Pressure oscillations on the surface of Gale Crater and coincident observations of global circulation patterns.
Friday, 19 December 2014
The annual cycle of mean diurnal surface pressures observed by Curiosity’s Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) has shown oscillations after two Southern Hemispheric storms that occurred before the annual pressure maxima and minima of the dusty season (Ls~250 and 330). The oscillations had a period of ~7 sols and were less visible or absent during the dust free seasons (Ls ~ 0). Martian airborne dust alters the atmosphere’s response to solar radiation and the resulting heating profiles. Since the atmospheric circulation responds to thermal forcing by the Sun, atmospheric dust can alter the large-scale circulation. We use coincident global observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) to examine the global circulation. We find that the observed surface pressure oscillations relate to oscillations of the Hadley cell. We also analyze the potential impacts of these coupled oscillations especially as related to traveling waves and thermal tides.