Daytime ozone loss term in the mesopause region
Abstract. For the retrieval of atomic oxygen via ozone observations in the extended mesopause region under sunlight conditions, two assumptions are used: first, the photochemical equilibrium of ozone and, second, that the ozone losses are dominated by ozone's dissociation from solar UV radiation, silently ignoring the O3 destruction by atomic hydrogen. We verify both by 3-D modeling. We found that ozone approaches photochemical equilibrium at 75–100 km for daytime conditions. Hence, the first assumption is valid. However, the reaction of ozone with atomic hydrogen was found to be an important loss process and should not be omitted in retrieving atomic oxygen.