Monitoring of Dust Devil Tracks Around the InSight Landing Site, Mars, and Comparison With In Situ Atmospheric Data

C. Perrin, S. Rodriguez, A. Jacob, A. Lucas, A. Spiga, N. Murdoch, R. Lorenz, I. J. Daubar, L. Pan, T. Kawamura, P. Lognonné, D. Banfield, M. E. Banks, R. F. Garcia, C. E. Newman, L. Ohja, R. Widmer-Schnidrig, A. S. McEwen, W. B. Banerdt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The NASA InSight mission on Mars is a unique opportunity to study atmospheric processes both from orbit and in situ observations. We use post-landing high-resolution satellite images to monitor dust devil activity during the first 8 months of the mission. We perform mapping and semiautomatic detection of newly formed dust devil tracks and analyze their characteristics (sizes, azimuths, distances, and directions of motion). We find a large number of tracks appearing shortly after landing, followed by a significant decrease of activity during late winter, then a progressive increase during early spring. New tracks are characterized by dark linear, to slightly curvilinear, traces ranging from a few to more than 10 m wide. Tracks are oriented in the ambient wind direction, according to measurements made by InSight's meteorological sensors. The systematic analysis of dust devil tracks is useful to have a better understanding of atmospheric and aeolian activity around InSight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL087234
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume47
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2020

Keywords

  • HiRISE images
  • InSight mission
  • Mars
  • dust devil tracks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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