The effect of dynamics on the composition of Titan's upper atmosphere

I. C.F. Müller-Wodarg, R. V. Yelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Using a global time-dependent general circulation model, we calculate the distribution of constituents in Titan's thermosphere resulting from transport caused by winds and molecular and eddy diffusion. Our simulations reveal that thermospheric winds effectively mix constituents in Titan's upper atmosphere. Consequently, the large eddy coefficients inferred from Voyager UVS observations may be a result of vigorous thermospheric circulation on Titan. Thermospheric winds also cause large diurnal variations in composition, with equatorial CH4 mole fractions near 1400 km ranging from ∼15% in the late afternoon to ∼58% in the early morning at equinox.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2139
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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