Diurnal variation in Mars equatorial odd oxygen species: Chemical production and loss mechanisms

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Viudez Moreiras, D., Saix López, A., Blaszczak Boxe, C. S., Manfredi, J. A. R., Yung, Y. L. (2020). Diurnal variation in Mars equatorial odd oxygen species: Chemical production and loss mechanisms. Icarus 336, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113458

Odd oxygen (O, O(D-1), O-3) abundance and its variability in the Martian atmosphere results from complex physical and chemical interactions among atmospheric species, which are driven mainly by solar radiation and atmospheric conditions. Although our knowledge of Mars’ ozone distribution and variability has been significantly improved with the arrival of several recent orbiters, the data acquired by such missions is not enough to properly characterize its diurnal variation. Thus, photochemical models are useful tools to assist in such a characterization. Here, both the Martian ozone vertical distribution and its diurnal variation for equatorial latitudes are studied, using the JPL/Caltech one-dimensional photochemical model and diurnally-variable atmospheric profiles. The chosen equatorial latitude-region is based on the recent and future plans of NASA and other agencies to study this region by different surface missions. A production and loss analysis is performed in order to characterize the chemical mechanisms that drive odd oxygen’s diurnal budget and variability on Mars making use of the comprehensive chemistry implemented in the model. The diurnal variation shows large differences in the abundance between daytime and nighttime; and variable behavior depending on the atmospheric layer. The photolysis-driven ozone diurnal profile is obtained at the surface, whilst a sharp decrease is obtained in the upper troposphere at daytime, which originates from the large differences in atomic oxygen abundances between atmospheric layers. Finally, no clear anticorrelation between ozone and water vapor is found in the diurnal cycle, contrary to the strong correlation observed by orbiters on a seasonal timescale.

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