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On the Potential Impact of Daytime Surface Sensible Heat Flux on the Dissipation of Martian Cold Air Outbreaks

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  • 1 Agricultural Meteorology, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

The Martian daytime soil surface temperature is governed primarily by the net irradiance balance and surface soil heat flux. Thus the outbreak of a cold air mass generates increased sensible heat flux that is conducive to daytime dissipation of the cold air mass thermal characteristics. Conceptual and scaling evaluations of this dissipation are provided while comparison is made with similar situations on Earth. It is estimated that sensible heat flux contribution to the dissipation of the original thermal structure of the cold air could be three times larger than the corresponding situation on Earth. Illustrative numerical model simulations provide scaling of the potential impact on the dissipation of cold air masses for various combinations of background wind speed and latitudes.

Corresponding author address: Moti Segal, Agricultural Meteorology, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.

Abstract

The Martian daytime soil surface temperature is governed primarily by the net irradiance balance and surface soil heat flux. Thus the outbreak of a cold air mass generates increased sensible heat flux that is conducive to daytime dissipation of the cold air mass thermal characteristics. Conceptual and scaling evaluations of this dissipation are provided while comparison is made with similar situations on Earth. It is estimated that sensible heat flux contribution to the dissipation of the original thermal structure of the cold air could be three times larger than the corresponding situation on Earth. Illustrative numerical model simulations provide scaling of the potential impact on the dissipation of cold air masses for various combinations of background wind speed and latitudes.

Corresponding author address: Moti Segal, Agricultural Meteorology, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.

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