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Journal Articles Icarus Year : 2018

Scale heights and detached haze layers in the mesosphere of Venus from SPICAV IR data


SPICAV IR, one channel of SPICAV/SOIR instrument suite onboard Venus Express, performed solar occultation measurements of the atmosphere at terminators in 0.65–1.7 μm spectral range. We analyze the properties of the upper part of the Venus aerosol layer (upper haze, 70−95 km altitude) from 798 observations performed from May 2006 through November 2014. Vertical profiles of slant optical depth, extinction coefficient, effective radius, and number density of haze particles from 222 orbits were analyzed in a previous publication (Luginin et al., 2016. Icarus. 277. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.05.008); their diurnal, latitudinal, and interannual variabilities were investigated. The present paper is devoted to analysis of scale heights and properties of detached haze layers from 147 orbits at mid-to-high northern latitudes, where the best spatial resolution was obtained. Scale heights retrieved from 43 orbits were equal to 4−5.5 km at the North Pole (82°N-90°N) decreasing to 2−4 km at 60°N−80°N latitudes. As an explanation of such latitudinal variations, we propose a mechanism based on vertical transport driven by winds that are directed upwards at the North Pole and downwards at 60°N−80°N latitudes. Detached layers were detected in 93 occultations at 58°N−90°N. The detached layers are presumably formed through condensation of water vapor on droplets of sulfuric acid water solution; they were mostly seen at 80−88 km at the morning terminator, and at 84−90 km at the evening one. This difference in altitude of the detached layers can be explained by diurnal variations in thermal structure of Venusian mesosphere. The vertical optical depth of detached layers varies broadly around the mean τDL ∼ 0.8−3•10−3; no difference between the morning and the evening terminators was observed. The effective radius and number density of aerosol particles in the detached layers group around a very wide maximum at the morning terminator (0.65±0.25 μm and 0.6±0.4 cm−3) and two maxima at the evening terminator (0.4±0.1 μm and 0.85±0.15 μm; 0.3±0.2 cm−3 and 4.5±2.5 cm−3). This could be explained by differences in initial altitudes at which condensation of particles occurs.
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insu-01755825 , version 1 (30-03-2018)



M. Luginin, A. Fedorova, D. Belyaev, Franck Montmessin, O. Korablev, et al.. Scale heights and detached haze layers in the mesosphere of Venus from SPICAV IR data. Icarus, 2018, 311, pp.87-104. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2018.03.018⟩. ⟨insu-01755825⟩
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