Trace gas assimilation of Mars orbiter observations

Holmes, J. A.; Lewis, S. R. and Patel, M. R. (2012). Trace gas assimilation of Mars orbiter observations. In: EPSC 2012, 23-28 Sep 2012, Madrid, Spain.



Ozone, water vapour and argon are minor constituents in the Martian atmosphere, observations of which can be of use in constraining atmospheric dynamical and physical processes. This is especially true in the winter season of each hemisphere, when the bulk of the main constituent in the atmosphere (CO2 ) condenses in the polar regions shifting the balance of atmospheric composition to a more trace gas rich air mass. Current Mars Global Circulation Models (MGCMs) are able to represent the photochemistry occuring in the atmosphere, with constraints being imposed by comparisons with observations. However, a long term comparison using data assimilation provides a more robust constraint on the model. We aim to provide a technique for trace gas data assimilation for the analysis of observations from current and future satellite missions (such as ExoMars) which observe the spatial and temporal distribution of trace gases on Mars.

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