Monitoring of Dust Devil Tracks Around the InSight Landing Site, Mars, and Comparison With In Situ Atmospheric Data | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS

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

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 47, p.e2020GL087234 (2020)

URL:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020GL087234

Keywords:

dust devil tracks, HiRISE images, InSight mission, Mars

Abstract:

<p>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&nbsp;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&nbsp;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.</p>