Articles | Volume 18, issue 20
Research article
16 Oct 2018
Research article |  | 16 Oct 2018

A new model of meteoric calcium in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

John M. C. Plane, Wuhu Feng, Juan Carlos Gómez Martín, Michael Gerding, and Shikha Raizada

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Cited articles

Ahmad, I., Baig, M. A., and Hormes, J.: Measurement of oscillator-strengths of the principal series of calcium, Phys. Rev. A, 49, 3419–3425,, 1994. 
Alpers, M., Höffner, J., and von Zahn, U.: Upper Atmosphere Ca and Ca+ at Mid-Latitudes: First Simultaneous and Common-Volume Lidar Observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 567–570,, 1996. 
Bones, D. L., Gerding, M., Höffner, J., Gómez-Martín, J. C., and Plane, J. M. C.: A study of the dissociative recombination of CaO+ with electrons: Implications for Ca chemistry in the upper atmosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 12333–12339,, 2016a. 
Bones, D. L., Gómez-Martín, J. C., Empson, C. J., Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D., James, A. D., Conroy, T. P., and Plane, J. M. C.: A novel instrument to measure differential ablation of meteorite samples and proxies: The Meteoric Ablation Simulator (MASI), Rev. Sci. Instr., 87, 094504,, 2016b. 
Broadley, S. L. and Plane, J. M. C.: A kinetic study of reactions of calcium-containing molecules with O and H atoms: implications for calcium chemistry in the upper atmosphere, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys, 12, 9095–9107,, 2010. 
Short summary
Meteoric ablation creates layers of metal atoms in the atmosphere around 90 km. Although Ca and Na have similar elemental abundances in most minerals found in the solar system, surprisingly the Ca abundance in the atmosphere is less than 1 % that of Na. This study uses a detailed chemistry model of Ca, largely based on laboratory kinetics measurements, in a whole-atmosphere model to show that the depletion is caused by inefficient ablation of Ca and the formation of stable molecular reservoirs.
Final-revised paper