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Published May 13, 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

Cyclones, tides, and the origin of a cross-equatorial dust storm on Mars


We investigate the triggering mechanism of a cross-equatorial dust storm observed by Mars Global Surveyor in 1999. This storm, which had a significant impact on global mean temperatures, was seen in visible and infrared data to commence with the transport of linear dust fronts from the northern high latitudes into the southern tropics. However, other similar transport events observed in northern fall and winter did not lead to large dust storms. Based on off-line Lagrangian particle transport analysis using a high resolution Mars general circulation model, we propose a simple explanation for the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of this type of frontal activity, and of the resulting dust storms, that highlights the cooperative interaction between northern hemisphere fronts associated with low pressure cyclones and tidally-modified return branch of the Hadley circulation.

Additional Information

© 2003 American Geophysical Union. Received 21 December 2002; revised 31 March 2003; accepted 7 April 2003; published 13 May 2003.

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Published - 2002GL016828.pdf


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