Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published July 2002 | Published
Journal Article Open

A mesoscale model for the Martian atmosphere


The Pennsylvania State University/National Center for Atmosphere Research Mesoscale Model Version 5 (MM5) has been converted for use on Mars. Modifications are based on schemes implemented in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Mars General Circulation Model (GCM). Validation of the Mars MM5 is conducted by comparison to the Mars GCM, examining the large-scale dynamics in the two models. Agreement between the two models on similar scales (a few hundred kilometers) is good. Validation is also performed against both Viking Landers and Mars Pathfinder meteorological observations with the model run at higher vertical (lowest level at 1.6 m) and horizontal resolution (a few kilometers). We find reasonable agreement with near-surface air temperature, pressure, and wind direction observations, with caveats. The results demonstrate that the model accurately simulates surface heat balance and the propagation of global thermal tides. However, wind speeds are underpredicted. The model generates the correct phasing of wind speeds with local time at the Viking Lander 2 site during winter but does not generate the correct phasing at the other sites or seasons. We examined the importance of slopes and global tides in generating the diurnal cycle of winds at the lander sites. We find that tides are at least as important as slopes, in contrast to previous studies. This study suggests that when used in combination with a GCM, the Mars MM5 promises to be a powerful tool for the investigation of processes central to the Martian climate on scales from hundreds of kilometers to tens of meters.

Additional Information

Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 16 March 2001; revised 30 October 2001; accepted 9 April 2002; published 12 July 2002. We would like to thank R. John Wilson for extensive assistance, discussion, and inspiration for this project. Without his help, it would not have been possible. We would further like to thank Andrew P. Ingersoll and Ashwin R. Vasavada for numerous discussions and advice. This project also benefited from the comments and assistance of Arden Albee, Bruce Murray, and Yuk Yung. We would also like to thank Tim Schofield for provision of the Pathfinder wind data prior to its PDS release. Finally, we thank an anonymous reviewer for useful comments and suggestions.

Attached Files

Published - jgre1449.pdf


Files (2.0 MB)
Name Size Download all
2.0 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023