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Vertical distribution of water in the atmosphere of Venus - A simple thermochemical explanationSeveral lines of evidence concerning the vertical abundance profile of water in the atmosphere of Venus lead to strikingly unusual distributions (the water vapor abundance decreases sharply in the immediate vicinity of the surface) or to serious conflicts in the profiles (different IR bands suggest water abundances that are discrepant by a factor of 2.5 to 10). These data sets can be reconciled if (1) water molecules associate with carbon dioxide and sulfur trioxide to make gaseous carbonic acid and sulfuric acid in the lower atmosphere, and (2) the discrepant 0.94-micrometer water measurements are due to gaseous sulfuric acid, requiring it to be a somewhat stronger absorber than water vapor in this wavelength region. A mean total water abundance of 50 + or - 20 parts/million and a near-surface free water vapor abundance of 10 + or - 4 parts/million are derived.
Document ID
19900062894
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Lewis, John S. (Arizona, University Tucson, United States)
Grinspoon, David H. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
September 14, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: Science
Volume: 249
ISSN: 0036-8075
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other