Modeling Jupiter's cloud bands and decks: 2. Distribution and motion of condensates
ABSTRACT A simple jovian cloud scheme has been developed for the Oxford Planetary Unified model System (OPUS). NH3-ice, NH4SH-solid, H2O-ice and H2O-liquid clouds have been modeled in Southern hemisphere limited area simulations of Jupiter. We found that either three or four of the condensates existed in the model. For a deep atmospheric water abundance close to solar composition, an NH3-ice deck above 0.7 bar, an NH4SH-solid deck above 2.5 bar and a H2O-liquid deck with a base at about 7.5 bar and frozen cloud tops formed. If a depleted deep water abundance is assumed, however, a very compact cloud structure develops, where an H2O-ice cloud forms by direct sublimation above 3 bar. The condensates constitute good tracers of atmospheric motion, and we have confirmed that zonal velocities determined from manual feature tracking in the modeled cloud layers agree reasonably well with the modeled zonal velocities. Dense and elevated clouds form over latitudes with strong atmospheric upwelling and depleted clouds exist over areas with strong downwelling. In the NH3-ice deck this leads to elevated cloud bands over the zones in the domain and thin clouds over the belts, which is consistent with the observationally deduced distribution. Due to changes in the vertical velocity pattern in the deeper atmosphere, the NH4SH-solid and water cloud decks are more uniform. This modeled cloud structure thus includes the possibility of more frequent water cloud observations in belts, as this deeper deck could be more easily detected under areas with thin NH3-ice clouds. Large scale vortices appeared spontaneously in the model and were characterized by elevated NH3-ice clouds, as expected from observations. These eddies leave the most discernible imprint on the lighter condensate particles of the uppermost layer.
- Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 02/2012; 69(2):753-767. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The motions of Jupiter’s tropospheric jets and vortices are made visible by its outermost clouds, which are expected to be largely composed of ammonia ice. Several groups have demonstrated that much of this dynamics can be reproduced in the vorticity fields of high-resolution models that, surprisingly, do not contain any clouds. While this reductionist approach is valuable, it has natural limitations. Here we report on numerical simulations that use the EPIC Jupiter model with a realistic ammonia-cloud microphysics module, focusing on how observable ammonia clouds interact with the Great Red Spot (GRS) and Oval BA. Maps of column-integrated ammonia-cloud density in the model resemble visible-band images of Jupiter and potential-vorticity maps. On the other hand, vertical cross sections through the model vortices reveal considerable heterogeneity in cloud density values between pressure levels in the vicinity of large anticyclones, and interestingly, ammonia snow appears occasionally. Away from the vortices, the ammonia clouds form at the levels expected from traditional one-dimensional models, and inside the vortices, the clouds are elevated and thick, in agreement with Galileo NIMS observations. However, rather than gathering slowly into place as a result of Jupiter’s weak secondary circulation, the ammonia clouds instead form high and thick inside the large anticyclones as soon as the cloud microphysics module is enabled. This suggests that any weak secondary circulation that might be present in Jupiter’s anticyclones, such as may arise because of radiative damping of their temperature anomalies, may have little or no direct effect on the altitude or thickness of the ammonia clouds. Instead, clouds form at those locations because the top halves of large anticyclones must be cool for the vortex to be able to fit under the tropopause, which is a primary-circulation, thermal-wind-shear effect of the stratification, not a secondary-circulation thermal feature. A planetary-scale void of ammonia clouds persists in the model southward of -38°-38° planetographic latitude, but may partially reflect the fact that we have not yet included a full complement of vortices, all condensable species or the underlying dry-convective forcing from Jupiter’s interior.Icarus 01/2014; 232:141–156. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fixes the cloud density calculation in models like Weidenschilling and Lewis (1973).•Updraft length scale (or speed and duration) determines cloud densities.•“Fresh clouds” density calculation is validated by terrestrial cirrus/cumulus data.•In Galileo Probe site, two layers of clouds are consistent with a very weak updraft.•But middle cloud (NH4SH?) needs too strong updraft; may hint at unexplored chemistry.Icarus 01/2015; 245. · 2.84 Impact Factor