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Waves in the Martian Atmosphere: Results from MGS Radio OccultationsTemperatures retrieved from Mars Global Surveyor radio occultations have been searched for evidence of waves. Emphasis has been on the initial series of occultations between 29 deg N and 64 deg S, obtained during the early martian southern summer, L(sub s) = 264 deg - 308 deg. The profiles exhibit an undulatory behavior that is suggestive of vertically propagating waves. wavelengths approximately 10 km are often dominant, but structure on smaller scales is evident. The undulatory structure is most pronounced between latitudes 29 deg N and 10 deg S, usually in regions of "interesting" topography, e.g., in the Tharsis region and near the edge of Syrtis Major. Several temperature profiles, particularly within 30 deg of the equator, exhibit lapse rates that locally become superadiabatic near the 0.4-mbar level or at higher altitudes. This implies that the waves are "breaking" and depositing horizontal momentum into the atmosphere. Such a deposition may play an important role in modulating the atmospheric winds, and characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of these momentum transfers can provide important clues to understanding how the global circulation is maintained.
Document ID
19990115750
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Flasar, F. M. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Hinson, D. P. (Stanford Univ. United States)
Tyler, G. L. (Stanford Univ. United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Exploration
Meeting Information
Division of Planetary Sciences(Padua)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.