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Inference of dust opacities for the 1977 Martian great dust storms from Viking Lander 1 pressure data

Authors
Journal
Icarus
0019-1035
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
45
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0019-1035(81)90014-2
Disciplines
  • Computer Science

Abstract

Abstract A δ-Eddington radiative transfer algorithm is used to compute the thermal tidal heating of a dusty Martian atmosphere for a given set of dust optical depth, effective single scattering albedo, and phase function asymmetry parameter. The resulting thermal tidal forcing is used in a classical atmospheric tidal model to compute the amplitudes of the surface pressure oscillations at the Viking Lander 1 site for the two 1977 Martian great dust storms. Parametric studies show that the dust opacities and optical parameters derived from the Viking Lander imaging data are roughly representative of the global dust haze needed to reproduce the tidal surface pressure amplitudes also observed at Lander 1, except that the model-inferred asymmetry parameter is smaller during the onset of a great storm. The observed preferential enhancement during dust-storm onset of the semidiurnal tide at Viking Lander 1 relative to its diurnal counterpart is shown to be due primarily to the elevation of the tidal heating source in a very dusty atmosphere, although resonant enhancement of the main semidiurnal tidal mode makes an important secondary contribution.

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