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Signatures of gravity wave-induced instabilities in balloon lidar soundings of polar mesospheric clouds

Kaifler, Natalie and Kaifler, Bernd and Rapp, Markus and Fritts, David C. (2023) Signatures of gravity wave-induced instabilities in balloon lidar soundings of polar mesospheric clouds. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), 23 (2), pp. 949-961. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/acp-23-949-2023. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-949-2023


The Balloon Lidar Experiment (BOLIDE), which was part of the Polar Mesospheric Cloud Turbulence (PMC Turbo) Balloon Mission has captured vertical profiles of PMCs during a 6 d flight along the Arctic circle in July 2018. The high-resolution soundings (20 m vertical and 10 s temporal resolution) reveal highly structured layers with large gradients in the volume backscatter coefficient. We systematically screen the BOLIDE dataset for small-scale variability by assessing these gradients at high resolution. We find longer tails of the probability density distributions of these gradients compared to a normal distribution, indicating intermittent behaviour. The high occurrence rate of large gradients is assessed in relation to the 15 min averaged layer brightness and the spectral power of short-period (5–62 min) gravity waves based on PMC layer altitude variations. We find that variability on small scales occurs during weak, moderate, and strong gravity wave activity. Layers with below-average brightness are less likely to show small-scale variability in conditions of strong gravity wave activity. We present and discuss the signatures of this small-scale variability, and possibly related dynamical processes, and identify potential cases for future case studies and modelling efforts.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/193459/
Document Type:Article
Title:Signatures of gravity wave-induced instabilities in balloon lidar soundings of polar mesospheric clouds
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Kaifler, NatalieUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3118-6480UNSPECIFIED
Kaifler, BerndDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5891-242XUNSPECIFIED
Rapp, MarkusDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1508-5900UNSPECIFIED
Date:19 January 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 949-961
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:PMC Turbo, BOLIDE, Lidar, Rayleigh lidar, Polar mesospheric clouds, noctilucent clouds, PMC, NLC, balloon, gravity waves
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
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kaifler, Dr. Natalie
Deposited On:20 Jan 2023 11:17
Last Modified:19 Oct 2023 10:35

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