Effects of Nitrogen Photoabsorption Cross Section Resolution on Minor Species Vertical Profiles in Titan's Upper Atmosphere

Date

2015-03

Authors

Luspay-Kuti, A.
Mandt, K. E.
Plessis, S.
Greathouse, T. K.

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Abstract

The significant variations in both measured and modeled densities of minor species in Titan's atmosphere call for the evaluation of possible influencing factors in photochemical modeling. The effect of nitrogen photoabsorption cross section selection on the modeled vertical profiles of minor species is analyzed here, with particular focus on C2H6 and HCN. Our results show a clear impact of cross sections used on all neutral and ion species studied. Affected species include neutrals and ions that are not primary photochemical products, including species that do not even contain nitrogen. The results indicate that photochemical models that employ low-resolution cross sections may significantly miscalculate the vertical profiles of minor species. Such differences are expected to have important implications for Titan's overall atmospheric structure and chemistry.

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Citation

Luspay-Kuti, A., K. E. Mandt, S. Plessis, and T. K. Greathouse. "Effects of Nitrogen Photoabsorption Cross Section Resolution on Minor Species Vertical Profiles in Titan’s Upper Atmosphere." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 801, No. 1 (Mar., 2015): L14.