How Strong Are Dust Storms On Mars? The Altitude Is 80 Kilometers

Why have scientists found no oceans or lakes on the surface of Mars so far? Two new studies show that dust storms on Mars can form dust towers up to 80 kilometers high, powerful enough to drain reservoirs on the surface.

The two studies are based on Martian weather data from 2018, when dust storms blanketed the planet, causing NASA’s opportunity rover mission to be unexpectedly terminated.


During the storm, researchers observed a huge structure of dust towers, nearly as wide as the U.S. state of Rhode Island and up to 80 kilometers high, sending gas vapor and dust particles into the Martian atmosphere. The researchers point out that the towers could release water vapor from the Martian surface into the upper atmosphere, where strong solar radiation could cause water vapor to separate from dust particles.

Scientists say that every ten years or so, Mars will appear this kind of huge dust tower structure of the global storm, Hampton university scientists nicolas han Vince said: “under normal circumstances, these dust about one day time is down to the surface of Mars, but during the period of the global storm, dust tower structure will last several weeks.”


The dust tower ACTS as a “space elevator,” allowing observers to see it transport large amounts of Martian surface material into the Martian atmosphere. Previous work by Evans has shown that Martian dust storms can carry water vapor and dust particles into the upper atmosphere, which would explain the appearance of small periodic white clouds on the Martian surface.

With periodic gathering storm, this phenomenon will spread to the whole planet, not exist independently, or will explain the riddle of the Martian surface water disappear, NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, David Kass (David Kass) said: “there is no such unusual global dust storm, earth’s climate, the phenomenon can affect climate of Mars a few months time.”