Geophysical Research Letters

Effects of vertically propagating thermal tides on the mean structure and dynamics of Mars' lower thermosphere

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Abstract

[1] A general circulation model of Mars' atmosphere is used to elucidate the effects of vertically propagating thermal tides excited near the surface on the zonal mean density, temperature and wind structure of Mars' atmosphere between 90 and 160 km. The effects are substantial, and amount to order 10–40%, 10–50 K and 50–160 m s−1, respectively, at these altitudes under low dust conditions (dust visible optical depth = 0.3). These induced changes in the zonal mean structure are dominated by the non-migrating tides. Of particular note are the mean density perturbations, which represent an important consideration for modeling of the aerobraking region (100–170 km).

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