Investigations of the variability of dust particle sizes in the martian atmosphere using the NASA Ames General Circulation Model
We present a Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) numerical investigation of the physical processes (i.e., wind stress and dust devil dust lifting and atmospheric transport) responsible for temporal and spatial variability of suspended dust particle sizes. Measurements of spatial and temporal variations in airborne dust particles sizes in the martian atmosphere have been derived from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectral and emission phase function data [Wolff, M.J., Clancy, R.T., 2003. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 108 (E9), doi:10.1029/2003JE002057. 1-1; Clancy, R.T., Wolff, M.J., Christensen, P.R., 2003. J. Geophys. Res. (Planets) 108 (E9), doi:10.1029/2003JE002058. 2-1]. The range of dust particle sizes simulated by the NASA Ames GCM is qualitatively consistent with TES-derived observations of effective dust particle size variability. Model results suggest that the wind stress dust lifting scheme (which produces regionally confined dust lifting) is the process responsible for the majority of the dust particle size variability in the martian atmosphere. Additionally, model results suggest that atmospheric transport processes play an important role in the evolution of atmospheric dust particles sizes during substantial dust storms on Mars. Finally, we show that including the radiative effects of a spatially variable particle size distribution significantly influences thermal and dynamical fields during the dissipation phase of the simulated global dust storm.