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Teleconnection in the martian atmosphere during the 2001 planet-encircling dust storm

By L. Montabone, O. Martinez-Alvarado, S. R. Lewis, P. L. Read and R. J. Wilson

Abstract

Introduction: In July 2001 (Martian year 25), Mars was enshrouded by a thick veil of dust which lasted for several months and obscured the observation of its surface to spacecraft cameras and ground-based telescopes. The emergence and rapid evolution (within a few days) of multiple, isolated, regional dust storms which eventually attained planetary scale extent were observed by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft using high resolution camera images and the thermal profiles and dust opacity measurements pro-vided by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) [1, 2].\ud We have applied a technique used in Terrestrial meteorology (sequential data assimilation, [3]) to ob-tain a complete, four-dimensional evolution of all the atmospheric variables during the period of this planet-encircling dust storm, even those which were not di-rectly observed by the MGS satellite, such as surface pressure and winds. We assimilated TES nadir-pointing thermal profiles and total dust opacities in a global circulation model of the Martian atmosphere, developed jointly by the University of Oxford and the Open University in the United Kingdom, with the col-laboration of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dyna-mique in Paris (UK-MGCM) [4, 5, 6]

Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:16963
Provided by: Open Research Online

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