Ringrose, T.J.; Towner, M.C. and Zarnecki, J.C.
Convective vortices on Mars: a reanalysis of Viking Lander 2 meteorological data, sols 1–60.
Icarus, 163(1) pp. 78–87.
Dust devil data from Mars is limited by a lack of data relating to diurnal dust devil behaviour. Previous work looking at the Viking Lander meteorological data highlighted seasonal changes in temporal occurrence of dust devils and gave an indication of typical dust devil diameter, size, and internal dynamics. The meteorological data from Viking Lander 2 for sols 1 to 60 have been revisited to provide detailed diurnal dust devil statistics. Results of our analysis show that the Viking Lander 2 experienced a possible 38 convective vortices in the first 60 sols of its mission with a higher occurrence in the morning compared to Earth, possibly as a result of turbulence generated by the Lander body. Dust devil events have been categorised by statistical confidence and intensity. Some initial analysis and discussion of the results is also presented. Assuming a similar dust loading to the vortices seen by Mars Pathfinder, it is estimated that the amount of dust lofted in the locality of the Lander is approximately 800 ± 10 kgsol−1km−2.
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