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Multi-model meteorological and aeolian predictions for Mars 2020 and the Jezero crater region

Presentation #308.04 in the session “Mars Surface/Atmosphere Interactions”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Multi-model meteorological and aeolian predictions for Mars 2020 and the Jezero crater region

Nine simulations are used to predict the meteorology and aeolian activity of the Mars 2020 landing site region. Predicted seasonal variations of pressure and of surface and atmospheric temperature generally agree. Minimum and maximum pressure is predicted at Ls~145° and 250°, respectively. Maximum and minimum surface and atmospheric temperature are predicted at Ls~180° and 270°, respectively; i.e., are warmest at fall equinox not summer solstice, due to Mars’s orbital eccentricity. Daily pressure cycles vary more, possibly due to differences in atmospheric dust distribution in each simulation, despite all being representative of a year with no major dust storms. Jezero sits inside and close to the NW rim of the huge Isidis basin, whose daytime upslope (~southeasterly) and nighttime downslope (~northwesterly) winds are predicted to dominate except around summer solstice (Ls=90°), when the global circulation creates more southerly wind directions and strong daytime speeds earlier. Simulations vary hugely in predicted wind magnitudes and the season of strongest winds, which varies from Ls~0–180°. The largest sand fluxes are predicted in the first half of summer and generally toward the WNW or NW, with the weakest around winter solstice (Ls=270°) due to opposition between the mean (northerly) circulation and daytime upslope winds. Predicted net annual sand transport to the WNW by most simulations is consistent with orbital observations. Vortex activity is predicted to peak in summer and dip around winter solstice; to be greater than at InSight and much greater than at MSL; and to occur later in the day than at InSight.

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