Climatology of the CO Vertical Distribution on Mars Based on ACS TGO Measurements

Fedorova, Anna; Trokhimovskiy, Alexander; Lefèvre, Franck; Olsen, Kevin S.; Korablev, Oleg; Montmessin, Franck; Ignatiev, Nikolay; Lomakin, Alexander; Forget, Francois; Belyaev, Denis; Alday, Juan; Luginin, Mikhail; Smith, Michael; Patrakeev, Andrey; Shakun, Alexey and Grigoriev, Alexey (2022). Climatology of the CO Vertical Distribution on Mars Based on ACS TGO Measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127(9)



Carbon monoxide is a non-condensable gas in the Martian atmosphere produced by the photolysis of CO2. Its abundance responds to the condensation and sublimation of CO2 from the polar caps, resulting in seasonal variations of the CO mixing ratio. ACS onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter have measured CO in infrared bands by solar occultation. Here we provide the first long-term monitoring of the CO vertical distribution at the altitude range from 0 to 80 km for 1.5 Martian years from Ls = 163° of MY34 to the end of MY35. We obtained a mean CO mixing ratio of ∼960 ppmv at latitudes from 45°S to 45°N and altitudes below 40 km, mostly consistent with previous observations. We found a strong enrichment of CO near the surface at Ls = 100–200° in high southern latitudes with a layer of 3,000–4,000 ppmv, corresponding to local depletion of CO2. At equinoxes we found an increase of the CO mixing ratio above 50 km to 3,000–4,000 ppmv at high latitudes of both hemispheres explained by the downwelling flux of the Hadley circulation on Mars, which drags the CO enriched air. General circulation models tend to overestimate the intensity of this process, bringing too much CO. The observed minimum of CO in the high and mid-latitudes southern summer atmosphere amounts to 700–750 ppmv, agreeing with nadir measurements. During the global dust storm of MY34, when the H2O abundance peaks, we see less CO than during the calm MY35, suggesting an impact of HOx chemistry on the CO abundance.

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