Thursday, August 04, 2016

Comparing the Martian Winds With Models Using Dust Devils

Comparing wind directions inferred from Martian dust devil tracks analysis with those predicted by the Mars Climate Database


Statella et al


We have calculated the prevailing dust devil tracks direction as a means of verifying the Mars Climate Database (MCD) predicted wind directions accuracy. For that purpose we have applied an automatic method based on morphological openings for inferring the prevailing tracks direction in a dataset comprising 200 Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Narrow Angle (NA) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of the Martian surface, depicting regions in the Aeolis, Eridania, Noachis, Argyre and Hellas quadrangles. The prevailing local wind directions were calculated from the MCD predicted speeds for the WE and SN wind components. The results showed that the MCD may not be able to predict accurately the locally dominant wind direction near the surface. In addition, we confirm that the surface wind stress alone cannot produce dust lifting in the studied sites, since it never exceeds the threshold value of 0.0225 Nm−2 in the MCD.

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