Advanced Search



ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Li, X. Z., Rong, Z. J., Gao, J. W., Wei, Y., Shi, Z., Yu, T., and Wan, W. X. (2020). A local Martian crustal field model: Targeting the candidate landing site of the 2020 Chinese Mars Rover. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(4), 420–428.

2020, 4(4): 420-428. doi: 10.26464/epp2020045


A local Martian crustal field model: Targeting the candidate landing site of the 2020 Chinese Mars Rover


Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China


Beijing National Observatory of Space Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Corresponding author: ZhaoJin Rong,

Received Date: 2020-03-03
Web Publishing Date: 2020-06-17

Unlike Earth, Mars lacks a global dipolar magnetic field but is dominated by patches of a remnant crustal magnetic field. In 2021, the Chinese Mars Rover will land on the surface of Mars and measure the surface magnetic field along a moving path within the possible landing region of 20°W–50°W, 20°N–30°N. One scientific target of the Rover is to monitor the variation in surface remnant magnetic fields and reveal the source of the ionospheric current. An accurate local crustal field model is thus considered necessary as a field reference. Here we establish a local crust field model for the candidate landing site based on the joint magnetic field data set from Mars Global Explorer (MGS) and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) data combined. The model is composed of 1,296 dipoles, which are set on three layers but at different buried depths. The application of the dipole model to the joint data set allowed us to calculate the optimal parameters of their dipoles. The calculated results demonstrate that our model has less fitting error than two other state-of-the art global crustal field models, which would indicate a more reasonable assessment of the surface crustal field from our model.

Key words: Mars, remnant crustal field, crustal field model, dipole sources, Chinese Mars mission

Acuña, M. H., Connerney, J. E. P., Wasilewski, P., Lin, R. P., Anderson, K. A., Carlson, C. W., McFadden, J., Curtis, D. W., Mitchell, D., … Ness, N. F. (1998). Magnetic field and plasma observations at mars: initial results of the mars global surveyor mission. Science, 279(5357), 1676–1680.

Albee, A. L., Arvidson, R. E., Palluconi, F., and Thorpe, T. (2001). Overview of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 106(E10), 23291–23316.

Arkani-Hamed, J. (2005). Magnetic crust of Mars. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 110(E8), E08005.

Arkani-Hamed, J. (2007). Magnetization of Martian lower crust: Revisited. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 112(E5), E05008.

Cain, J. C., Ferguson, B. B., and Mozzoni, D. (2003). An n = 90 internal potential function of the Martian crustal magnetic field. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 108(E2), 5008.

Chiao, L. Y., Lin, J. R., and Gung, Y. C. (2006). Crustal magnetization equivalent source model of Mars constructed from a hierarchical multiresolution inversion of the Mars Global Surveyor data. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 111(E12), E12010.

Connerney, J. E. P., Espley, J., Lawton, P., Murphy, S., Odom, J., Oliversen, R., and Sheppard, D. (2015). The MAVEN magnetic field investigation. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1), 257–291.

Fan, K., Fraenz, M., Wei, Y., Han, Q. Q., Dubinin, E., Cui, J., Chai, L. H., Rong, Z. J., Zhong, J., … Connerney, J. E. P. (2019). Reduced atmospheric ion escape above Martian crustal magnetic fields. Geophys. Res. Lett., 46(21), 11764–11772.

Geng, Y., Zhou, J. S., Li, S., Fu, Z. L., Meng, L. Z., Liu, J. J., and Wang, H. P. (2018). A brief introduction of the first mars exploration mission in China. J. Deep Space Explor. (in Chinese) , 5(5), 399–405.

Han, X., Fraenz, M., Dubinin, E., Wei, Y., Andrews, D. J., Wan, W., He, M., Rong, Z. J., Chai, L., … Barabash, S. (2014). Discrepancy between ionopause and photoelectron boundary determined from Mars Express measurements. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(23), 8221–8227.

