Publication Date

Fall 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Meteorology and Climate Science


Alison Bridger


Dust, HYSPLIT, Mars, Trajectories

Subject Areas



An analysis of the advection of air parcels in the Martian atmosphere during the 2001 global dust storm through the use of three-dimensional trajectories is presented. The Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model, well-known for trajectory, dispersion, and deposition modeling, and originally developed for Earth was modified for Mars to provide forward and backward trajectories. The custom HYSPLIT for Mars uses meteorological input generated by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM). The 2001 global dust storm was the earliest on record (Ls ~ 180°) and originated from local dust storms around the Hellas basin as the storm expanded asymmetrically to the east. Trajectories near Hellas and Claritas Fossae correspond with dust transport detected using satellite imagery. Forward trajectories at Ls = 184° from Hellas show flow to the south, transporting dust around the south polar cap, while after L¬s = 188° there is an eastward shift in propagation. Air parcel trajectories intersecting the surface during the dust storm may indicate the processes involved with global dust storms contributing to dust layers in the polar regions. Backward trajectories from Claritas Fossae reveal the dust activity in this region was the result of local dust storm activity instead of the propagation of dust eastward from the Hellas region.