Winds at the Mars 2020 Landing Site: 1. Near-Surface Wind Patterns at Jezero Crater

D. Viúdez-Moreiras, M. Lemmon, C. E. Newman, S. Guzewich, M. Mischna, J. Gómez-Elvira, K. Herkenhoff, A. Sánchez-Lavega, M. de la Torre, J. A. Rodríguez-Manfredi, R. D. Lorenz, J. Pla-García, R. Hueso, M. Richardson, L. Tamppari, M. Smith, V. Apéstigue, D. Toledo, J. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This is the first part of a two-part paper. NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover measured winds on the Jezero crater floor close to the delta of an ancient river. A mostly repeatable diurnal cycle was observed and presented two regimes: (a) a convective regime, from dawn to sunset, with average easterly to southeasterly winds, during which maximum wind speeds were measured, and (b) a nighttime regime with westerly-northwesterly winds followed by a relatively calm period with highly variable wind directions as a function of sol and time of night. The timing and magnitude of the observed regimes are consistent with primary control by regional and local slope flows. Data suggest that the surface circulation at Jezero region in northern spring and summer is highly unaffected by large-scale circulation except during particular periods in the diurnal cycle or generally during dust storms, which is supported by MarsWRF model simulations. Consequently, the observed seasonal variability was weak. However, sol-to-sol and seasonal variability were measured, most of it during certain nighttime periods. Traveling waves consistent with baroclinic instability were clearly observed in surface winds at Ls ∼ 75°. The early MY36/2022A regional dust storm at Ls ∼ 153° disturbed the wind patterns with changes suggesting enhanced tidal flows. After sunset, the dust storm also produced detectable gravity wave activity, increasing the mixing in the nighttime planetary boundary layer during storm conditions. Inferred wind directions from dust devil movies strongly suggest that prevailing winds continued to be slope-driven during the late summer, fall and early winter seasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JE007522
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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