Han, Q. Q., Fan, K., Cui, J., Wei, Y., Fraenz, M., Dubinin, E., Chai, L. H., Rong, Z. J., Wan, W. X., … Connerney, J. E. P. (2019). The relationship between photoelectron boundary and steep electron density gradient on Mars: MAVEN observations. J. Geophys. Res.: Space Phys., 124(10), 8015–8022.

Hestenes, M. R., and Stiefel, E. (1952). Methods of conjugate gradients for solving linear systems. J. Res. Natl. Bur. Stand., 49(6), 409–436.

Jakosky, B. M., Lin, R. P., Grebowsky, J. M., Luhmann, J. G., Mitchell, D. F., Beutelschies, G., Priser, T., Acuna, M., Andersson, L., … Zurek, R. (2015). The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1), 3–48.

Johnson, C. L., Mittelholz, A., Langlais, B., Lognonné, P., Pike, W. T., Joy, S. P., Russell, C. T., Yu, Y. N., Fillingim, M., … Banerdt, W. B. (2019). First results from the insight fluxgate magnetometer: Constraints on Mars’ crustal magnetic field at the INSIGHT landing site. In 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019. The Woodlands, Texas: LPI.

Johnson, C. L., Mittelholz, A., Langlais, B., Russell, C. T., Ansan, V., Banfield, D., Chi, P. J., Fillingim, M. O., Forget, F., … Banerdt, W. B. (2020). Crustal and time-varying magnetic fields at the InSight landing site on Mars. Nat. Geosci., 13(3), 199–204.

Langlais, B., Purucker, M. E., and Mandea, M. (2004). Crustal magnetic field of Mars. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 109(E2), E02008.

Langlais, B., Thébault, E., Houliez, A., Purucker, M. E., and Lillis, R. J. (2019). A new model of the crustal magnetic field of Mars using MGS and MAVEN. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 124(6), 1542–1569.

Li, C. L., Liu, J. J., Geng, Y., Cao, J. B., Zhang, T. L., Fang, G. Y., Yang, J. F., Shu, R., Zou, Y. L.,.. Ouyang, Z. Y. (2018). Scientific objectives and payload configuration of China’s first Mars exploration mission. J. Deep Space Explor. (in Chinese) , 5(5), 406–413.

Lillis, R. J., Frey, H. V., Manga, M., Mitchell, D. L., Lin, R. P., Acuña, M. H., and Bougher, S. W. (2008). An improved crustal magnetic field map of Mars from electron reflectometry: Highland volcano magmatic history and the end of the Martian dynamo. Icarus, 194(2), 575–596.

Ma, Y. J., Fang, X. H., Russell, C. T., Nagy, A. F., Toth, G., Luhmann, J. G., Brain, D. A., and Dong, C. F. (2014). Effects of crustal field rotation on the solar wind plasma interaction with Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(19), 6563–6569.

Mayhew, M. A. (1979). Inversion of satellite magnetic anomaly data. J. Geophys., 45(2), 119–128.

Mittelholz, A., Johnson, C. L., and Morschhauser, A. (2018a). A new magnetic field activity proxy for Mars from MAVEN data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(12), 5899–5907.

Mittelholz, A., Morschhauser, A., Johnson, C. L., Langlais, B., Lillis, R. J., Vervelidou, F., and Weiss, B. P. (2018b). The Mars 2020 candidate landing sites: A magnetic field perspective. Earth Space Sci., 5(9), 410–424.

Moore, K. M., and Bloxham, J. (2017). The construction of sparse models of Mars's crustal magnetic field. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122(7), 1443–1457.

Morschhauser, A., Lesur, V., and Grott, M. (2014). A spherical harmonic model of the lithospheric magnetic field of Mars. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119(6), 1162–1188.

Mustard, J., Adler, M., Allwood, A., Bass, D., Beaty, D., Bell, J., et al. (2013). Report of the Mars 2020 science definition team. Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG), Cl, 155-205.

