Icarus, Vol. 300, 458-476, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.028. (2018)


Neary, L.; Daerden, F. 


GEM-Mars is a gridpoint-based three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM) of the Mars atmosphere extending from the surface to approximately 150 km based on the GEM (Global Environmental Multiscale) model, part of the operational weather forecasting and data assimilation system for Canada. After the initial modification for Mars, the model has undergone considerable changes. GEM-Mars is now based on GEM 4.2.0 and many physical parameterizations have been added for Mars-specific atmospheric processes and surface-atmosphere exchange. The model simulates interactive carbon dioxide-, dust-, water- and atmospheric chemistry cycles. Dust and water ice clouds are radiatively active. Size distributed dust is lifted by saltation and dust devils. The model includes 16 chemical species (CO2, Argon, N2, O2, CO, H2O, CH4, O3, O(1D), O, H, H2, OH, HO2, H2O2 and O2(a1g)) and has fully interactive photochemistry (15 reactions) and gas-phase chemistry (31 reactions). GEM-Mars provides a good simulation of the water and ozone cycles. A variety of other passive tracers can be included for dedicated studies, such as the emission of methane. The model has both a hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic formulation, and together with a flexible grid definition provides a single platform for simulations on a variety of horizontal scales. The model code is fully parallelized using OMP and MPI. Model results are evaluated by comparison to a selection of observations from instruments on the surface and in orbit, relating to atmosphere and surface temperature and pressure, dust and ice content, polar ice mass, polar argon, and global water and ozone vertical columns. GEM-Mars will play an integral part in the analysis and interpretation of data that is received by the NOMAD spectrometer on the ESA-Roskosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The present paper provides an overview of the current status and capabilities of the GEM-Mars model and lays the foundations for more in-depth studies in support of the NOMAD mission.