By P. M. Banks and G. Kockarts (Auth.)
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Extra resources for Aeronomy
Present rocket information on diffusion in the thermosphère must be analyzed by taking into account the unknown and variable transition between regions of perfect mixing and diffusive equilibrium. In any atmospheric model the introduction of a diffusion level must always be below the actual level of diffusive equilibrium. Consequently, the heterosphere, which begins with the dissociation of molecular oxygen, is also subject in the same altitude range to departures from mixing and diffusive conditions.
Using the following numerical data at the mesopause level: n(02)J2 = 7 x 10~5 cm - 3 sec -1 and / ^ ( M ) = 5 x 10~19 cm3 sec -1 , the time required to reach an atomic oxygen concentration of about 50% of its equilibrium value is about 5 days according to Eq. 25). In the mésosphère at 70 km for example, where the atomic oxygen loss rate coefficient is of the order of 10~16 cm3 sec -1 and its production rate is about 4 x 106 cm - 3 sec -1 , only 5 hr are required according to Eq. 24) to attain 50% of the photochemical value.
52. W. B. Clarke, M. A. Beg, and H. Craig, Earth Planet. Sei. Lett. 6, 213 (1969). 53. H. Craig, / . Geol. 62, 115 (1954). 54. H. Craig, in Earth Science and Meteoritics (J. Geiss and E. D. ). Chapter 6, p. 103. , Amsterdam, 1963. 55. H. D. Babcock and L. Herzberg, Astrophys. J. 108, 167 (1948). 56. G. A. Lane and M. Dole, Science 123, 574 (1956). 1 Introduction Thirty years ago it was generally accepted that the composition of the stratospheric air varied with altitude because it was believed that helium and oxygen samples taken above 20 km showed departures from a mixing distribution toward partial diffusive separation.