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Martian Year 34 Column Dust Climatology from Mars Climate Sounder Observations: Reconstructed Maps and Model Simulations

Abstract : We have reconstructed longitude‐latitude maps of column dust optical depth (CDOD) for Martian year (MY) 34 (5 May 2017– 23 March 2019), using observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. Our methodology works by gridding a combination of standard (v5.2) and novel (v5.3.2) estimates of CDOD from MCS limb observations, using an improved “Iterative Weighted Binning.” In this work, we have produced four gridded CDOD maps per sol, at different Mars Universal Times. Together with the seasonal and daily variability, the use of several maps per sol also allows us to explore the diurnal variability of CDOD in the MCS dataset, which is shown to be particularly strong during the MY 34 equinoctial global dust event (GDE). In order to understand whether the diurnal variability of CDOD has a physical explanation, and examine the impact of the MY 34 GDE on some aspects of the atmospheric circulation, we have carried out numerical simulations with the “Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique” Mars Global Climate Model. We show that the model is able to account for at least part of the observed CDOD diurnal variability. This is particularly true in the southern hemisphere where a strong diurnal wave at the time of the GDE is able to displace dust horizontally as well as vertically. The simulations also clearly show the impact of the MY 34 GDE on the mean meridional circulation and the super‐rotating equatorial jet, similarly to the effects of the equinoctial GDE in MY 25.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 20, 2020 - 5:04:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 9:08:50 AM

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Luca Montabone, Aymeric Spiga, David Kass, Armin Kleinböhl, François Forget, et al.. Martian Year 34 Column Dust Climatology from Mars Climate Sounder Observations: Reconstructed Maps and Model Simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, Wiley-Blackwell, 2020, 125 (8), ⟨10.1029/2019JE006111⟩. ⟨hal-03017115⟩

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