Characterizing Dust-Radiation Feedback and Refining the Horizontal Resolution of the MarsWRF Model Down to 0.5 Degree

C. Gebhardt, A. Abuelgasim, R. M. Fonseca, J. Martín-Torres, M. P. Zorzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, three simulations by the Mars Weather Research and Forecasting Model are compared: two 10 Martian year (MY) 2° × 2° simulations with (i) fully radiatively active dust and (ii) a prescribed dust scenario, and a (iii) 1 MY 0.5° × 0.5° simulation with prescribed dust as in (ii). From comparing (i) and (ii), we found that the impact of dust-radiation feedback is individually different for any region. The most striking evidence are major dust lifting activities to the south of Chryse Planitia (S-CP) seen in (i) but not in (ii). By contrast, dust lifting and deposition on the southern slopes and inside the Hellas Basin are similar in both simulations. The latter, in turn, points toward a similar near-surface atmospheric circulation. In (iii), the total global amount of wind stress lifted dust is by a factor of ∼8 higher than in (ii), with S-CP being a major lifting region as in (i). Nonetheless, the surface dust lifting by wind stress in (iii) may be also reduced regionally, as seen at the peak of Elysium Mons because of its unique topography. The zonal mean circulation in (i) is generally of a comparable strength to that in (ii), with exceptions in global dust storm years, when it is clearly stronger in (i), in line with a dustier atmosphere. The differences in the zonal mean circulation between (ii) and (iii) are mostly at lower altitudes and may arise because of differences in the representation of the topography.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JE006672
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • MarsWRF model
  • dust cycle
  • dust-radiation feedback
  • interactive dust
  • model resolution
  • prescribed dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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