The Impact and Mechanism of the Magnetic Inclination Angle on O + Escape from Mars

Li, Shibang and Lu, Haoyu and Cao, Jinbin and Mazelle, Christian and Cui, Jun and Rong, Zhaojin and Wild, James A. and Yu, Yiqun and Li, Xing and Li, Yun and Li, Guokan (2022) The Impact and Mechanism of the Magnetic Inclination Angle on O + Escape from Mars. The Astrophysical Journal, 931 (1). ISSN 0004-637X

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Abstract: Ion escape from the atmosphere to space is one of the most likely reasons to account for the evolution of the Martian climate. Based on three-dimensional multifluid magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we investigated the impact of the magnetic inclination angle on O+ escape at low altitudes of 275–1000 km under the typical solar wind conditions. Numerical results showed that an outward ion velocity in the direction opposite to the electromagnetic (EM) force results in weak outward flux and leads to ions becoming trapped by the horizontal magnetic field lines at the local horizontal magnetic equator. Much of the EM force can be attributed to the Hall electric force. In the region of high absolute magnetic inclination angle, the outward ion velocity has the same direction as the EM force, which increases the outward flux and causes ions to diffuse upward along open magnetic field lines to higher altitude. In addition, the EM force is mainly provided by the electron pressure gradient force and the motional electric force. Global results for the magnetic inclination angle indicate that the strong crustal field regions in the southern hemisphere are mainly occupied by magnetic field lines with high absolute magnetic inclination angle, while horizontal field lines are dominant in the northern hemisphere, which leads to a higher O+ escape rate in the Martian southern hemisphere than in the northern, from altitudes of 275 to 1000 km. This is a significant advance in understanding the impact and mechanism of the Martian magnetic field directions on ion escape.

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Journal Article
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The Astrophysical Journal
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23 May 2022 15:00
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:16