A Sensitivity Study of the Thermal Tides in the Venusian Atmosphere: Structures and Dynamical Effects on the Superrotation

Anna Suzuki, Masahiro Takagi, Hiroki Ando, Masataka Imai, Norihiko Sugimoto, Yoshihisa Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In order to resolve discrepancy between recent observational and numerical studies on the thermal tides in the Venusian atmosphere, we investigated by means of a general circulation model how the thermal tides are affected by the static stability in and above the upper cloud layer by using three different distributions of the static stability. The results show that the vertical structure of the semidiurnal tide, which propagates vertically, is strongly affected by the static stability. The diurnal tide, which has an equivalent barotropic structure in 62–73 km altitudes, becomes weaker with the higher static stability although its vertical structure is almost unchanged. The horizontal distribution of the thermal tides with the realistic static stability distribution, which is consistent with radio occultation measurements, agrees with the observations at the cloud top. The meridional angular momentum flux associated with the thermal tides is equatorward in low latitudes near the altitude where the equatorial zonal-mean wind takes its maximum. This result is consistent with the recent Akatsuki UVI observations, suggesting that the thermal tides could contribute to the maintenance of the superrotation in the equatorial region near the cloud top. In the most realistic case, the zonal-mean zonal wind is effectively accelerated at rates of 0.2–0.5 m s−1 day−1 in low latitudes at altitudes of 52–76 km by both the meridional and vertical angular momentum transports. The thermal tides also induce significant meridional heat flux, which cannot be ignored in the dynamical effect on the zonal-mean zonal wind.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JE007243
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun


  • EP flux
  • Venus atmosphere
  • static stability
  • superrotation
  • thermal tide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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