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Journal Articles Icarus Year : 2004

Hydrogen peroxide on Mars: evidence for spatial and seasonal variations

Abstract

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has been suggested as a possible oxidizer of the martian surface. Photochemical models predict a mean column density in the range of 1015–1016 cm−2. However, a stringent upper limit of the H2O2 abundance on Mars (9×1014 cm−2) was derived in February 2001 from ground-based infrared spectroscopy, at a time corresponding to a maximum water vapor abundance in the northern summer (30 pr. μm, Ls=112°). Here we report the detection of H2O2 on Mars in June 2003, and its mapping over the martian disk using the same technique, during the southern spring (Ls=206°) when the global water vapor abundance was ∼10 pr. μm. The spatial distribution of H2O2 shows a maximum in the morning around the sub-solar latitude. The mean H2O2 column density (6×1015 cm−2) is significantly greater than our previous upper limit, pointing to seasonal variations. Our new result is globally consistent with the predictions of photochemical models, and also with submillimeter ground-based measurements obtained in September 2003 (Ls=254°), averaged over the martian disk (Clancy et al., 2004, Icarus 168, 116–121)

Dates and versions

hal-00109867 , version 1 (25-10-2006)

Identifiers

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Thérèse Encrenaz, Bruno Bézard, Thomas K. Greathouse, M. J. Richter, J. H. Lacy, et al.. Hydrogen peroxide on Mars: evidence for spatial and seasonal variations. Icarus, 2004, 170 (2), pp.424-429. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2004.05.008⟩. ⟨hal-00109867⟩
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