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The vertical transport of methane from different potential emission types on Mars

Holmes, J. A.; Patel, M. R. and Lewis, S. R. (2017). The vertical transport of methane from different potential emission types on Mars. Geophysical Research Letters (Early Access).

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The contrasting evolutionary behavior of the vertical profile of methane from three potential release scenarios is analysed using a global circulation model with assimilated temperature profiles. Understanding the evolving methane distribution is essential for interpretation of future retrievals of the methane vertical profile taken by instruments on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft. We show that at methane release rates constrained by previous observations and modelling studies, discriminating whether the methane source is a sustained or instantaneous surface emission requires at least ten sols of tracking the emission. A methane source must also be observed within five to ten sols of the initial emission to distinguish whether the emission occurs directly at the surface or within the atmosphere via destabilization of metastable clathrates. Assimilation of thermal data is shown to be critical for the most accurate back-tracking of an observed methane plume to its origin.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 American Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0094-8276
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Case for Support for Modelling and Data Assimilation Science Co-I on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. (SP-10-073-SL)ST/I003096/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open UniversityST/L000776/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Support for Science Co-I's on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Instruments. (SM-10-074-MP)ST/I003061/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Modelling and retrieval of martian dust, ice and ozone from ExoMars NOMAD dataST/P001262/1UKSA UK Space Agency
UPWARDSUPWARDS-633127European Union Horizon 2020
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Space
Item ID: 50633
Depositing User: James Holmes
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2017 15:23
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2018 02:00
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