Airborne dust is an important constituent in the Martian atmosphere because of its radiative interaction with the atmospheric circulation. Dust size is one crucial factor in determining this effect. In reality dust sizes are varied; however, in numerical modeling of dust processes, dust size has usually been described by choice of a particular size distribution function, or by use of fixed values of effective radius (ER) and effective variance (EV). In this work, we present analytical expressions that have been derived to specify ER and EV for N-bin dust schemes, based on a model-calculated dust mixing ratio. Numerical simulations based on this approach thus would consider the effects of variable ER on the atmospheric radiation and their interaction. Results have revealed some interesting features of the dust distribution parameters, such as seasonal and spatial variation of ER and EV, which are generally consistent with some previous observational and modeling studies. Compared with the usual approach of using a fixed ER, simulation results from the present approach suggest that the variability of ER can have significant effects on the simulated thermal field of the Martian atmosphere.
The Chang’E-4 mission has been exploring the lunar farside. Two scientific targets of the rover onboard are (1) resolving the possible mineralogy related to the South Pole-Aitken basin and (2) understanding the subsurface processes at the lunar farside. Publications to date that are based on the reflectance spectra and radar data obtained by the rover have shown a persistent inconsistency about the local stratigraphy. To explain both the abnormal surface topography at the landing site and the unexpected radargram observed by the rover, the Alder crater has been frequently reported to be older than the mare basalts at that landing site. However, this argument is not supported by earlier geological mapping nor recent crater statistics. Resolving this controversy is critical for a full understanding of the geological history of the landing area and for correct interpretations of the scientific data returned. Employing detailed crater statistics, rigorous statistical analyses, and an updated crater chronology function, this study is determined to resolve the relative ages of the Alder crater, Finsen crater, and the mare basalts on the floor of Von Kármán. Our results reveal that while background secondaries and local resurfacing have widely occurred in the study area, affecting age determinations, the statistics are significant enough to conclude that the Alder crater is the oldest among the three targets. This independent constraint is consistent with both the crosscutting relationships of different terrains in this area and global stratigraphic mapping. Our results exclude Alder as a possible contributor of the post-mare deposits at the landing site, appealing for a more systematic stratigraphy study to resolve the provenances of these deposits.
We report a simultaneous observation of two band electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves and toroidal Alfvén waves by the Van Allen Probe mission. Through wave frequency analyses, the mass density ρ is found to be locally peaked at the magnetic equator. Perpendicular fluxes of ions (< 100 eV) increase simultaneously with the appearances of EMIC waves, indicating a heating of these ions by EMIC waves. In addition, the measured ion distributions also support the equatorial peak formation, which accords with the result of the frequency analyses. The formation of local mass density peaks at the equator should be due to enhancements of equatorial ion concentrations, which are triggered by EMIC waves’ perpendicular heating on low energy ions.
Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSEs) are very strong radar echoes observed at altitudes near the polar summer mesopause. One of the essential properties of these radar echoes is that they can give useful diagnostic information about the physics of the scattering process. In this paper, the related characteristics of PMSEs measured with the European Incoherent SCATter Very High Frequency (EISCAT VHF) 224 MHz radar on 13–15 July 2010 are studied at different elevation angles from 78° to 90°. It is found that the PMSEs peak power and strongest PMSEs average power occur at the same elevation angles. Also interesting is that the strongest PMSEs occur at off-vertical angles when a PMSEs has a layered (multilayer) structure. And reflection may have more significant effects on PMSEs when there are double or multilayer PMSEs. Possible explanations regarding these observations are discussed.
The present work uses the Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM), under geomagnetically disturbed conditions that are closely related to the southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), to investigate how the nighttime poleward wind (30°–50° magnetic latitude and 19–22 magnetic local time) responds to subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) that commence at different universal times (UTs). The SAPS effects on the poleward winds show a remarkable UT variation, with weaker magnitudes at 00 and 12 UT than at 06 and 18 UT. The strongest poleward wind emerges when SAPS commence at 06 UT, and the weakest poleward wind develops when SAPS occur at 00 UT. A diagnostic analysis of model results shows that the pressure gradient is more prominent for the developing of the poleward wind at 00 and 12 UT. Meanwhile, the effect of ion drag is important in the modulation of the poleward wind velocity at 06 and 18 UT. This is caused by the misalignment of the geomagnetic and geographic coordinate systems, resulting in a large component of ion drag in the geographically northward (southward) direction due to channel orientation of the SAPS at 06 and 18 UT (00 and 12 UT). The Coriolis force effect induced by westward winds maximizes (minimizes) when SAPS commence at 12 UT (00 UT). The centrifugal force due to the accelerated westward winds shows similar UT variations as the Coriolis force, but with an opposite effect.
