Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

NOMAD Science Team, ACS Science Team

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Global dust storms on Mars are rare1,2 but can affect the Martian atmosphere for several months. They can cause changes in atmospheric dynamics and inflation of the atmosphere3, primarily owing to solar heating of the dust3. In turn, changes in atmospheric dynamics can affect the distribution of atmospheric water vapour, with potential implications for the atmospheric photochemistry and climate on Mars4. Recent observations of the water vapour abundance in the Martian atmosphere during dust storm conditions revealed a high-altitude increase in atmospheric water vapour that was more pronounced at high northern latitudes5,6, as well as a decrease in the water column at low latitudes7,8. Here we present concurrent, high-resolution measurements of dust, water and semiheavy water (HDO) at the onset of a global dust storm, obtained by the NOMAD and ACS instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. We report the vertical distribution of the HDO/H2O ratio (D/H) from the planetary boundary layer up to an altitude of 80 kilometres. Our findings suggest that before the onset of the dust storm, HDO abundances were reduced to levels below detectability at altitudes above 40 kilometres. This decrease in HDO coincided with the presence of water-ice clouds. During the storm, an increase in the abundance of H2O and HDO was observed at altitudes between 40 and 80 kilometres. We propose that these increased abundances may be the result of warmer temperatures during the dust storm causing stronger atmospheric circulation and preventing ice cloud formation, which may confine water vapour to lower altitudes through gravitational fall and subsequent sublimation of ice crystals3. The observed changes in H2O and HDO abundance occurred within a few days during the development of the dust storm, suggesting a fast impact of dust storms on the Martian atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume568
Issue number7753
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2019

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Dust
Gases
Steam
Ice
Atmosphere
Water
Sublimation
Mars
Photochemistry
Economic Inflation
Climate
Heating
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. / NOMAD Science Team; ACS Science Team.

In: Nature, Vol. 568, No. 7753, 25.04.2019, p. 521-525.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

NOMAD Science Team ; ACS Science Team. / Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. In: Nature. 2019 ; Vol. 568, No. 7753. pp. 521-525.
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abstract = "Global dust storms on Mars are rare1,2 but can affect the Martian atmosphere for several months. They can cause changes in atmospheric dynamics and inflation of the atmosphere3, primarily owing to solar heating of the dust3. In turn, changes in atmospheric dynamics can affect the distribution of atmospheric water vapour, with potential implications for the atmospheric photochemistry and climate on Mars4. Recent observations of the water vapour abundance in the Martian atmosphere during dust storm conditions revealed a high-altitude increase in atmospheric water vapour that was more pronounced at high northern latitudes5,6, as well as a decrease in the water column at low latitudes7,8. Here we present concurrent, high-resolution measurements of dust, water and semiheavy water (HDO) at the onset of a global dust storm, obtained by the NOMAD and ACS instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. We report the vertical distribution of the HDO/H2O ratio (D/H) from the planetary boundary layer up to an altitude of 80 kilometres. Our findings suggest that before the onset of the dust storm, HDO abundances were reduced to levels below detectability at altitudes above 40 kilometres. This decrease in HDO coincided with the presence of water-ice clouds. During the storm, an increase in the abundance of H2O and HDO was observed at altitudes between 40 and 80 kilometres. We propose that these increased abundances may be the result of warmer temperatures during the dust storm causing stronger atmospheric circulation and preventing ice cloud formation, which may confine water vapour to lower altitudes through gravitational fall and subsequent sublimation of ice crystals3. The observed changes in H2O and HDO abundance occurred within a few days during the development of the dust storm, suggesting a fast impact of dust storms on the Martian atmosphere.",
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T1 - Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

AU - NOMAD Science Team

AU - ACS Science Team

AU - Vandaele, Ann Carine

AU - Korablev, Oleg

AU - Daerden, Frank

AU - Aoki, Shohei

AU - Thomas, Ian R.

AU - Altieri, Francesca

AU - López-Valverde, Miguel

AU - Villanueva, Geronimo

AU - Liuzzi, Giuliano

AU - Smith, Michael D.

AU - Erwin, Justin T.

AU - Trompet, Loïc

AU - Fedorova, Anna A.

AU - Montmessin, Franck

AU - Trokhimovskiy, Alexander

AU - Belyaev, Denis A.

AU - Ignatiev, Nikolay I.

