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Three-dimensional numerical simulation of near-surface flows over the Martian north polar capMeasurements made by Viking Lander VL-2 (48 N) have shown that the near-surface wind and temperature regime on Mars displays striking similarities to terrestrial counterparts. The diurnal radiative cycle is responsible for establishment of a well-defined thermal circulation in which downslope (Katabatic) flows prevail during the nighttime hours and weak upslope (anabatic) conditions prevail during the daytime. Previous work has indicated that the slope flows are much like those found on Earth, particularly the Katabatic winds, which show striking similarities to drainage flows observed over Antarctica. The low-level wind regime appears to be an important factor in the scouring of the martian landscape. The north polar cap shows evidence of eolian features such as dunes, frost streaks, and grooves from Viking imagery. The direction of the prevailing wind can in cases be inferred from the eolian features. We examine the thermally induced flows that result from the radiative heating and cooling of the martian north polar region using a comprehensive three-dimensional atmospheric mesoscale numerical model. The same model has been used previously for simulation of Antarctic Katabatic winds. The model equations are written in terrain-following coordinates to allow for irregular terrain; prognostic equations include the flux forms of the horizontal momentum equations, temperature, continuity. A surface energy budget equation is also incorporated in which the surface temperature is determined. Explicit parameterization of both terrestrial (longwave) and solar (shortwave) radiation is included. Turbulent transfer of heat and momentum in the martian atmosphere is assumed to follow the similarity expressions in the surface boundary layer on Earth. The terrain heights for the martian north polar region have been obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey map and digitized onto a 57x57 grid with a spacing of 75 km. The resulting terrain map is shown in Fig. 1. The vertical grid consists of 15 levels (delta equals 0.998, 0.99, 0.98, 0.97, 0.96, 0.94, 0.92, 0.90, 0.85, 0.775, 0.70, 0.60, 0.50, 0.30, 0.10). The high resolution in the lower atmosphere is necessary to capture details of the boundary layer flows. The lowest level corresponds to a height of approximately 20 m above the ground, the seconds level 100 m.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Parish, Thomas R.
(Wyoming Univ. Laramie, WY, United States)
Howard, A. D.
(Virginia Univ. Charlottesville., 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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