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SHARAD Mapping of Mars Dayside Ionosphere Patterns: Relationship to Regional Geology and the Magnetic Field

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-15, 10:40 authored by Bruce A Campbell, Gareth A Morgan, Beatriz Sánchez‐Cano

The electron density of the Martian ionosphere is modulated by solar wind forcing and crustal magnetic fields. Sounding observations from the orbital Shallow Radar (SHARAD) map the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) at a spatial resolution of ∼35 km. Averaging over a 250‐km diameter window from data collected weeks to years apart yields the first map of long‐term stable dayside martian TEC features. An extensive region of suppressed TEC in the southern highlands correlates with strong radial magnetic fields, but in other areas no simple correlation is observed. The TEC maps do follow the outlines of exposed Noachian crust and patches of magnetization in Tharsis not reset by volcanic activity. SHARAD TEC mapping may capture magnetic field strength at an intermediate height between the surface and the altitudes of orbital measurements underlying spherical harmonic models. Existing and future data will allow SHARAD TEC mapping to ∼100 km spatial resolution.

Funding

Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Grant Numbers: 1456630, 1593870

Solar wind influence on terrestrial planets' upper atmospheres: unveiling their close interaction

Science and Technology Facilities Council

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

History

Author affiliation

College of Science & Engineering/Physics & Astronomy

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

51

Issue

4

Publisher

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

issn

0094-8276

eissn

1944-8007

Copyright date

2024

Available date

2024-03-15

Language

en

Deposited by

Ms Beatriz Sanchez-Cano

Deposit date

2024-03-14

Rights Retention Statement

  • No

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