Wave Dynamics of the Mesosphere

Project: Research council


Waves in the atmosphere are able to transport energy and momentum between different layers of the atmosphere. Understanding these waves is thus very important if we want to understand the atmosphere as a whole system in which the layers are coupled together. In this project we will use five radars to measure waves in the mesosphere, which is that part of the atmosphere at heights of between about 55 to 100 km. The radars are located at sites ranging from the Arctic to the Antarctic. We are particularly interested in detecting and measuring waves generated when strong winds blow over the Southern Andes and the Antarctic Peninsula - so-called 'mountain waves'. We are interested in understanding the conditions under which these waves can ascend to the mesosphere and plan to determine the effect they have on the large-scale winds of the mesosphere. We will also study how the intense, cold winter circulation system known as the stratospheric polar vortex filters and controls waves ascending into the mesosphere. We plan to take part in a major international experiment, SAANGRIA, to study these phenomena in collaboration with other instruments. Finally, we will study how the winds of the equatorial mesosphere control the cross-equator propagation of planetary-scale waves
Effective start/end date17/05/1016/05/13


polar vortex