DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 34. Mars Atmosphere II: Clouds and Dust
Oral, Chairs: M. Wolff, A. Colaprete, Thursday, November 29, 2001, 4:40-6:10pm, Regency E

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[34.01] Martian Dust Events: A Global View by MOC

B. A. Cantor, M. C. Malin, K. S. Edgett (Malin Space Science Systems)

During the past three Martian years, the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MGS/MOC) has observed a number of dust raising events (more than 2000) on Mars. These dust events have been observed in all seasons and at a range of elevations from the depths of Hellas basin to the caldera of Arsia Mons. Dust events come in varying forms and sizes from a few tens of meters across (dust devils) to planet encircling.

Because such meteorological phenomena, including cloud patterns, are a direct result of atmospheric dynamics, they can be used to monitor seasonal and interannual Martian atmospheric processes. MOC observations during a portion of the northern summer, southern winter seasons (Ls=124-140) have shown that several atmospheric events repeat from one year to the next. This repeatability suggests a previously unobserved level of overall stability in the present Martian climate up to the time of the planet encircling dust event in 2001 (Ls~184). This research is supported by JPL contracts 959060 and 1200780.

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