Wave Energetics of the Atmosphere of Mars
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A comprehensive assessment of the energetics of transient waves is presented for the atmosphere of Mars using the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) dataset (v1.0) and the eddy kinetic energy equation. Each hemisphere is divided into four representative periods covering the summer and winter solstices, a late fall period, and an early spring period for each of the three Mars years available. Northern hemisphere fall and spring eddy energetics is similar with some inter-annual and inter-seasonal variability, but winter eddy kinetic energy and its transport are strongly reduced in intensity as a result of the winter solstitial pause in wave activity. Barotropic energy conversion acts as a sink of eddy kinetic energy throughout each year with little reduction in amplitude during the solstitial pause. Baroclinic energy conversion acts as a source in fall and spring but disappears during the winter period as a result of the stabilized vertical temperature profile around winter solstice. Traveling waves are typically triggered by geopotential flux convergence. Individual waves decay through a combination of barotropic conversion of the kinetic energy from the waves to the mean flow, geopotential flux divergence, and dissipation. The southern hemisphere energetics is similar to the northern hemisphere in timing, but wave energetics is much weaker as a result of the high and zonally asymmetric topography. The effect of dust on baroclinic instability is examined by comparing a year with a global-scale dust storm (GDS) to two years without a GDS. In the GDS year, waves develop a mixed baroclinic/barotropic growth phase before decaying barotropically. Though the total amount of eddy kinetic energy generated by baroclinic energy conversion is lower during the GDS year, the maximum eddy intensity is not diminished. Instead, the number of intense eddies is reduced by about 50%.
Eddy Kinetic Energy
Battalio, Joseph Michael (2017). Wave Energetics of the Atmosphere of Mars. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from