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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Jun 2019

Research article | 03 Jun 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Retrieval of intrinsic mesospheric gravity wave parameters using lidar and airglow temperature and meteor radar wind data

Robert Reichert1, Bernd Kaifler1, Natalie Kaifler1, Markus Rapp1,2, Pierre-Dominique Pautet3, Michael J. Taylor3, Alexander Kozlovsky4, Mark Lester5, and Rigel Kivi6 Robert Reichert et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
  • 3Utah State University, Logan, USA
  • 4Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Finland
  • 5University Leicester, United Kingdom
  • 6Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Sodankylä, Finland

Abstract. We analyze gravity waves in the mesosphere, lower thermosphere region from high-resolution temperature variation measured by Rayleigh lidar and OH temperature mapper. From this combination of instruments, aided by meteor radar wind data, the full set of ground-relative and intrinsic gravity wave parameters are derived by means of the novel WAPITI method. This Wavelet Analysis and Phase line IdenTIfication tool decomposes the gravity wave field into its spectral components while preserving the temporal resolution, allowing us to identify and study the evolution of gravity wave packets in the varying background. We describe WAPITI and demonstrate its capabilities for the large-amplitude gravity wave event on 16/17 December 2015 observed at Sodankylä, Finland, during the GW-LCYCLE-II field campaign. We present horizontal and vertical wavelengths, phase velocities, propagation directions and intrinsic periods including uncertainties. The results are discussed for three main spectral regions, representing short, medium and long-period gravity waves. We observe a complex superposition of gravity waves at different scales, partly generated by gravity wave breaking, evolving in accordance with a vertically and presumably also horizontally sheared wind.

Robert Reichert et al.
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Robert Reichert et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
To determine gravity wave properties like wavelengths, periods and propagation directions at mesospheric altitudes (∼86 km) we combine lidar and airglow temperature and meteor radar wind data. By means of wavelet transformation we investigate the wave field and determine intrinsic wave properties as functions of time and period. We are able to identify several gravity wave packets by their distinct propagation and discover a superposition with possible wave-wave and wave-mean flow interactions.
To determine gravity wave properties like wavelengths, periods and propagation directions at...