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The Methane Diurnal Variation and Microseepage Flux at Gale Crater, Mars as Constrained by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Curiosity Observations

Moores, John; King, Penelope; Smith, Christina L.; Martinez, German M.; Newman, Claire E.; Guzewich, Scott D.; Meslin, Pierre‐Yves; Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

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The upper bound of 50 parts per trillion by volume for Mars methane above 5 km established by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, substantially lower than the 410 parts per trillion by volume average measured overnight by the Curiosity Rover, places a strong constraint on the daytime methane flux at the Gale crater. We propose that these measurements may be largely reconciled by the inhibition of mixing near the surface overnight, whereby methane emitted from the subsurface accumulates within...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMoores, John
dc.contributor.authorKing, Penelope
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Christina L.
dc.contributor.authorMartinez, German M.
dc.contributor.authorNewman, Claire E.
dc.contributor.authorGuzewich, Scott D.
dc.contributor.authorMeslin, Pierre‐Yves
dc.contributor.authorWebster, Christopher R.
dc.contributor.authorMahaffy, Paul R.
dc.contributor.authorAtreya, Sushil K.
dc.contributor.authorSchuerger, Andrew C.
dc.date.accessioned2020-05-07T02:07:25Z
dc.date.available2020-05-07T02:07:25Z
dc.identifier.issn0094-8276
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/203856
dc.description.abstractThe upper bound of 50 parts per trillion by volume for Mars methane above 5 km established by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, substantially lower than the 410 parts per trillion by volume average measured overnight by the Curiosity Rover, places a strong constraint on the daytime methane flux at the Gale crater. We propose that these measurements may be largely reconciled by the inhibition of mixing near the surface overnight, whereby methane emitted from the subsurface accumulates within meters of the surface before being mixed below detection limits at dawn. A model of this scenario allows the first precise calculation of microseepage fluxes at Gale to be derived, consistent with a constant 1.5 × 10−10 kg·m−2 ·sol−1 (5.4 × 10−5 tonnes·km−2 ·year−1 ) source at depth. Under this scenario, only 2.7 × 104 km2 of Mars's surface may be emitting methane, unless a fast destruction mechanism exists.
dc.description.sponsorshipFunding for this work was provided by the Canadian Space Agency's Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist Program
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherAmerican Geophysical Union
dc.rights© 2019. American Geophysical Union
dc.sourceGeophysical Research Letters
dc.titleThe Methane Diurnal Variation and Microseepage Flux at Gale Crater, Mars as Constrained by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Curiosity Observations
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume46
dc.date.issued2019-08-26
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.agu.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMoores, J. E., Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationKing, P. L., Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University
local.bibliographicCitation.issue16
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage9430
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage9438
local.identifier.doi10.1029/2019GL083800
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancehttp://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0094-8276/..."Publisher's version/PDF may be used 6 months after publication on an Institutional Repository or Governmental Repository only" from Sherpa/Romeo (as at 7/05/2020)
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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