The martian dust chronicle: Eight years of reconstructed climatology from spacecraft observations

Montabone, Luca; Forget, François; Millour, Ehouarn; Wilson, R. John; Lewis, Stephen R.; Kass, David; Kleinbohl, Armin; Lemmon, Mark T.; Smith, Michael D. and Wolff, Mike J. (2014). The martian dust chronicle: Eight years of reconstructed climatology from spacecraft observations. In: Geophysical Research Abstracts, Copernicus Group, 16, article no. EGU2014-16662.



We have reconstructed the climatology of airborne dust from Martian years (MY) 24 to 31 using multiple datasets
of retrieved or estimated column optical depth. The datasets are based on observations of the Martian atmosphere
from March 1999 to July 2013 by different orbiting instruments: the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES)
on board Mars Global Surveyor, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on board Mars Odyssey,
and the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The procedure we have
adopted consists in gridding the available retrievals of column dust optical depth (CDOD) from TES and THEMIS
nadir observations, as well as the estimates of this quantity from MCS limb observations. Our gridding method
calculates weighted averages on a regular but likely incomplete spatial grid, using an iterative procedure with
weights in space, time, and retrieval uncertainty. The derived product consists of daily synoptic gridded maps of
CDOD at a resolution of 6 degree longitude x 3 degree latitude for MY 24-26, and 6 degree longitude x 5 degree
latitude for MY 27-31.
We have statistically analyzed the gridded maps to present an overview of the dust climatology on Mars
over eight years, specifically in relation to its intraseasonal and interannual variability.
Finally, we have produced complete daily maps of CDOD by spatially interpolating the available incomplete
gridded maps using a kriging method. These complete maps are used as dust scenarios in the Mars Climate
Database (MCD) version 5, and should be useful for many other applications.
The maps for the eight available Martian years are publicly available and distributed with open access, under
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The current version and future updates
can be downloaded from the MCD website at the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique: http://wwwmars.

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