Diurnal Variations of the Martian Surface Layer Meteorological Parameters During the First 45 Sols at Two Viking Lander Sites

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195
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Abstract

Wind speed, ambient and surface temperatures from both Viking Landers have been used to compute bulk Richardson numbers and Monin-Obukhov lengths during the earliest phase of the Mars missions. These parameters are used to estimate drag and heat transfer coefficients, friction velocities and surface heat fluxes at the two sites. The principal uncertainty is in the specification of the roughness length. Maximum heat flux occur near local noon at both sites, and are estimated to be in the range 15–20 W m−2 at the Viking 1 site and 10–15 W m−2 at the Viking 2 site. Maximum values of friction velocity occur in late morning at Viking 1 and are estimated to be 0.4–0.6 m s−1. They occur shortly after dawn at the Viking 2 site where peak values are estimated to be in the range 0.25–0.35 m s−1. Extension of these calculations to later times during the mission will require allowance for dust opacity effects in the estimation of surface temperature and in the correction of radiation errors of the Viking 2 temperature sensor.

Abstract

Wind speed, ambient and surface temperatures from both Viking Landers have been used to compute bulk Richardson numbers and Monin-Obukhov lengths during the earliest phase of the Mars missions. These parameters are used to estimate drag and heat transfer coefficients, friction velocities and surface heat fluxes at the two sites. The principal uncertainty is in the specification of the roughness length. Maximum heat flux occur near local noon at both sites, and are estimated to be in the range 15–20 W m−2 at the Viking 1 site and 10–15 W m−2 at the Viking 2 site. Maximum values of friction velocity occur in late morning at Viking 1 and are estimated to be 0.4–0.6 m s−1. They occur shortly after dawn at the Viking 2 site where peak values are estimated to be in the range 0.25–0.35 m s−1. Extension of these calculations to later times during the mission will require allowance for dust opacity effects in the estimation of surface temperature and in the correction of radiation errors of the Viking 2 temperature sensor.

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