Cold Dense Ion Outflow Observed in the Martian-Induced Magnetotail by MAVEN

S. Inui, K. Seki, T. Namekawa, S. Sakai, D. A. Brain, T. Hara, J. P. McFadden, J. S. Halekas, D. L. Mitchell, C. Mazelle, G. A. DiBraccio, B. M. Jakosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Cold ion outflow is one of the candidate processes to cause significant atmospheric escape from Mars. We here report on the cold dense heavy ion outflow event observed in Martian-induced magnetotail by Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) on 4 December 2014. In the outflow event, the cold dense heavy ion outflow was observed only in south dusk downward convection electric field (E) lobe. During the event, the strong crustal magnetic field was located on dayside of Mars. It suggests that combination of minimagnetosphere and downward E facilitates the cold dense heavy ion outflow. In order to estimate the CO2 + density, we adopted a fitting method of log-normal distribution to the O2 + time of flight distributions to eliminate O2 + contamination in the CO2 + time of flight data. Contribution of O2 +, O+, and CO2 + to the total heavy ions (~134 cm−3) is about 71%, 26%, and 3%, respectively. Average heavy ion flux was ~5.4 × 107 cm−2s−1, assuming the escape velocity at 2,000-km altitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5283-5289
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 16
Externally publishedYes


  • Mars
  • atmospheric escape
  • carbon dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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