Diagnostic calculations of the circulation in the Martian atmosphere
ABSTRACT The circulation of the martian atmosphere during late southern summer is inferred from observed atmospheric temperature and dust distributions. We use global maps of temperature and dust optical depth (approximately 0-60 km) retrieved from a subset of the Mariner 9 IRIS thermal emission spectra spanning L(sub s) equals 343-348 deg. This thermal structure is characterized by a reversed meridional temperature gradient at altitudes above about 40 km, and temperatures that decrease from equator to pole at lower altitudes. Zonal-mean zonal winds are derived from the zonally averaged temperatures assuming gradient wind balance and midlatitude westerly jets with velocities of 80-90 m s(exp -1) near 50 km; in the southern tropics the winds are easterly with velocities of 40 m s(exp -1) near 50 km. The north-south atmospheric transport includes contributions from both the zonal mean meridional circulation and large-scale waves.