AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 16 Asteroids, Planets and Planetary Satellites
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[16.01] Multiyear simulations of the Martian water cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

S.M. Nelli, J.R. Murphy (NMSU), R.M. Haberle, J.R. Schaeffer (NASA-Ames)

Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

The objective of this project is to determine the role the water cycle plays in interannual variability of the Martian atmosphere when coupled with the dust cycle. A possible consequence of the decoupling of the two cycles is that most of the previous long duration models show no yearly variations. The patterns of dust lifting and sedimentation remain the same throughout multiple-year runs.

We are currently implementing the above mentioned water physics into the latest version of the Ames GCM. We will run the full 3-D model with just a polar source and the cycles decoupled to be used as a base comparison. Subsequently, analysis done on multiyear runs with the cycles coupled will yield changes in sedimentation and vertical distribution.

This work is being supported by NASA's Planetary Atmospheres Program (NASA/NAG51213) and also by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
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