Mars Science Laboratory Observations of the 2018/Mars Year 34 Global Dust Storm

Scott D. Guzewich*, M. Lemmon, C. L. Smith, G. Martínez, Á. de Vicente-Retortillo, C. E. Newman, M. Baker, C. Campbell, B. Cooper, J. Gómez-Elvira, A. -M. Harri, Don Hassler, F. J. Martin-Torres, T. McConnochie, J. E. Moores, H. Kahanpää, A. Khayat, M. I. Richardson, M. D. Smith, R. SullivanM. de la Torre Juarez, A. R. Vasavada, D. Viúdez-Moreiras, C. Zeitlin, Maria-Paz Zorzano Mier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover observations of the 2018/Mars year 34 global/planet-encircling dust storm represent the first in situ measurements of a global dust storm with dedicated meteorological sensors since the Viking Landers. The Mars Science Laboratory team planned and executed a science campaign lasting approximately 100 Martian sols to study the storm involving an enhanced cadence of environmental monitoring using the rover's meteorological sensors, cameras, and spectrometers. Mast Camera 880-nm optical depth reached 8.5, and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station measurements indicated a 97% reduction in incident total ultraviolet solar radiation at the surface, 30K reduction in diurnal range of air temperature, and an increase in the semidiurnal pressure tide amplitude to 40 Pa. No active dust-lifting sites were detected within Gale Crater, and global and local atmospheric dynamics were drastically altered during the storm. This work presents an overview of the mission's storm observations and initial results. <p/>
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by a MSL Participating Scientist grant to S.Guzewich. A portion of the research wascarried out at the Jet PropulsionLaboratory, California Institute ofTechnology, under a contract with theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration. MSL data are freely available on the Planetary Data System within 6 months after receipt on Earth.Data used to make the figures are included in the supporting information. Mastcam and Navcam images are freely available at We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpfulcomments, which have improved this manuscript


  • Mars
  • Metereological condition
  • Gale Crater
  • dust storm


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