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Gravity waves in the mesopause region observed by meteor radar: 1. A simple measurement technique


Reference:

Mitchell, N. J. and Beldon, C. L., 2009. Gravity waves in the mesopause region observed by meteor radar: 1. A simple measurement technique. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 71 (8-9), pp. 866-874.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2009.03.011

Abstract

A simple new technique for measuring gravity-wave activity using meteor radars is described. The technique uses the variance of horizontal wind velocities measured by individual meteors as a proxy for the activity of the gravity-wave field. It is sensitive to gravity waves with horizontal wavelengths of up to about 400 km and periods up to about 3 h. The technique can be used to investigate the vertical structure of the gravity-wave field at heights between approximately 80 and 100 km and with a time resolution of approximately 6 h. The technique is demonstrated using data from an all-sky meteor radar based at Rothera, Antarctica (68 degrees S, 68 degrees W). Observations made over Rothera for 2006 and 2007 reveal a seasonal behaviour with a semi-annual cycle in wave activity. Wave activity maximises in summer and winter and minimises at the equinoxes. Monthly mean gravity-wave activity increases with height in all seasons except in summer when gravity-wave variances show little or no increase with height below 90 km. Comparisons between the gravity-wave activity determined by this meteor-variance technique and other measurements at similar latitudes in the Antarctic reveal generally good agreement.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsMitchell, N. J.and Beldon, C. L.
DOI10.1016/j.jastp.2009.03.011
Uncontrolled Keywordsmesopause, polar, gravity waves, meteor radar, dynamics, mesosphere and lower thermosphere
DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Research CentresCentre for Space, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code14972

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