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Mesospheric Mountain Wave Activity in the Lee of the Southern Andes

Pautet, P.-D. and Taylor, M. and Fritts, David C. and Janches, Diego and Kaifler, Natalie and Dörnbrack, Andreas and Hormaechea, J. L. (2021) Mesospheric Mountain Wave Activity in the Lee of the Southern Andes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126 (7), e2020JD033268. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2020JD033268. ISSN 0148-0227.

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Official URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020JD033268


Gravity waves (GWs) generated by orographic forcing, also known as mountain waves (MWs) have been studied for decades. First measured in the troposphere, then in the stratosphere, they were only imaged at mesospheric altitude in 2008. Their characteristics have been investigated during several recent observation campaigns, but many questions remain concerning their impacts on the upper atmosphere, and the effects of the background environment on their deep propagation. An Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (AMTM) and the Southern Argentina Agile MEteor Radar (SAAMER) have been operated simultaneously during the Austral winter 2018 from Rio Grande, Argentina (53.8°S). This site is located near the tip of South America, in the lee of the Andes Mountains, a region considered the largest MW hotspot on Earth (e.g., Eckermann & Preusse, 1999; Hendricks et al., 2014; Jiang et al., 2003, 2005, 2002; Wright et al., 2016). New AMTM image data obtained during a 6-month period show almost 100 occurrences of MW signatures penetrating into the upper mesosphere. They are visible ∼30% of time during the period corresponding to the middle of the winter season (mid-May to mid-July). Their intermittency is highly correlated with the zonal wind controlled by the semi-diurnal tide, revealing the direct effect of the atmospheric background on MW penetration into the mesosphere lower thermosphere (MLT, altitude 80–100 km). Measurements of their momentum fluxes (MFs) were determined to reach very large values (average for 36 events ∼250 m2/s2), providing strong evidence of the importance and impacts of small-scale gravity waves at mesospheric altitudes.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141696/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mesospheric Mountain Wave Activity in the Lee of the Southern Andes
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Pautet, P.-D.Science Engineering Research (SER), Utah State University, 220B, 4415 Old Main Hill, Logan,UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Janches, DiegoNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kaifler, NatalieDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3118-6480UNSPECIFIED
Dörnbrack, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0936-0216UNSPECIFIED
Hormaechea, J. L.Univ. Nacional de La Plata and CONICET, ArgentinienUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:23 March 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:e2020JD033268
Keywords:Gravity waves; Mountain waves; Airglow; Southern Argentina; Rio Grande
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Middle Atmosphere
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Transport Meteorology
Deposited By: Kaifler, Dr. Natalie
Deposited On:07 Apr 2021 15:00
Last Modified:24 Sep 2021 03:00

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