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SDDPT Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter Image Cloud Catalog


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Offline Distribution (or Staging if Digital)

Time span: 1971-11-14 to 1972-07-02


This data set consists of a catalog of clouds observed in Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter images. Seven 'cloud types' were defined (lee wave cloud, wave cloud, plume, streak cloud, cloud street, localized fog, haze) according to easily observable objective morphologic criteria. The entire Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter image data sets (approximately 7400 and over 50000 images, respectively) were examined at least twice, by two separate observers. Cloud occurrences were compiled by examining images for specific cloud morphologies, examining the same area at different times, utilizing limb images, and consulting photomosaics to determine the spatial relations of cloud obscurations. The data set contains details of the cloud occurrences and the images in which they were observed. There is a time gap of several years in the catalog -- the Mariner 9 data cover a time period from Ls (areocentric solar longitude) 293 degrees (Earth year 1972) through Ls 98 degrees (Earth year 1973), and the Viking Orbiter data cover a period from Ls 85 degrees (Earth year 1976) through Ls 140 degrees (Earth year 1980). These data have been used to infer near-surface wind directions, relative wind speed, static stability and humidity constraints, and qualitative atmospheric opacity conditions on a global basis over the Martian year. The catalog also gives information on image geometry, time, filters, and lighting.

Alternate Names

  • MR9/VO1/VO2-M-ISS/VIS-5-CLOUD-V1.0
  • MR9/VO1/VO2-M-ISS/VIS-5-CLOUD-V1.0


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics


  • 71-051A-04b

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Steven W. LeeData ProviderUniversity of
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