Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-331
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-331

  04 May 2021

04 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Self-consistent Global Transport of Metallic Ions with WACCM-X

Jianfei Wu1,2,3, Wuhu Feng4,5, Han-Li Liu6, Xianghui Xue1,2,3,7, Daniel R. Marsh4,6, and John M. C. Plane4 Jianfei Wu et al.
  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, China
  • 3Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 4School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 6National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 7Hefei National Laboratory for the Physical Sciences at the Microscale, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China

Abstract. The NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere eXtension (WACCM-X) v2.1 has been developed to include the neutral and ion-molecule chemistry and dynamics of three metals (Mg, Na, and Fe), which are injected into the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere by meteoric ablation. Here we focus on the self-consistent electrodynamical transport of metallic ions in both the E and F regions. The model with full ion transport significantly improves the simulation of global distribution and seasonal variations of Mg+. Near the magnetic equator, the diurnal variation in upward and downward transport of Mg+ is generally consistent with the ''ionosphere fountain effect''. The thermospheric distribution of Fe is shown to be closely coupled to the transport of Fe+. The effect of ion mass on ion transport is also examined: the lighter ions (Mg+ and Na+) are transported above 150 km more easily than the heavy Fe+. We also examine the impact of the transport of major molecular ions, NO+ and O2+, on the distribution of metallic ions.

Jianfei Wu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-331', Anonymous Referee #3, 29 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-331', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on acp-2021-331', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Jun 2021

Jianfei Wu et al.

Jianfei Wu et al.

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Short summary
Metal layers occur in the MLT region (80–120 km) from the ablation of cosmic dust. The lidar observations show that these metals can reach a height approaching 200 km, which is challenging to explain. We have developed the first global simulation incorporating the full life cycle of metal atoms and ions. The model results compare well with lidar and satellite observations of the seasonal and diurnal variation of the metals and demonstrate the importance of ion mass, ion-neutral coupling.
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