Status Report

Strong variability of Martian water ice clouds during dust storms revealed from ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter/NOMAD

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2020
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Giuliano Liuzzi, Geronimo L. Villanueva, Matteo M. J. Crismani, Michael D. Smith, Michael J. Mumma, Frank Daerden, Shohei Aoki, Ann Carine Vandaele, R. Todd Clancy, Justin Erwin, Ian Thomas, Bojan Ristic, José-Juan Lopez-Moreno, Giancarlo Bellucci, Manish R. Patel

(Submitted on 30 Dec 2019)

Observations of water ice clouds and aerosols on Mars can provide important insights into the complexity of the water cycle. Recent observations have indicated an important link between dust activity and the water cycle, as intense dust activity can significantly raise the hygropause, and subsequently increase the escape of water after dissociation in the upper atmosphere. Here present observations from NOMAD/TGO that investigate the variation of water ice clouds in the perihelion season of Mars Year 34 (April 2018-19), their diurnal and seasonal behavior, and the vertical structure and microphysical properties of water ice and dust. These observations reveal the recurrent presence of a layer of mesospheric water ice clouds subsequent to the 2018 Global Dust Storm. We show that this layer rose from 45 to 80 km in altitude on a timescale of days from heating in the lower atmosphere due to the storm. In addition, we demonstrate that there is a strong dawn dusk asymmetry in water ice abundance, related to nighttime nucleation and subsequent daytime sublimation. Water ice particle sizes are retrieved consistently and exhibit sharp vertical gradients (from 0.1 to 4.0 um), as well as mesospheric differences between the Global Dust Storm (<0.5 um) and the 2019 regional dust storm (1.0 um), which suggests differing water ice nucleation efficiencies. These results form the basis to advance our understanding of mesospheric water ice clouds on Mars, and further constrain the interactions between water ice and dust in the middle atmosphere.

Comments: Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets. 36 pages, 9 figures, 1 table

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

Cite as: arXiv:1912.12931 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1912.12931v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Giuliano Liuzzi 

[v1] Mon, 30 Dec 2019 13:59:37 UTC (3,710 KB)

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