Water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere: Two Martian years of SPICAM nadir UV measurements
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The SPICAM instrument onboard Mars Express has successfully performed two Martian years (MY 27 and MY28) of observations. Water ice cloud optical depths spatial and temporal distribution was retrieved from nadir measurements in the wavelength range 300-320 nm. During the northern spring the cloud hazes complex distribution was monitored. The clouds in the southern hemisphere formed a zonal belt in the latitude range 30-60°S. The edge of the retreating north polar hood merged with the northern tropical clouds in the range 250-350°E. The development of the aphelion cloud belt (ACB) started with the weak hazes formation (cloud optical thickness 0.1-0.3) in the equatorial region. At the end of the northern spring, the ACB cloud optical thickness reached already values of 0.3-1. The ACB decay in the end of the northern summer was accompanied with a presence of clouds in the north mid-latitudes. The expanded north polar hood merged with the north mid-latitude clouds in the eastern hemisphere. The interannual comparison indicates a decrease in cloud activity immediately after a strong dust storm in southern summer of MY28. The strong dust storms of the MY28 may also be a reason of the observed north polar hood edge shifting northward by 5°. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationMateshvili, N.; Fussen, D.; Vanhellemont, F.; Bingen, C.; Dekemper, E.; Loodts, N.; Tetard, C. (2009). Water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere: Two Martian years of SPICAM nadir UV measurements. , Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 57, Issue 8-9, 1022-1031, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2008.10.007.