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Hydrogen and Deuterium Loss from the Terrestrial Atmosphere: A Quantitative Assessment of Nonthermal Escape Fluxes

Yung, Yuk L. and Wen, Jun-Shan and Moses, Julianne I. and Landry, Bridget M. and Allen, Mark (1989) Hydrogen and Deuterium Loss from the Terrestrial Atmosphere: A Quantitative Assessment of Nonthermal Escape Fluxes. Journal of Geophysical Research D, 94 (D12). pp. 14971-14989. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JD094iD12p14971.

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A comprehensive one-dimensional photochemical model extending from the middle atmosphere (50 km) to the exobase (432 km) has been used to study the escape of hydrogen and deuterium from the Earth's atmosphere. The model incorporates recent advances in chemical kinetics as well as atmospheric observations by satellites, especially the Atmosphere Explorer C satellite. The results suggest: (1) the escape fluxes of both H and D are limited by the upward transport of total hydrogen and total deuterium at the homopause (this result is known as Hunten's limiting flux theorem); (2) about one fourth of total hydrogen escape is thermal, the rest being nonthermal; (3) escape of D is nonthermal; and (4) charge exchange and polar wind are important mechanisms for the nonthermal escape of H and D, but other nonthermal mechanisms may be required. The efficiency to escape from the terrestrial atmosphere for D is 0.74 of the efficiency for H. If the difference between the D/H ratio measured in deep-sea tholeiite glass and that of standard sea water, δD = −77‰, were caused by the escape of H and D, we estimate that as much water as the equivalent of 36% of the present ocean might have been lost in the past.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Moses, Julianne I.0000-0002-8837-0035
Additional Information:© 1989 by the American Geophysical Union. Received June 6, 1988; revised February 10, 1989; accepted February 10, 1989. Paper number 89JD00307. We thank D. Hunten and W. B. Hanson for illuminating discussions. This research was supported by NASA grant NAGW-1538 to the California Institute of Technology. Contribution number 4575 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4575
Issue or Number:D12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140923-125432831
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Official Citation:Yung, Y. L., J.-S. Wen, J. I. Moses, B. M. Landry, M. Allen, and K.-J. Hsu (1989), Hydrogen and deuterium loss from the terrestrial atmosphere: A quantitative assessment of nonthermal escape fluxes, J. Geophys. Res., 94(D12), 14971–14989, doi:10.1029/JD094iD12p14971.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49944
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Sep 2014 20:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:49

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