Climatology of Dust Lifting As Observed By the Mars Orbiter Camera

Friday, 19 December 2014
Scott Guzewich, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, Laura Kulowski, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States, Huiqun Wang, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA, United States and Anthony D Toigo, Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States
We present a climatology of dust lifting events, locations and area from daily global maps produced with Mars Global Surveyor/Mars Orbiter Camera wide-angle images from Mars Year 24-27 (July, 1999 to January, 2005). Analysis includes both the “equatorial” daily global map (spanning 60°S-60°N) and the “polar” daily global maps (areas poleward of 60°). Dust lifting locations are identified through observational analysis of atmospheric dust morphology, color and albedo. Our results include statistics of lifting events by time of year, location, size and morphology. We compare our results to GCMs with active dust lifting parameterizations and concurrent Mars Global Surveyor/Thermal Emission Spectrometer measurements of total column dust optical depth to determine the role, if any, between storm-scale dust lifting in the atmosphere with maintaining the background dust opacity.