DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 51. Mars Atmosphere Posters
Displayed, 1:00pm, Monday - 1:00pm, Friday, Highlighted Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6:30pm, C101-C105, C211

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[51.09] On the shape of martian dust and water ice aerosols

K. M. Pitman (Louisiana State University), M. J. Wolff, R. T. Clancy (Space Science Institute), G. C. Clayton (LSU)

Researchers have often calculated radiative properties of Martian aerosols using either Mie theory for homogeneous spheres or semi-empirical theories. Given that these atmospheric particles are randomly oriented, this approach seems fairly reasonable. However, \textit{the idea that randomly oriented nonspherical particles have scattering properties equivalent to even a select subset of spheres is demonstratably false} (Bohren and Huffman 1983; Bohren and Koh 1985, Appl. Optics, 24, 1023). Fortunately, recent computational developments now enable us to directly compute scattering properties for nonspherical particles.

We have combined a numerical approach for axisymmetric particle shapes, i.e., cylinders, disks, spheroids (Waterman's T-Matrix approach as improved by Mishchenko and collaborators; cf., Mishchenko et al. 1997, JGR, 102, D14, 16,831), with a multiple-scattering radiative transfer algorithm to constrain the shape of water ice and dust aerosols. We utilize a two-stage iterative process. First, we empirically derive a scattering phase function for each aerosol component (starting with some ``guess'') from radiative transfer models of MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer Emission Phase Function (EPF) sequences (for details on this step, see Clancy et al., DPS 2000). Next, we perform a series of scattering calculations, adjusting our parameters to arrive at a ``best-fit'' theoretical phase function.

In this presentation, we provide details on the second step in our analysis, including the derived phase functions (for several characteristic EPF sequences) as well as the particle properties of the best-fit theoretical models. We provide a sensitivity analysis for the EPF model-data comparisons in terms of perturbations in the particle properties (i.e., range of axial ratios, sizes, refractive indices, etc).

This work is supported through NASA grant NAGS-9820 (MJW) and JPL contract no. 961471 (RTC).

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