Advanced Search



ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Jiang, C. H., Tian, R., Wei, L. H., Yang, G. B., and Zhao, Z. Y. (2022). Modeling of kilometer-scale ionospheric irregularities at Mars. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(2), 213–217.

2022, 6(2): 213-217. doi: 10.26464/epp2022011


Modeling of kilometer-scale ionospheric irregularities at Mars

School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

Corresponding author: ChunHua Jiang,

Received Date: 2021-08-03
Web Publishing Date: 2022-01-25

Recently, kilometer-scale Martian ionospheric irregularities have been measured by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission (Fowler et al., 2020). In this study, we carried out a simulation of these irregularities, assuming a uniform Martian zonal neutral wind and a cosinusoidal perturbation of the plasma density as the seeding source. Results show that a vertical electric field shear could be induced by such a plasma density perturbation. We find that the vertical electric field shear causes a velocity shear of the plasma between the topside and bottomside ionosphere, which in turn is able to produce kilometer-scale ionospheric irregularities — irregularities of a smaller scale than were seen in previous simulations (Jiang CH et al., 2021). These kilometer-scale variations with altitude, in plasma density and magnetic field profiles, are comparable to the MAVEN observations.

Key words: Martian ionosphere, ionospheric irregularities, numerical simulation

Andrews, D. J., Andersson, L., Delory, G. T., Ergun, R. E., Eriksson, A. I., Fowler, C. M., McEnulty, T., Morooka, M. W., Weber, T., and Jakosky, B. M. (2015). Ionospheric plasma density variations observed at Mars by MAVEN/LPW. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(21), 8862–8869.

Duru, F., Gurnett, D. A., Averkamp, T. F., Kirchner, D. L., Huff, R. L., Persoon, A. M., Plaut, J. J., and Picardi, G. (2006). Magnetically controlled structures in the ionosphere of Mars. J. Geophys. Res., 111(A12), A12204.

England, S. L., Liu, G., Yiğit, E., Mahaffy, P. R., Elrod, M., Benna, M., Nakagawa, H., Terada, N., and Jakosky, B. (2017). MAVEN NGIMS observations of atmospheric gravity waves in the Martian thermosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 122(2), 2310–2335.

Fejer, B. G., and Kelley, M. (1980). Ionospheric irregularities. Rev. Geophys., 18(2), 401–454.

Fowler, C. M., Andersson, L., Shaver, S. R., Thayer, J. P., Huba, J. D., Lillis, R., Usanova, M. E., Espley, J., Ergun, R. E., … Jakosky, B. M. (2017). MAVEN observations of ionospheric irregularities at Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(21), 10845–10854.

Fowler, C. M., Bonnell, J. W., Huba, J. D., Andersson, L., Benna, M., and Ergun, R. E. (2019). The statistical characteristics of small-scale ionospheric irregularities observed in the Martian ionosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 124(7), 5874–5893.

Fowler, C. M., Bonnell, J. W., Xu, S., Benna, M., Elrod, M., McFadden, J., Mitchell, D. L., Espley, J., Andersson, L., … Jakosky, B. (2020). First detection of kilometer-scale density irregularities in the Martian ionosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett., 47(22), e2020GL090906.

Fritts, D. C., Wang, L., and Tolson, R. H. (2006). Mean and gravity wave structures and variability in the Mars upper atmosphere inferred from Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey aerobraking densities. J. Geophys. Res., 111(A12), A12304.

Harada, Y., Gurnett, D. A., Kopf, A. J., Halekas, J. S., and Ruhunusiri, S. (2018). Ionospheric irregularities at Mars probed by MARSIS topside sounding. J. Geophy. Res., 123(1), 1018–1030.

Jakosky, B. M., Lin, R. P., Grebowsky, J. M., Luhmann, J. G., Mitchell, D. F., Beutelschies, G., Priser, T., Acuna, M., Andersson, L., … Zurek, R. (2015). The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. Space Sci. Rev., 195(1), 3–48.

Jiang, C. H., Wei, L. H., Yang, G. B., Zhou, C., and Zhao, Z. Y. (2020). Numerical simulation of the propagation of electromagnetic waves in ionospheric irregularities. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(6), 565–570.

Jiang, C. H., Yokoyama, T., Wei, L. H., Yang, G. B., and Zhao, Z. Y. (2021) Nonlinear simulation of ionospheric irregularities at mars. Astrophys. J., 909(1), 47.222

Kelley, M. C. (2009). The Earth’s Ionosphere: Plasma Physics and Electrodynamics (2nd ed). San Diego: Academic Press.222

Keskinen, M. J. (2018). New model for ionospheric irregularities at Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(5), 2177–2183.

Lühr, H., Rother, M., Maus, S., Mai, W., and Cooke, D. (2003). The diamagnetic effect of the equatorial Appleton anomaly: its characteristics and impact on geomagnetic field modeling. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(17), 1906.

Peng, Y. X., Scales, W. A., Hartinger, M. D., Xu, Z. H., and Coyle, S. (2021). Characterization of multi-scale ionospheric irregularities using ground-based and space-based GNSS observations. Satell. Navig., 2(1), 14.

Terada, N., Leblanc, F., Nakagawa, H., Medvedev, A. S., Yiğit, E., Kuroda, T., Hara, T., England, S. L., Fujiwara, H., … Jakosky, B. M. (2017). Global distribution and parameter dependences of gravity wave activity in the Martian upper thermosphere derived from MAVEN/NGIMS observations. J. Geophys. Res., 122(2), 2374–2397.

