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Variations in the Ionospheric Peak Altitude at Mars in Response to Dust Storms: 13 Years of Observations from the Mars Express Radar Sounder

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Z. Girazian, Z. Luppen, D. D. Morgan, F. Chu, L. Montabone, E. M. B. Thiemann, D. A. Gurnett, J. Halekas, A. J. Kopf, F. Nemec

(Submitted on 17 Jun 2019)

Previous observations have shown that, during Martian dust storms, the peak of the ionosphere rises in altitude. Observational studies of this type, however, have been extremely limited. Using 13 years of ionospheric peak altitude data from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on Mars Express, we study how the peak altitude responded to dust storms during six different Mars Years (MY). We find that the peak altitude increased during regional dust storms in MY 27 and MY 33, and during the global dust storm in MY 28. In contrast, we find that the peak altitude did not increase during regional dust storms in MY 29 and MY 32, nor during the global dust storm in MY 34. Our results suggest that the response of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere to dust storms is dependent on several factors, including latitude, solar zenith angle, solar cycle conditions, and the magnitude of the dust storm.

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1906.07111 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1906.07111v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Zachary Girazian 

[v1] Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:25:44 UTC (1,118 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.07111

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