Martian meso/micro-scale winds and surface energy budget

Spiga, A.; Forget, F.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Montabone, L.; Millour, E.; Lewis, S. R. and Hinson, D. P. (2011). Martian meso/micro-scale winds and surface energy budget. In: Fourth International Workshop: Mars Atmosphere Modelling and Observations, 8-11 Feb 2011, Paris, France.



Regional, diurnal and seasonal variations of surface
temperature are particularly large on Mars. This is mostly due to the Martian surface remaining close to radiative equilibrium. Contrary to most terrestrial locations, contributions of sensible heat flux (i.e. conduction/convection exchanges between atmosphere and surface) to the surface energy budget [hereinafter SEB] are negligible on Mars owing to lowatmospheric density and heat capacity (e.g. Figure 2 in Savijärvi and Kauhanen, 2008). This radiative control of surface temperature is a key characteristic of the Martian environment and has crucial consequences on the the Martian geology, meteorology, exobiology, etc.

In order to identify the impact of this Martian peculiarity to near-surface regional-to-local atmospheric circulations,
we employ our recently-built Martian limited-area meteorological model (Spiga and Forget, 2009). We use horizontal resolutions adapted to the dynamical phenomena we aim to resolve: from several tens of kilometers to compute regional winds (mesoscale simulations) to several tens of meters to compute atmospheric boundary-layer winds (microscale or turbulent-resolving simulations, also called Large-Eddy Simulations, LES).

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