Němec, F., Morgan, D. D., Gurnett, D. A., and Brain, D. A. (2011). Areas of enhanced ionization in the deep nightside ionosphere of Mars. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 116(E6), E06006.

Oliveira, J. S., Langlais, B., Pais, M. A., and Amit, H. (2015). A modified Equivalent Source Dipole method to model partially distributed magnetic field measurements, with application to Mercury. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120(6), 1075–1094.

Plattner, A., and Simons, F. J. (2015). High-resolution local magnetic field models for the Martian South Pole from Mars Global Surveyor data. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 120(9), 1543–1566.

Purucker, M., Ravat, D., Frey, H., Voorhies, C., Sabaka, T., and Acuña, M. (2000). An altitude-normalized magnetic map of Mars and its interpretation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(16), 2449–2452.

Purucker, M. E., Sabaka, T. J., and Langel, R. A. (1996). Conjugate gradient analysis: A new tool for studying satellite magnetic data sets. Geophys. Res. Lett., 23(5), 507–510.

Purucker, M. E. (2008). A global model of the internal magnetic field of the Moon based on Lunar Prospector magnetometer observations. Icarus, 197(1), 19–23.

Russell, C. T., Joy, S., Yu, Y., Rowe, K., Johnson, C., Mittelholz, A., Langlais, B., Chi, P. J., Fillingim, M., …Banerdt, B. (2019). The insight magnetic field measurements: preliminary results. In 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019. The Woodlands, Texas: LPI.

Smith, D. E., and Zuber, M. T. (2002). The crustal thickness of Mars: Accuracy and resolution. In 33rd Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Houston, Texas: NASA.

Trotignon, J. G., Mazelle, C., Bertucci, C., and Acuña, M. H. (2006). Martian shock and magnetic pile-up boundary positions and shapes determined from the Phobos 2 and Mars Global Surveyor data sets. Planet. Space Sci., 54(4), 357–369.

Wei, Y., Yao, Z. H., and Wan, W. X. (2018). China’s roadmap for planetary exploration. Nat. Astron., 2(5), 346–348.

Whaler, K. A., and Purucker, M. E. (2005). A spatially continuous magnetization model for Mars. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 110(E9), E09001.

Zhao, L., Du, A. M., Qiao, D. H., Sun, S. Q., Zhang, Y., Ou, J. M., Guo, Z. F., Li, Z., Feng, X., … Li, F. (2018). The ROVER fluxgate magnetometer. J. Deep Space Explor. (in Chinese) , 5(5), 472–477.

Zuber, M. T. (2001). The crust and mantle of Mars. Nature, 412(6843), 220–227.


YuTian Cao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: Photoelectron pitch angle distribution near Mars and implications on cross terminator magnetic field connectivity, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 17-22. doi: 10.26464/epp2020008


YaoKun Li, JiPing Chao, 2022: A two-dimensional energy balance climate model on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 284-293. doi: 10.26464/epp2022026


LingGao Kong, AiBing Zhang, Zhen Tian, XiangZhi Zheng, WenJing Wang, Bin Liu, Peter Wurz, Daniele Piazza, Adrian Etter, Bin Su, YaYa An, JianJing Ding, WenYa Li, Yong Liu, Lei Li, YiRen Li, Xu Tan, YueQiang Sun, 2020: Mars Ion and Neutral Particle Analyzer (MINPA) for Chinese Mars Exploration Mission (Tianwen-1): Design and ground calibration, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 333-344. doi: 10.26464/epp2020053


D. Singh, S. Uttam, 2022: Thermal inertia at the MSL and InSight mission sites on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 18-27. doi: 10.26464/epp2022004


Kai Liu, XinJun Hao, YiRen Li, TieLong Zhang, ZongHao Pan, ManMing Chen, XiaoWen Hu, Xin Li, ChengLong Shen, YuMing Wang, 2020: Mars Orbiter magnetometer of China’s First Mars Mission Tianwen-1, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 384-389. doi: 10.26464/epp2020058


