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Dynamics of the atmosphere of Mars: Review of some outstanding problemsTheoretical and modeling studies based on fragmentary data are responsible for our current level of understanding of the dynamics of Mars' atmosphere at the planetary scale. Largely because the boundary conditions and governing parameters are such that the large-scale circulation regime is similar to that or Earth, it has been possible to derive a remarkable amount of information from a relatively small number of observations. Nevertheless, the level of detail available from theoretical and modeling studies far exceeds the validation capability of existing data. Global observations from Mars Observer instruments are expected to go far to remedy this mismatch. This review will present and examine several outstanding dynamical questions, which Mars Observer measurements should help to answer. These include the following: What are the temporal and three-dimensional spatial distributions of thermal tides? What is the distribution of momentum flux divergence due to internal gravity waves? Are normal modes an important component of the general circulation? If so, how do they vary with season? Do normal modes contribute to the initiation of planetary-scale dust storms? What are the details of the global circulation response to large and rapid injections of dust? Current understanding of these problems, the potential role of Mars Observer observations for addressing them, and the implications of answers for our understanding of the present climate and past climate regimes will be discussed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Leovy, Conway B.
(Washington Univ. Seattle, WA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Atmospheric Transport on Mars
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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