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


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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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.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsMitchell, N. J.and Beldon, C. L.
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
ID Code14972


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