Effects of a Weak Intrinsic Magnetic Field on Atmospheric Escape From Mars

Shotaro Sakai, Kanako Seki, Naoki Terada, Hiroyuki Shinagawa, Takashi Tanaka, Yusuke Ebihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The magnetization of a planet significantly changes the nature of atmospheric escape, and the question of whether a planetary field shields atmosphere from erosion by the solar wind or not remains open. Ion escape processes from Mars are investigated under two hypothetical conditions, namely, no intrinsic magnetic field and weak intrinsic dipole field cases under present solar wind conditions based on multispecies magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The existence of a weak dipole field results in an enhancement of the tailward flux of planetary ions through the four escape channels. Two channels are associated with the open fields at the poles, and the others are caused by magnetic reconnection between the planetary and solar wind magnetic fields at the flank magnetopause. The ion escape rate with the weak dipole is greater than in the no-dipole case. The enhancement is significant for O2 + and CO2 +, suggesting ion escape from the low-altitude ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9336-9343
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 28


  • Mars
  • atmospheric escape
  • intrinsic magnetic field
  • ion escape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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