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An Extremely Elongated Cloud Over Arsia Mons Volcano on Mars: I. Life Cycle

Hernández-Bernal, J. and Sanchez-Lavega, A. and del Río-Gaztelurrutia, Teresa and Ravanis, E.M. and Cardesín-Moinelo, A. and Connour, K. and Tirsch, Daniela and Ordonez-Etxeberria, I. and Gondet, B. and Wood, S. and Titov, D. and Schneider, N.M. and Hueso, R. and Jaumann, Ralf and Hauber, Ernst (2021) An Extremely Elongated Cloud Over Arsia Mons Volcano on Mars: I. Life Cycle. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, 126 (3), e2020JE006517. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2020je006517. ISSN 2169-9097.

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Official URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020JE006517

Abstract

We report a previously unnoticed annually repeating phenomenon consisting of the daily formation of an extremely elongated cloud extending as far as 1,800 km westward from Arsia Mons. It takes place in the solar longitude (Ls) range of ∼220°-320°, around the Southern solstice. We study this Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud (AMEC) using images from different orbiters, including ESA Mars Express, NASA MAVEN, Viking 2, MRO, and ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). We study the AMEC in detail in Martian year (MY) 34 in terms of local time and Ls and find that it exhibits a very rapid daily cycle: the cloud growth starts before sunrise on the western slope of the volcano, followed by a westward expansion that lasts 2.5 h with a velocity of around 170 m/s in the mesosphere (∼45 km over the areoid). The cloud formation then ceases, detaches from its formation point, and continues moving westward until it evaporates before the afternoon, when most sun synchronous orbiters make observations. Moreover, we comparatively study observations from different years (i.e., MYs 29-34) in search of interannual variations and find that in MY33 the cloud exhibits lower activity, while in MY34 the beginning of its formation was delayed compared with other years, most likely due to the Global Dust Storm. This phenomenon takes place in a season known for the general lack of clouds on Mars. In this paper we focus on observations, and a theoretical interpretation will be the subject of a separate paper.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141889/
Document Type:Article
Title:An Extremely Elongated Cloud Over Arsia Mons Volcano on Mars: I. Life Cycle
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Hernández-Bernal, J.Dpto. Fisica Aplicada I, Escuela de Ingeniería de Bilbao, UPV/EHUUNSPECIFIED
Sanchez-Lavega, A.Dpto. Física Aplicada, Universidad de Pais Vasco, Bilbao, SpainUNSPECIFIED
del Río-Gaztelurrutia, TeresaDpto. Fisica Aplicada I, Escuela de Ingeniería de Bilbao, UPV/EHUUNSPECIFIED
Ravanis, E.M.European Space Agency, ESACUNSPECIFIED
Cardesín-Moinelo, A.European Space Astronomy Centre, European Space Agency, Villanueva de la Cañada, 28691 Madrid, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Connour, K.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of ColoradoUNSPECIFIED
Tirsch, DanielaDaniela.Tirsch (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5905-5426
Ordonez-Etxeberria, I.Dpto. Física Aplicada, Universidad de Pais Vasco, Bilbao, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Gondet, B.Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS, Orsay, FrankreichUNSPECIFIED
Wood, S.European Space Agency, ESOC, Darmstadt, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Titov, D.ESA/ESTEC, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Schneider, N.M.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of ColoradoUNSPECIFIED
Hueso, R.Física Aplicada I, Escuela de Ingeniería de Bilbao, Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, SpainUNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, RalfFreie Universität Berlinhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9759-6597
Hauber, ErnstErnst.Hauber (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1375-304X
Date:2021
Journal or Publication Title:JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:126
DOI :10.1029/2020je006517
Page Range:e2020JE006517
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:2169-9097
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars, Mars Express, VMC, HRSC, Clouds, atmospheric phenomena
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Mars Express HRSC
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Tirsch, Daniela
Deposited On:21 Apr 2021 10:15
Last Modified:21 Apr 2021 10:15

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