36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 37 Mars Atmosphere
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[37.02] Modeling water ice clouds on Mars at the proposed Phoenix Lander site using a one-dimensional aerosol model.

J. Pathak, D. V. Michelangeli (York University, Canada), L. K Tamppari (JPL, Pasadena, CA)

The Phoenix lander which will land on Mars in 2008 and be there from about Ls=76-140 as a NASA Scout mission will carry a MDRobotics/Optech lidar system supported by the Canadian Space Agency, to investigate various aspects of the atmosphere at the landing site. Clouds are an important element of the Martian climate system because of their ability to redistribute water vapor [Michelangeli et al., 1993; Clancy et al., 1996], and their impact on the radiation field. Since the condensation of ice particles is occurring most likely on suspended dust within the atmosphere, cloud formation will also modify the amount and location of dust in the Martian atmosphere, thus having an impact on radiation and dynamics.

In order to effectively model clouds and dust in the Martian environment, we have modified the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA, developed by NASA/Ames Research Center) which is capable of simulating microphysics, transport and radiation. The one dimensional model results simulated at the proposed Phoenix lander site will be compared with the MGS TES cloud and dust opacity results.

Acknowledgements. This work is supported by the Canadian Space Agency and Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada.


Clancy,R.T., A.W.Grossman, M.J. Wolff, P.B. James, D.J.Ruddy, Y.N. Billawala, B.J. Sandor, S.W. Lee and D.O. Muhleman, Water vapor saturation at low altitudes around Mars aphelion: A key to Mars climate?, Icarus, 122, 36-62, 1996.

Michelangeli, D.V., O.B. Toon, R.M. Haberle, and J.B. Pollack, Numerical simulation of the formation and evolution of water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere, Icarus, 100, 261 -285, 1993.

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