36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 41 Mars Atmosphere II
Oral, Friday, November 12, 2004, 8:30-10:00am, Lewis

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[41.07] Sensitivity of a coupled dust and water cycle in the Ames General Circulation Model

S. Nelli, J. Murphy (New Mexico State University), F. Montmessin, A. Colaprete, R. Haberle, J. Schaeffer (NASA-Ames)

Global, 3-D computer modeling of the Martian atmosphere is reaching a new level of maturity. The community is transitioning into an era where advancements in computational speed are allowing for the coupling of the dust and water cycles. This coupling allows water to condense onto the dust, changing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their spatial distribution. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the interaction between the Martian dust and water cycles through coupling of the two cycles. We will compare our results with data from Viking, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey missions.

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. We look to test the sensitivity of one cycle in response to changes in the other cycle. A possible consequence of the decoupling of the two cycles is that previous long duration models show no yearly variations. The patterns of dust lifting and sedimentation remain the same throughout multiple-year runs.

We will run the model for an extended period of time (~4 years) with the two cycles 1) coupled and 2) decoupled. We will document the major changes that coupling has on the two cycles. Also, we will test the sensitivity of the response of one cycle in reaction to changes in the other cycle.

NASA Planetary Atmospheres Programs (NAG5-12123) and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium are currently funding this project.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
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