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Martian water vapor: Mars Express PFS/LW observations

Fouchet, T. and Lellouch, E. and Ignatiev, N.I. and Forget, F. and Titov, D.V. and Tschimmel, M. and Montmessin, F. and Formisano, V. and Giuranna, M. and Maturilli, A. and Encrenaz, T. (2007) Martian water vapor: Mars Express PFS/LW observations. Icarus, 190 (1), pp. 32-49. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2007.03.003.

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We present the seasonal and geographical variations of the martian water vapor monitored from the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer Long Wavelength Channel aboard the Mars Express spacecraft. Our dataset covers one martian year (end of Mars Year 26, Mars Year 27), but the seasonal coverage is far from complete. The seasonal and latitudinal behavior of the water vapor is globally consistent with previous datasets, Viking Orbiter Mars Atmospheric Water Detectors (MAWD) and Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (MGS/TES), and with simultaneous results obtained from other Mars Express instruments, OMEGA and SPICAM. However, our absolute water columns are lower and higher by a factor of 1.5 than the values obtained by TES and SPICAM, respectively. In particular, we retrieve a Northern midsummer maximum of 60 pr-μm, lower than the 100-pr-μm observed by TES. The geographical distribution of water exhibits two local maxima at low latitudes, located over Tharsis and Arabia. Global Climate Model (GCM) simulations suggest that these local enhancements are controlled by atmospheric dynamics. During Northern spring, we observe a bulge of water vapor over the seasonal polar cap edge, consistent with the northward transport of water from the retreating seasonal cap to the permanent polar cap. In terms of vertical distribution, we find that the water volume mixing ratio over the large volcanos remains constant with the surface altitude within a factor of two. However, on the whole dataset we find that the water column, normalized to a fixed pressure, is anti-correlated with the surface pressure, indicating a vertical distribution intermediate between control by atmospheric saturation and confinement to a surface layer. This anti-correlation is not reproduced by GCM simulations of the water cycle, which do not include exchange between atmospheric and subsurface water. This situation suggests a possible role for regolith–atmosphere exchange in the martian water cycle.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/52473/
Document Type:Article
Title:Martian water vapor: Mars Express PFS/LW observations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Fouchet, T.Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lellouch, E.Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ignatiev, N.I.Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Forget, F.Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, LMD, Paris, F-75005, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Titov, D.V.Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tschimmel, M.Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Montmessin, F.Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:23 March 2007
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 32-49
Keywords:Mars, atmosphere; Mars, climate; Atmospheres, composition
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Projekt MARS-EXPRESS / HRSC (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Deposited By: Musiol, Stefanie
Deposited On:15 Jan 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 14:36

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