Articles | Volume 24, issue 8
13 Sep 2006
 | 13 Sep 2006

First simulation results of Titan's atmosphere dynamics with a global 3-D non-hydrostatic circulation model

I. V. Mingalev, V. S. Mingalev, O. V. Mingalev, B. Kazeminejad, H. Lammer, H. K. Biernat, H. I. M. Lichtenegger, K. Schwingenschuh, and H. O. Rucker

Abstract. We present the first results of a 3-D General Circulation Model of Titan's atmosphere which differs from traditional models in that the hydrostatic equation is not used and all three components of the neutral gas velocity are obtained from the numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equation. The current version of our GCM is, however, a simplified version, as it uses a predescribed temperature field in the model region thereby avoiding the complex simulation of radiative transfer based on the energy equation. We present the first simulation results and compare them to the results of existing GCMs and direct wind observations. The wind speeds obtained from our GCM correspond well with data obtained during the Huygens probe descent through Titan's atmosphere. We interpret the most unexpected feature of these data which consist of the presence of a non-monotonicity of the altitude profile of the zonal wind speed between 60 and 75 km.