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Journal Articles Science Advances Year : 2021

Transient HCl in the atmosphere of Mars

Franck Lefèvre
Franck Montmessin
Juan Alday
Gaetan Lacombe
Manish Patel


A major quest in Mars’ exploration has been the hunt for atmospheric gases, potentially unveiling ongoing activ- ity of geophysical or biological origin. Here, we report the first detection of a halogen gas, HCl, which could, in theory, originate from contemporary volcanic degassing or chlorine released from gas-solid reactions. Our de- tections made at ~3.2 to 3.8 m with the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite and confirmed with Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, reveal widely distributed HCl in the 1- to 4-ppbv range, 20 times greater than previously reported upper limits. HCl increased during the 2018 global dust storm and declined soon after its end, pointing to the exchange between the dust and the atmosphere. Under- standing the origin and variability of HCl shall constitute a major advance in our appraisal of martian geo- and photochemistry.
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insu-03140676 , version 1 (13-02-2021)


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Oleg Korablev, Kevin Olsen, Alexander Trokhimovskiy, Franck Lefèvre, Franck Montmessin, et al.. Transient HCl in the atmosphere of Mars. Science Advances , 2021, 7 (7), pp.EABE4386. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.abe4386⟩. ⟨insu-03140676⟩
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