Kinetic-scale magnetic holes (KSMHs) are structures characterized by a significant magnetic depression with a length scale on the order of the proton gyroradius. These structures have been investigated in recent studies in near-Earth space, and found to be closely related to energy conversion and particle acceleration, wave-particle interactions, magnetic reconnection, and turbulence at the kinetic-scale. However, there are still several major issues of the KSMHs that need further study — including (a) the source of these structures (locally generated in near-Earth space, or carried by the solar wind), (b) the environmental conditions leading to their generation, and (c) their spatio-temporal characteristics. In this study, KSMHs in near-Earth space are investigated statistically using data from the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission. Approximately 200,000 events were observed from September 2015 to March 2020. Occurrence rates of such structures in the solar wind, magnetosheath, and magnetotail were obtained. We find that KSMHs occur in the magnetosheath at rates far above their occurrence in the solar wind. This indicates that most of the structures are generated locally in the magnetosheath, rather than advected with the solar wind. Moreover, KSMHs occur in the downstream region of the quasi-parallel shock at rates significantly higher than in the downstream region of the quasi-perpendicular shock, indicating a relationship with the turbulent plasma environment. Close to the magnetopause, we find that the depths of KSMHs decrease as their temporal-scale increases. We also find that the spatial-scales of the KSMHs near the subsolar magnetosheath are smaller than those in the flanks. Furthermore, their global distribution shows a significant dawn-dusk asymmetry (duskside dominating) in the magnetotail.
New observations of auroras based on the wide-field aurora imager (WAI) onboard Fengyun-3D (FY-3D) satellite are exhibited in this paper. Validity of the WAI data is analyzed by comparing auroral boundaries derived from WAI observations with results obtained from data collected by the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager (SSUSI) aboard the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP F18). Dynamic variations of the aurora with the solar wind, interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) parameters, and the SYM-H index are also investigated. The comparison of auroral boundaries indicates that the WAI data are morphologically valid and suitable to the study of auroral dynamics. Effective responses to solar wind parameters indicate that the WAI data can be useful to monitor and predict the Earth’s space weather. Since the configuration of aurora is a good indicator of the solar wind–magnetosphere–ionosphere (SW-M-I) coupling system, and can reflect the disturbance of the space environment, the WAI will provide important data to help us to study the physical processes in space.
Concentric gravity waves (CGWs) in the middle and upper atmosphere show wave-coupling processes between the lower atmosphere and the middle and upper atmosphere. In this research, we analyzed a case of CGWs detected simultaneously by the AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) and the VIIRS/DNB (Day/Night Band of the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite) in the stratosphere and mesosphere. Results showed that gravity waves (GWs) were generated by the collocated Hurricane Bejisa on the island of Mauritius. The AIRS data showed arc-like phase fronts of GWs with horizontal wavelengths of 190 and 150 km at 21:08 coordinated universal time (UTC) on 1 January 2014 and at 10:00 UTC on 2 January 2014, whereas the DNB observed arced GWs with horizontal wavelengths of 60 and 150 km in the same geographic regions at 22:24 UTC. The characteristics of CGW parameters in the stratosphere (~40 km) and the mesosphere (~87 km), such as the vertical wavelength, intrinsic frequency, and intrinsic horizontal phase speed, were first derived together with the background winds from ERA5 reanalysis data and Horizontal Wind Model data through the dispersion relationship of GWs and the wind-filtering theory.
In this paper, we study how coseismic deformations calculated in 1066 Earth models are affected by how the models treat Earth discontinuities. From the results of applying models 1066A (continuous) and 1066B (discontinuous), we find that the difference in Love numbers of strike-slip and horizontal tensile sources are bigger than dip-slip and vertical tensile sources. Taken collectively, discontinuities have major effects on Green’s functions of four independent sources. For the near-field coseismic deformations of the 2013 Okhotsk earthquake (Mw 8.3), the overall differences between theoretical calculations in vertical displacement, geoid, and gravity changes caused by discontinuities are 10.52 percent, 9.07 percent and 6.19 percent, with RMS errors of 0.624 mm, 0.029 mm, and 0.063 μGal, respectively. The difference in far-field displacements is small, compared with GPS data, and we can neglect this effect. For the shallow earthquake, 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake (Mw 9.0), the differences in near-field displacements are 0.030 m (N-S), 0.093 m (E-W), and 0.025 m (up-down) in our study area with the ARIA slip model, which gives results closer to GPS data than those from the USGS model. The difference in vertical displacements and gravity changes on the Earth’s surface caused by discontinuities are larger than 10 percent. The difference in the theoretical gravity changes at spatially fixed points truncated to degrees 60, as required by GRACE data, is 0.0016 μGal and the discrepancy is 11 percent, with the theoretical spatial gravity changes from 1066B closer to observations than from 1066A. The results show that an Earth model with discontinuities in the medium has a large effect on the calculated coseismic deformations.
We have constrained a small-scale, dome-shaped low-velocity structure near the core-mantle boundary (CMB) of Earth beneath Perm (the Perm anomaly) using travel-time analysis and three-dimensional (3-D) forward waveform modeling of seismic data sampling of the mantle. The best-fitting dome-shaped model centers at 60.0°E, 50.5°N, and has a height of 400 km and a radius that increases from 200 km at the top to 450 km at the CMB. Its velocity reduction varies from 0% at the top to –3.0% at 240km above the CMB to –3.5% at the CMB. A surrounding 240-km-thick high-velocity D'' structure has also been detected. The Perm anomaly may represent a stable small-scale chemical pile in the lowermost mantle, although the hypothesis of a developing mantle plume cannot be ruled out.