31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 76. Mars Atmosphere: Structure
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Friday, October 15, 1999, 4:00-5:30pm, Sala Plenaria

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[76.07] Diurnal Variations in Martian Atmospheric Water Vapor

A. L. Sprague, D. M. Hunten, R. E. Hill, L. Doose, B. Rizk (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona.)

We have observed a distinct, repeatable, and substantial diurnal variability of water vapor abundance in Mars' atmosphere. This determination was made possible by expanding our observing program that measures water vapor in Mars' atmosphere to include the nearly simultaneous measurement of scattering opacity in the R(8,10,12) lines of CO2. By modeling and fitting the CO2 lines we are able to estimate the scattering opacity and correct our measured H2O measurements accordingly. Using a ``dusty" curve-of-growth for the water abundance calculation results in abundances greater than those obtained with calculations in clear air. Effects are greatest in very dusty air, and at high airmasses where the pathlength is longest (limbs). Even after these corrections, the apparent early morning and evening lows in water abundance that have previously been observed by Barker and the Sprague et al. group, remain.

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