Martian Atmospheric Aerosols Composition and Distribution Retrievals During the First Martian Year of NOMAD/TGO Solar Occultation Measurements: 1. Methodology and Application to the MY 34 Global Dust Storm

Stolzenbach, Aurélien; López Valverde, Miguel‐Angel; Brines, Adrian; Modak, Ashimananda; Funke, Bernd; González‐Galindo, Francisco; Thomas, Ian; Liuzzi, Giuliano; Villanueva, Gerónimo; Luginin, Mikhail; Aoki, Shohei; Grabowski, Udo; Lopez Moreno, José Juan; Rodrìguez Gòmez, Julio; Wolff, Mike; Ristic, Bojan; Daerden, Frank; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Patel, Manish and Vandaele, Ann‐Carine (2023). Martian Atmospheric Aerosols Composition and Distribution Retrievals During the First Martian Year of NOMAD/TGO Solar Occultation Measurements: 1. Methodology and Application to the MY 34 Global Dust Storm. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 128(11), article no. e2022JE007276.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022je007276

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) science operations in April 2018, its instrument “Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery” (NOMAD) supplies detailed observations of the IR spectrums of the Martian atmosphere. We developed a procedure that allows us to evaluate the composition and distribution's parameters of the atmospheric Martian aerosols. We use a retrieval program (RCP) in conjunction with a radiative forward model (KOPRA) to evaluate the vertical profile of aerosol extinction from NOMAD measurements. We then apply a model/data fitting strategy of the aerosol extinction. In this first article, we describe the method used to evaluate the parameters representing the Martian aerosol composition and size distribution. MY 34 GDS showed a peak intensity from LS 190° to 210°. During this period, the aerosol content rises multiple scale height, reaching altitudes up to 100 km. The lowermost altitude of aerosol's detection during NOMAD observation rises up to 30 km. Dust aerosols reff were observed to be close to 1 μm and its νeff lower than 0.2. Water ice aerosols reff were observed to be submicron with a νeff lower than 0.2. The vertical aerosol structure can be divided in two parts. The lower layers are represented by higher reff than the upper layers. The change between the lower and upper layers is very steep, taking only few kilometers. The decaying phase of the GDS, LS 210°–260°, shows a decrease in altitude of the aerosol content but no meaningful difference in the observed aerosol's size distribution parameters.

Plain Language Summary

Mars' atmosphere is filled with dust and water ice particles carried by the winds. These aerosols affect the way sunlight is distributed in the atmosphere and on the surface, and this directly affects temperature. In addition, approximately every three Martian years, Mars experiences what is known as a “global dust storm.” This type of dust storm covers the entire red planet in dust. It affects the temperature and water vapor content of the Martian atmosphere. Determining and assessing aerosol properties, number, size and mass during and after a global dust storm is of crucial importance to understanding its underlying mechanisms. Here, we develop an analysis scheme to study the size, nature, number and distribution of Martian aerosols. Our study confirms that, overall, dust and water ice particles are quite small, close to 1 μm or even smaller, and that a global dust storm affects the intensity of other storms that follow.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations