Influence of Planetary-Scale Topography on the Diurnal Thennal Tide During the 1971 Martian Dust Storm

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  • 1 Laboraory for Planetary Atmospheres, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. 20771
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Abstract

Data obtained with the Mariner 9 infrared spectroscopy experiment during the Martian dust storm of 1971–72 are evidence for evidence of topographic influence on the atmospheric thermal structure. Temperature perturbations which are well correlated with the planetary-scale topography are found superposed on the large-amplitude diurnal thermal tide previously reported. Applications of tidal theory to the data indicate that the observed perturbation result from the kinematic interaction of the westward traveling diurnal wave with the large-scale components of topography. The dominant mode is excited by the wavenumber 2 topography component and is a vertically evanescent, eastward traveling wave with an equivalent depth comparable to the atmospheric-scale height. The principle dynamic effect of this mode is the enhancement of the amplitude of the near surface diurnal wind to over 40 m s−1 in limited areas near 30° south latitude. Thus, it appears likely that dust was injected into the atmosphere in these regions during the storm. Other waves excited include vertically propagating modes which produce little effect in the lower atmosphere, but may represent a source of energy for the upper atmosphere during dust storm conditions.

Abstract

Data obtained with the Mariner 9 infrared spectroscopy experiment during the Martian dust storm of 1971–72 are evidence for evidence of topographic influence on the atmospheric thermal structure. Temperature perturbations which are well correlated with the planetary-scale topography are found superposed on the large-amplitude diurnal thermal tide previously reported. Applications of tidal theory to the data indicate that the observed perturbation result from the kinematic interaction of the westward traveling diurnal wave with the large-scale components of topography. The dominant mode is excited by the wavenumber 2 topography component and is a vertically evanescent, eastward traveling wave with an equivalent depth comparable to the atmospheric-scale height. The principle dynamic effect of this mode is the enhancement of the amplitude of the near surface diurnal wind to over 40 m s−1 in limited areas near 30° south latitude. Thus, it appears likely that dust was injected into the atmosphere in these regions during the storm. Other waves excited include vertically propagating modes which produce little effect in the lower atmosphere, but may represent a source of energy for the upper atmosphere during dust storm conditions.

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