 3D results by those of 1D models. The different stellar spectral energy distributions lead to different surface temperatures and due to ozone heating to very different vertical temperature structures. As previous 1D studies we find higher surface temperatures for the Earth-like planet around the K-type star, and lower temperatures for the planet around the F-type star compared to an Earth-like planet around the Sun. However, this effect is more pronounced in the 3D model results than in the 1D model because the 3D model accounts for feedback processes such as the ice-albedo and the water vapor feedback. Whether the 1D model may approximate the global mean of the 3D model results strongly depends on the choice of the relative humidity profile in the 1D model, which is used to determine the water vapor profile. Hence, possible changes in the hydrological cycle need to be accounted for when estimating the potential habitability of an extrasolar planet. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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