Yiğit, E., England, S. L., Liu, G. P., Medvedev, A. S., Mahaffy, P. R., Kuroda, T., and Jakosky, B. M. (2015). High-altitude gravity waves in the Martian thermosphere observed by MAVEN/NGIMS and modeled by a gravity wave scheme. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(21), 8993–9000.


ChunHua Jiang, LeHui Wei, GuoBin Yang, Chen Zhou, ZhengYu Zhao, 2020: Numerical simulation of the propagation of electromagnetic waves in ionospheric irregularities, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 565-570. doi: 10.26464/epp2020059


Claudio Cesaroni, Luca Spogli, Giorgiana De Franceschi, Juliana Garrido Damaceno, Marcin Grzesiak, Bruno Vani, Joao Francisco Galera Monico, Vincenzo Romano, Lucilla Alfonsi, Massimo Cafaro, 2021: A measure of ionospheric irregularities: zonal velocity and its implications for L-band scintillation at low-latitudes, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 450-461. doi: 10.26464/epp2021042


YuTian Cao, Jun Cui, BinBin Ni, XiaoShu Wu, Qiong Luo, ZhaoGuo He, 2020: Bidirectional electron conic observations for photoelectrons in the Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 403-407. doi: 10.26464/epp2020037


Nanan Balan, LiBo Liu, HuiJun Le, 2018: A brief review of equatorial ionization anomaly and ionospheric irregularities, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 257-275. doi: 10.26464/epp2018025


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, DanDan Niu, LongKang Dai, JianPing Huang, XiaoShu Wu, YongQiang Hao, Yong Wei, 2020: Observation of CO2++ dication in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 396-402. doi: 10.26464/epp2020036


Xiao-Dong Wang, B. Klecker, G. Nicolaou, S. Barabash, M. Wieser, P. Wurz, A. Galli, F. Cipriani, Y. Futaana, 2022: Neutralized solar energetic particles for SEP forecasting: Feasibility study of an innovative technique for space weather applications, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 42-51. doi: 10.26464/epp2022003


FuQing Huang, JiuHou Lei, Chao Xiong, JiaHao Zhong, GuoZhu Li, 2021: Observations of equatorial plasma bubbles during the geomagnetic storm of October 2016, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 416-426. doi: 10.26464/epp2021043


Hao Gu, Jun Cui, ZhaoGuo He, JiaHao Zhong, 2020: A MAVEN investigation of O++ in the dayside Martian ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 11-16. doi: 10.26464/epp2020009


Yi Liu, Chen Zhou, Tong Xu, Qiong Tang, ZhongXin Deng, GuanYi Chen, ZhuangKai Wang, 2021: Review of ionospheric irregularities and ionospheric electrodynamic coupling in the middle latitude region, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 462-482. doi: 10.26464/epp2021025


MeiJuan Yao, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, YingYing Huang, WenRui Wang, 2019: Variability of the Martian ionosphere from the MAVEN Radio Occultation Science Experiment, Earth and Planetary Physics, 3, 283-289. doi: 10.26464/epp2019029


XiaoCheng Guo, YuCheng Zhou, Chi Wang, Ying D. Liu, 2021: Propagation of large-scale solar wind events in the outer heliosphere from a numerical MHD simulation, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 223-231. doi: 10.26464/epp2021024


XiaoShu Wu, Jun Cui, YuTian Cao, WeiQin Sun, Qiong Luo, BinBin Ni, 2020: Response of photoelectron peaks in the Martian ionosphere to solar EUV/X-ray irradiance, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 390-395. doi: 10.26464/epp2020035


BaoHang Qu, JianYong Lu, Ming Wang, HuanZhi Yuan, Yue Zhou, HanXiao Zhang, 2021: Formation of the bow shock indentation: MHD simulation results, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 259-269. doi: 10.26464/epp2021033


MengHao Fu, Jun Cui, XiaoShu Wu, ZhaoPeng Wu, Jing Li, 2020: The variations of the Martian exobase altitude, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 4-10. doi: 10.26464/epp2020010


Qi Xu, XiaoJun Xu, Qing Chang, JiaYing Xu, Jing Wang, YuDong Ye, 2020: An ICME impact on the Martian hydrogen corona, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 38-44. doi: 10.26464/epp2020006


Deepak Singh, 2020: Impact of surface Albedo on Martian photochemistry, Earth and Planetary Physics, 4, 206-211. doi: 10.26464/epp2020025


LiBo Liu, WeiXing Wan, 2018: Chinese ionospheric investigations in 2016–2017, Earth and Planetary Physics, , 89-111. doi: 10.26464/epp2018011


MingChen Sun, QingLin Zhu, Xiang Dong, JiaJi Wu, 2022: Analysis of inversion error characteristics of stellar occultation simulation data, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 61-69. doi: 10.26464/epp2022013


H. Takahashi, P. Essien, C. A. O. B. Figueiredo, C. M. Wrasse, D. Barros, M. A. Abdu, Y. Otsuka, K. Shiokawa, GuoZhu Li, 2021: Multi-instrument study of longitudinal wave structures for plasma bubble seeding in the equatorial ionosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 5, 368-377. doi: 10.26464/epp2021047


ZiQi Ma, Gang Lu, JianFeng Yang, Liang Zhao, 2022: Numerical modeling of metamorphic core complex formation: Implications for the destruction of the North China Craton, Earth and Planetary Physics, 6, 191-203. doi: 10.26464/epp2022016

Article Metrics
  • PDF Downloads()
  • Abstract views()
  • HTML views()
  • Cited by(0)

Figures And Tables

Modeling of kilometer-scale ionospheric irregularities at Mars

ChunHua Jiang, Rong Tian, LeHui Wei, GuoBin Yang, ZhengYu Zhao