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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 27 Jun 2019

Research article | 27 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).

Advanced hodograph-based analysis technique to derive gravity waves parameters from Lidar observations

Irina Strelnikova, Gerd Baumgarten, and Franz-Josef Lübken Irina Strelnikova et al.
  • Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Rostock University, Kühlungsborn, Germany

Abstract. An advanced hodograph-based analysis technique to derive gravity waves (GW) parameters from observations of temperature and winds is developed and presented as a step-by-step recipe with justification of every step in such an analysis. As a most adequate background removal technique the 2D-FFT is suggested. For an unbiased analysis of fluctuation whose amplitude grows with height exponentially we propose to apply a scaling function of the form exp(z/(ςH)), where H is scale height, z is altitude, and the constant ς can be derived by a linear fit to fluctuation profiles and should be in a range 1–10 (we derived ς = 2.15 for our data). The most essential part of the proposed analysis technique consist of fitting of cosines- waves to simultaneously measured profiles of zonal and meridional winds and temperature and subsequent hodograph analysis of these fitted waves. The novelty of our approach is that its robustness ultimately allows for automation of the hodograph analysis and resolves many more GWs than it can be inferred by manually applied hodograph technique. This technique is applied to unique lidar measurements of temperature and horizontal winds measured in an altitude range of 30 to 70 km. A case study of continuous lidar observations from January 09 to 12, 2016 with the ALOMAR Rayleigh-Mie-Raman (RMR) Lidar in Northern Norway (69° N) is analyzed. We use linear wave theory to identify 4507 quasi monochromatic waves and apply the hodograph method which allows to estimate several important parameters of the observed GW. This technique allows to unambiguously identify up- and downward propagating GW. In the vicinity of the polar night jet ∼ 30 % of the detected 15 waves propagate downwards. The upward propagating GW predominantly propagate against the background wind, whereas downward propagating waves show no preferred direction. The kinetic energy density of upward propagating GW is larger than that of the downward propagating waves, whereas the potential energy is nearly the same for both directions. The mean vertical flux of horizontal momentum in the altitude range of 42 to 70 km for the detected waves is about 0.65 mPa for upward propagating GW and 0.53 mPa for downward propagating GW.

Irina Strelnikova et al.
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Irina Strelnikova et al.
Irina Strelnikova et al.
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Latest update: 17 Jul 2019
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
One of the major problems of climate and weather modeling are atmospheric gravity waves. All measured meteorological parameters such as winds and temperature reveal superposition of large scale background field and small-scale features created by waves. We developed an analysis technique that decomposes the measured winds and temperature into single waves, which allows for a detailed description of wave parameters. Application of this technique will improve understanding of atmospheric dynamics.
One of the major problems of climate and weather modeling are atmospheric gravity waves. All...