37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 33 Mars' Atmosphere
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[33.17] Outflow Channels and Martian Climate: General Circulation Model (GCM) Simulations with Emplaced Water

D. Santiago (UC Santa Cruz), A. Colaprete, R. Haberle (NASA Ames Research Center), E. Asphaug, L. Sloan (UC Santa Cruz)

The existence of past surface water on Mars has been inferred on the basis of geomorphologic interpretation of spacecraft images. Among the most intriguing signatures of surface water are large outflow channels believed to have been carved out by gigantic flood events in the late Noachian or Hesperian. We use the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) to study how abrupt eruption of water onto the Martian surface might have affected climate, and to consider where the water ultimately went. Our initial model begins by emplacing large amounts of water onto the surface of Mars in the vicinity of Ares Valley, for current day orbital configurations. Specifically, 10^6 km^3 of water was released at a rate of 0.1 km^3/s at end of Northern summer. The MGCM was run for 10 years; a control version, without water, was run the same length of time, in order to assess the climatic impact from the radiative and thermal effects of the released water. Model modifications for the results that will be presented include (1) a customized sublimation scheme, (2) latent heat effects of water transitions, (3) radiative effects of water vapor, (4) albedo effects, and (5) clouds. Preliminary results indicate slight surface temperature increases due to latent heating is areas of water deposition, and cooling in the outflow formation area. Results also suggest that water vapor is distributed throughout the atmosphere. Results for these and other atmospheric variables, as well as water tracer distribution, will be presented. We acknowledge the University Aligned Research Center and the Mars Fundamental Research Program for their funding contributions.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
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