Mars Atmosphere Pressure Periodicities from Viking Observations

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  • 1 Department Of Earth Science, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634
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Abstract

The first martian year of pressure data taken by the Viking landers on Mars is subjected to power spectrum analysis. The analysis suggests that strong periodicities are present in the martian atmosphere, especially at the high-latitude (48°N) site of the second lander. Most of these periodicities are probably due to the passage of baroclinic waves. Inspection of individual segments of data shows that the periodicities of the dominant waves vary significantly with time of year. This may be related to the amount of dust in the atmosphere since the dominant frequencies of the waves during times of major dust storms are quite different than at other times.

Abstract

The first martian year of pressure data taken by the Viking landers on Mars is subjected to power spectrum analysis. The analysis suggests that strong periodicities are present in the martian atmosphere, especially at the high-latitude (48°N) site of the second lander. Most of these periodicities are probably due to the passage of baroclinic waves. Inspection of individual segments of data shows that the periodicities of the dominant waves vary significantly with time of year. This may be related to the amount of dust in the atmosphere since the dominant frequencies of the waves during times of major dust storms are quite different than at other times.

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