Vertical Aerosol Distribution and Mesospheric Clouds From ExoMars UVIS

DOI: 
10.1029/2021JE007065
Publication date: 
08/05/2022
Main author: 
Streeter, Paul M.
IAA authors: 
López-Moreno, José Juan
Authors: 
Streeter, Paul M.;Sellers, Graham;Wolff, Michael J.;Mason, Jonathon P.;Patel, Manish R.;Lewis, Stephen R.;Holmes, James A.;Daerden, Frank;Thomas, Ian R.;Ristic, Bojan;Willame, Yannick;Depiesse, Cédric;Vandaele, Ann Carine;Bellucci, Giancarlo;López-Moreno, José Juan
Journal: 
Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets)
Refereed: 
Yes
Publication type: 
Article
Volume: 
127
Pages: 
e07065
Abstract: 
The vertical opacity structure of the martian atmosphere is important for understanding the distribution of ice (water and carbon dioxide) and dust. We present a new data set of extinction opacity profiles from the NOMAD/UVIS spectrometer aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, covering one and a half Mars Years (MY) including the MY 34 Global Dust Storm and several regional dust storms. We discuss specific mesospheric cloud features and compare with existing literature and a Mars Global Climate Model (MGCM) run with data assimilation. Mesospheric opacity features, interpreted to be water ice, were present during the global and regional dust events and correlate with an elevated hygropause in the MGCM, providing evidence that regional dust storms can boost transport of vapor to mesospheric altitudes (with potential implications for atmospheric escape). The season of the dust storms also had an apparent impact on the resulting lifetime of the cloud features, with events earlier in the dusty season correlating with longer-lasting mesospheric cloud layers. Mesospheric opacity features were also present during the dusty season even in the absence of regional dust storms, and interpreted to be water ice based on previous literature. The assimilated MGCM temperature structure agreed well with the UVIS opacities, but the MGCM opacity field struggled to reproduce mesospheric ice features, suggesting a need for further development of water ice parameterizations. The UVIS opacity data set offers opportunities for further research into the vertical aerosol structure of the martian atmosphere, and for validation of how this is represented in numerical models.
Database: 
ADS
SCOPUS
URL: 
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/#abs/2022JGRE..12707065S/abstract
ADS Bibcode: 
2022JGRE..12707065S
Keywords: 
ExoMars TGO;clouds;NOMAD;UVIS;Mars atmosphere;data assimilation