Bin Zhou, ShaoXiang Shen, Wei Lu, YuXi Li, Qing Liu, ChuanJun Tang, ShiDong Li, GuangYou Fang, 2020: The Mars rover subsurface penetrating radar onboard China's Mars 2020 mission, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 345-354. doi: 10.26464/epp2020054


ShiBang Li, HaoYu Lu, Jun Cui, YiQun Yu, Christian Mazelle, Yun Li, JinBin Cao, 2020: Effects of a dipole-like crustal field on solar wind interaction with Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 23-31. doi: 10.26464/epp2020005


JunYi Wang, XinAn Yue, Yong Wei, WeiXing Wan, 2018: Optimization of the Mars ionospheric radio occultation retrieval, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 292-302. doi: 10.26464/epp2018027


ShuWen Tang, Yi Wang, HongYun Zhao, Fang Fang, Yi Qian, YongJie Zhang, HaiBo Yang, CunHui Li, Qiang Fu, Jie Kong, XiangYu Hu, Hong Su, ZhiYu Sun, YuHong Yu, BaoMing Zhang, Yu Sun, ZhiPeng Sun, 2020: Calibration of Mars Energetic Particle Analyzer (MEPA), Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 355-363. doi: 10.26464/epp2020055


ZiChuan Li, Jun Cui, Jing Li, XiaoShu Wu, JiaHao Zhong, FaYu Jiang, 2020: Solar control of CO2 + ultraviolet doublet emission on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 543-549. doi: 10.26464/epp2020064


Jun Cui, ZhaoJin Rong, Yong Wei, YuMing Wang, 2020: Recent investigations of the near-Mars space environment by the planetary aeronomy and space physics community in China, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 1-3. doi: 10.26464/epp2020001


Chi-Fong Wong, Kim-Chiu Chow, Kwing L. Chan, Jing Xiao, Yemeng Wang, 2021: Some features of effective radius and variance of dust particles in numerical simulations of the dust climate on Mars, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 11-18. doi: 10.26464/epp2021005


WeiXing Wan, Chi Wang, ChunLai Li, Yong Wei, JianJun Liu, 2020: The payloads of planetary physics research onboard China’s First Mars Mission (Tianwen-1), Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 331-332. doi: 10.26464/epp2020052


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, ZhaoGuo He, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: A MAVEN investigation of O++ in the dayside Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 11-16. doi: 10.26464/epp2020009


Deepak Singh, 2020: Impact of surface Albedo on Martian photochemistry, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 206-211. doi: 10.26464/epp2020025


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, YuTian Cao, WeiQin Sun, Qiong Luo, BinBin Ni, 2020: Response of photoelectron peaks in the Martian ionosphere to solar EUV/X-ray irradiance, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 390-395. doi: 10.26464/epp2020035


LongKang Dai, Jun Cui, DanDan Niu, Hao Gu, YuTian Cao, XiaoShu Wu, HaiRong Lai, 2021: Is Solar Wind electron precipitation a source of neutral heating in the nightside Martian upper atmosphere?, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 1-10. doi: 10.26464/epp2021012


MeiJuan Yao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, YingYing Huang, WenRui Wang, 2019: Variability of the Martian ionosphere from the MAVEN Radio Occultation Science Experiment, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 283-289. doi: 10.26464/epp2019029


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, Jiang Yu, LiJuan Liu, ZhenJun Zhou, 2019: Photoelectron balance in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 373-379. doi: 10.26464/epp2019038


MengHao Fu, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, ZhaoPeng Wu, Jing Li, 2020: The variations of the Martian exobase altitude, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 4-10. doi: 10.26464/epp2020010

Article Metrics
  • PDF Downloads()
  • Abstract views()
  • HTML views()
  • Cited by(0)

Figures And Tables

A local Martian crustal field model: Targeting the candidate landing site of the 2020 Chinese Mars Rover

XinZhou Li, ZhaoJin Rong, JiaWei Gao, Yong Wei, Zhen Shi, Tao Yu, WeiXing Wan