Status Report

Martian Dust Storms and Gravity Waves: Disentangling Water Transport to the Upper Atmosphere

By SpaceRef Editor
January 14, 2022
Filed under , ,

Dmitry S. Shaposhnikov, Alexander S. Medvedev, Alexander V. Rodin, Erdal Yiğit, Paul Hartogh

Simulations with the Max Planck Institute Martian general circulation model for Martian years 28 and 34 reveal details of the water “pump” mechanism and the role of gravity wave (GW) forcing. Water is advected to the upper atmosphere mainly by upward branches of the meridional circulation: in low latitudes during equinoxes and over the south pole during solstices. Molecular diffusion plays little role in water transport in the middle atmosphere and across the mesopause. GWs modulate the circulation and temperature during global dust storms, thus changing the timing and intensity of the transport. At equinoxes, they facilitate water accumulation in the polar warming regions in the middle atmosphere followed by stronger upwelling over the equator. As equinoctial storms decay, GWs tend to accelerate the reduction of water in the thermosphere. GWs delay the onset of the transport during solstitial storms and change the globally averaged amount of water in the upper atmosphere by 10-25%.

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (

DOI: 10.1029/2021JE007102

Cite as: arXiv:2201.05081 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2201.05081v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Dmitry Shaposhnikov S 

[v1] Thu, 13 Jan 2022 17:07:23 UTC (14,438 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.