Benchmark experiments with the explicit planetary isentropic coordinate (EPIC) model: Does it snow on Saturn? [abstract]
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Three experiments are conducted on the Saturnian atmosphere using the Explicit Planetary Isentropic Coordinate (EPIC) numerical model. The first is a control experiment, wherein no water (in any state) or ammonia is accounted for. The second is an experiment wherein water vapor is included and allowed to occupy the vapor, liquid, and solid states (including separate equations for rain and snow). The third experiment involved ammonia only. Beginning from a basic state, we examine the structure of the Saturnian atmosphere at 1 month into the simulation. Realistic-looking clouds did develop, with the banding expected in the atmosphere of this kind of gas giant. Ongoing analysis seeks to determine the vertical location of and chemical concentrations in these clouds in comparison to observed data returned from probes such as Cassini.