AU - Luginin, Mikhail

AU - Olsen, Kevin S.

AU - Baggio, Lucio

AU - Alday, Juan

AU - Bertaux, Jean Loup

AU - Betsis, Daria

AU - Bolsée, David

AU - Clancy, R. Todd

AU - Cloutis, Edward

AU - Depiesse, Cédric

AU - Funke, Bernd

AU - Garcia-Comas, Maia

AU - Gérard, Jean Claude

AU - Giuranna, Marco

AU - Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco

AU - Grigoriev, Alexey V.

AU - Ivanov, Yuriy S.

AU - Kaminski, Jacek

AU - Karatekin, Ozgur

AU - Lefèvre, Franck

AU - Lewis, Stephen

AU - López-Puertas, Manuel

AU - Mahieux, Arnaud

AU - Maslov, Igor

AU - Mason, Jon

AU - Mumma, Michael J.

AU - Neary, Lori

AU - Neefs, Eddy

AU - Patrakeev, Andrey

AU - Patsaev, Dmitry

AU - Ristic, Bojan

AU - Robert, Séverine

AU - Yelle, Roger

PY - 2019/4/25

Y1 - 2019/4/25

N2 - Global dust storms on Mars are rare1,2 but can affect the Martian atmosphere for several months. They can cause changes in atmospheric dynamics and inflation of the atmosphere3, primarily owing to solar heating of the dust3. In turn, changes in atmospheric dynamics can affect the distribution of atmospheric water vapour, with potential implications for the atmospheric photochemistry and climate on Mars4. Recent observations of the water vapour abundance in the Martian atmosphere during dust storm conditions revealed a high-altitude increase in atmospheric water vapour that was more pronounced at high northern latitudes5,6, as well as a decrease in the water column at low latitudes7,8. Here we present concurrent, high-resolution measurements of dust, water and semiheavy water (HDO) at the onset of a global dust storm, obtained by the NOMAD and ACS instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. We report the vertical distribution of the HDO/H2O ratio (D/H) from the planetary boundary layer up to an altitude of 80 kilometres. Our findings suggest that before the onset of the dust storm, HDO abundances were reduced to levels below detectability at altitudes above 40 kilometres. This decrease in HDO coincided with the presence of water-ice clouds. During the storm, an increase in the abundance of H2O and HDO was observed at altitudes between 40 and 80 kilometres. We propose that these increased abundances may be the result of warmer temperatures during the dust storm causing stronger atmospheric circulation and preventing ice cloud formation, which may confine water vapour to lower altitudes through gravitational fall and subsequent sublimation of ice crystals3. The observed changes in H2O and HDO abundance occurred within a few days during the development of the dust storm, suggesting a fast impact of dust storms on the Martian atmosphere.

AB - Global dust storms on Mars are rare1,2 but can affect the Martian atmosphere for several months. They can cause changes in atmospheric dynamics and inflation of the atmosphere3, primarily owing to solar heating of the dust3. In turn, changes in atmospheric dynamics can affect the distribution of atmospheric water vapour, with potential implications for the atmospheric photochemistry and climate on Mars4. Recent observations of the water vapour abundance in the Martian atmosphere during dust storm conditions revealed a high-altitude increase in atmospheric water vapour that was more pronounced at high northern latitudes5,6, as well as a decrease in the water column at low latitudes7,8. Here we present concurrent, high-resolution measurements of dust, water and semiheavy water (HDO) at the onset of a global dust storm, obtained by the NOMAD and ACS instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. We report the vertical distribution of the HDO/H2O ratio (D/H) from the planetary boundary layer up to an altitude of 80 kilometres. Our findings suggest that before the onset of the dust storm, HDO abundances were reduced to levels below detectability at altitudes above 40 kilometres. This decrease in HDO coincided with the presence of water-ice clouds. During the storm, an increase in the abundance of H2O and HDO was observed at altitudes between 40 and 80 kilometres. We propose that these increased abundances may be the result of warmer temperatures during the dust storm causing stronger atmospheric circulation and preventing ice cloud formation, which may confine water vapour to lower altitudes through gravitational fall and subsequent sublimation of ice crystals3. The observed changes in H2O and HDO abundance occurred within a few days during the development of the dust storm, suggesting a fast impact of dust storms on the Martian atmosphere.

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