Proton and hydrogen atoms transport in the Martian upper atmosphere with an induced magnetic field

Shematovich, Valery and Bisikalo, Dimitri and Dieval, Catherine and Barabash, Stas and Stenberg, Gabriella and Nilsson, Hans and Futaana, Yoshifumi and Holmstrom, Mats and Gerard, Jean Claude (2011) Proton and hydrogen atoms transport in the Martian upper atmosphere with an induced magnetic field. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 116 (A11). ISSN 2169-9402

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Abstract

We have applied the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method to solve the kinetic equation for the H/H^+ transport in the upper Martian atmosphere. We calculate the upward H and H^+ fluxes, values that can be measured, and the altitude profile of the energy deposition to be used to understand the energy balance in the Martian atmosphere. The calculations of the upward flux have been made for the Martian atmosphere during solar minimum. We use an energy spectrum of the down moving protons in the altitude range 355–437 km adopted from the Mars Express Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms measurements in the range 700 eV–20 keV. The particle and energy fluxes of the downward moving protons were equal to 3.0 × 10^6 cm^−2 s^−1 and 1.4 × 10^−2 erg cm^−2 s^−1. It was found that 22% of particle flux and 12% of the energy flux of the precipitating protons is backscattered by the Martian upper atmosphere, if no induced magnetic field is taken into account in the simulations. If we include a 20 nT horizontal magnetic field, a typical field measured by Mars Global Surveyor in the altitude range of 85–500 km, we find that up to 40%–50% of the energy flux of the precipitating protons is backscattered depending on the velocity distribution of the precipitating protons. We thus conclude that the induced magnetic field plays a crucial role in the transport of charged particles in the upper atmosphere of Mars and, therefore, that it determines the energy deposition of the solar wind.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Additional Information:
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
ID Code:
76674
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Nov 2015 15:34
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Nov 2020 03:00