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Conference Poster Year : 2015

Sulfur Dioxide variability in the Venus Atmosphere

Franck Lefèvre
Emmanuel Marcq
Aurélien Stolzenbach


Recent observations of sulfur oxides (SO2, SO, OCS, and H2SO4) in Venus’ mesosphere have generated controversy and great interest in the scientific community. These observations revealed unexpected spatial patterns and spatial/temporal variability that have not been satisfactorily explained by models. Particularly intriguing are the layer of enhanced gas- phase SO2 and SO in the upper mesosphere, and variability in the maximum observed SO2 abundance and the equator-to-pole SO2 abundance gradient, seemingly on multi-year cycles, that is not uniquely linked to local time variations. Sulfur oxide chemistry on Venus is closely linked to the global- scale cloud and haze layers, which are composed primarily of concentrated sulfuric acid. Consequently, sulfur oxide observations provide important insight into the ongoing chemical evolution of Venus’ atmosphere, atmospheric dynamics, and possible volcanism. Existing observations have been obtained using multiple platforms, observing techniques, and wavelengths. Each has its own unique strengths and limitations. Although there is strong agreement on some features, there are significant unresolved apparent disagreements among current observations and between observations and models. These apparent disagreements need to be analyzed and assessed carefully to synthesize a clear understanding of sulfur oxide chemistry on Venus. These investigations have been performed via 1) the comparison and validation of observations, from past missions, Venus Express, Earth-based telescopes, and the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope; and 2) modelling of the SO2 and sulfur-oxide family photochemistry. The current study has been carried out within the frame of the ISSI International Team entitled ‘SO2 variability in the Venus atmosphere’.
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Dates and versions

insu-01211239 , version 1 (04-10-2015)


  • HAL Id : insu-01211239 , version 1


A. C. Vandaele, O. Korablev, A. Mahieux, V. Wilquet, S. Chamberlain, et al.. Sulfur Dioxide variability in the Venus Atmosphere. European Planetary Science Congress 2015, Sep 2015, Nantes, France. 10, pp.EPSC2015-122. ⟨insu-01211239⟩
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