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Tidal Wave-Driven Variability in the Mars Ionosphere-Thermosphere System

AuthorsThaller, Scott A.; Andersson, Laila; Pilinski, Marcin Dominik; Thiemann, Edward; Withers, Paul; Elrod, Meredith; Fang, Xiaohua; González-Galindo, F. ; Bougher, Stephen; Jenkins, Geoffrey
KeywordsIonosphere-thermosphere coupling
Mars ionosphere
Mars thermosphere
Tidal waves
Issue Date19-May-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationAtmosphere 11(5): 521 (2020)
AbstractIn order to further evaluate the behavior of ionospheric variations at Mars, we investigate the Martian ionosphere-thermosphere (IT) perturbations associated with non-migrating thermal tides using over four years of Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) in situ measurements of the IT electron and neutral densities. The results are consistent with those of previous studies, namely strong correlation between the tidal perturbations in electron and neutral densities on the dayside at altitudes ~150–185 km, as expected from photochemical theory. In addition, there are intervals during which this correlation extends to higher altitudes, up to ~270 km, where diffusive transport of plasma plays a dominant role over photochemical processes. This is significant because at these altitudes the thermosphere and ionosphere are only weakly coupled through collisions. The identified non-migrating tidal wave variations in the neutral thermosphere are predominantly wave-1, wave-2, and wave-3. Wave-1 is often the dominant wavenumber for electron density tidal variations, particularly at high altitudes over crustal fields. The Mars Climate Database (MCD) neutral densities (below 300 km along the MAVEN orbit) shows clear tidal variations which are predominantly wave-2 and wave-3, and have similar wave amplitudes to those observed.© 2020 by the authors.
DescriptionThis is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050521
Appears in Collections:(IAA) Artículos
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