HDO and H2O vertical distributions and isotopic ratio in the Venus mesosphere by Solar Occultation at Infrared spectrometer on board Venus Express
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Vertical distributions of the molecular density and mixing ratios of H 2O and HDO in the Venus mesosphere have been obtained using Solar Occultation at Infrared (SOIR), a high-resolution (with λ/δλ ∼ 20,000) echelle spectrometer on Venus Express. The atmosphere is sounded in solar occultation in the range of altitudes from 65 to 130 km. Simultaneous measurements of water vapor lines in the spectral range around 2.61 μm (3830 cm-1) at altitudes between 70 and 110 km and HDO lines around 3.58 μm (2715cm-1) at altitudes 70-95 km have been performed. During 1 1/2 years, from April 2006 to August 2007, 54 such measurements have been carried out at different locations of Venus from the north pole to middle south latitudes. Most of the observations at morning and evening terminator correspond to high northern latitudes. We report values of mixing ratio and isotopic ratio obtained for 22 of those measurements occurring in the northern polar area. The average value of the volume mixing ratio of H2O is 1.16 ± 0.24 ppm and that of HDO is 0.086 ± 0.020 ppm. A depletion in the mixing ratio for both H2O and HDO is observed at 85 km, which can be related to a depletion of CO2 density above (∼95 km) and a possible temperature inversion at these altitudes. The vertical variation of HDO and H2O mixing ratio is within a factor of 2-3 for the analyzed set of observations. The temporal variations have been investigated, and no noticeable variability of H2O is reported at high northern altitudes. The average ratio of HDO/H2O obtained in this work, 240 ± 25 times the terrestrial ratio, is higher (≈1.5 times) than the value of 157 ± 30 times terrestrial reported for the lower atmosphere. This could be explained by a lower photodissociation of HDO and/or a lower escape rate of D atoms versus H atoms.
CitationFedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Vandaele, A.-C.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Belyaev, D.; Mahieux, A.; Neefs, E.; Wilquet, W.V.; Drummond, R.; Montmessin, F.; Villard, E. (2008). HDO and H2O vertical distributions and isotopic ratio in the Venus mesosphere by Solar Occultation at Infrared spectrometer on board Venus Express. , Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 113, Issue 5, E00B22, DOI: 10.1029/2008JE003146.