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Atmospheric processes affecting methane on Mars

Grenfell, John Lee and Wunderlich, Fabian and Sinnhuber, Miriam and Herbst, Konstantin and Lehmann, Ralph and Scheucher, Markus and Gebauer, Stefanie and Arnold, Gabriele and Rauer, Heike (2022) Atmospheric processes affecting methane on Mars. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 382 (114940). Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2022.114940. ISSN 0019-1035.

[img] PDF - Only accessible within DLR bis 23 February 2024 - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)

Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019103522000616


It is currently uncertain as to whether methane exists on Mars. Data from the Curiosity Rover suggests a background methane concentration of a few tenths parts per billion whereas data from the Trace Gas Orbiter suggest an upper limit of twenty parts per trillion. If methane exists on Mars then we do not understand fully the physical and chemical processes affecting its lifetime. Atmospheric models suggest an over-estimate in the lifetime by a factor of around six hundred compared with earlier observations. In the present work we assume the Curiosity Rover background methane value and estimate the uncertainty in atmospheric chemistry and mixing processes in our atmospheric column model 1D TERRA. Results suggest that these processes can only explain a factor of ~sixteen lowering in the methane lifetime. This implies that if methane is present then additional, currently unknown processes are required to explain the observed lifetime.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142484/
Document Type:Article
Title:Atmospheric processes affecting methane on Mars
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Grenfell, John LeeLee.Grenfell (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wunderlich, Fabianfabian.wunderlich (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2238-5269
Sinnhuber, MiriamKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Herbst, KonstantinInstitut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Lehmann, RalphAlfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Scheucher, Markusmarkus.scheucher (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Gebauer, StefanieStefanie.Gebauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Arnold, GabrieleGabriele.Arnold (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rauer, Heikeheike.rauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:August 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:Mars, atmosphere, methane, lifetime, photochemical, cosmic rays
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project PLATO - PMC and Science
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Grenfell, John Lee
Deposited On:03 Nov 2022 10:09
Last Modified:28 Nov 2022 10:36

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