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Dynamical Heating in the Martian Thermosphere 
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  • Marcin Pilinski,
  • K J Roeten,
  • S W Bougher,
  • M Benna
Marcin Pilinski
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Corresponding Author:marcin.pilinski@lasp.colorado.edu

Author Profile
K J Roeten
Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan
S W Bougher
Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan
M Benna
CRESST II, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Dynamical heating and cooling are prominent features of planetary atmospheres resulting in thermospheric structures on Venus, Earth and Mars. The purpose of this study is to determine the location and amplitude of localized heating regions in the Martian thermosphere, confirm that they occur in regions of wind convergence, and to compare the observed dynamical heating with that predicted by a global thermospheric model. This investigation uses several years of data from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission including observations made by the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) as well as the Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor (EUVM). Specifically, the analysis focuses on several years of horizontal wind, temperature, and composition data. EUVM measurements provide a solar forcing context for the neutral thermosphere datasets and aid in the statistical analysis. Statistical results are compared with two versions of the Mars Global Ionosphere Thermosphere (M-GITM) global circulation model; one that that includes gravity wave parametrization and a version without gravity wave effects. Data analysis indicates that heating features exists around 2-3 and 17-18 local solar time. These locations coincide with regions of converging winds and are in better agreement with M GITM when gravity wave parametrization is included in the model. A migrating oscillation in the observed wind field also results in convergence and a density enhancement near 15 local time. While a similar oscillation is reproduced by the model, the amplitude is much lower than observed and may be a result of modeled zonal winds that are too low. 
08 Dec 2022Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Dec 2022Published in ESS Open Archive