Wave Dynamics of the Mesosphere

Project: Research council

Project Details


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


  • Natural Environment Research Council

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  • Research Output

    Comparison of mesospheric winds from a high-altitude meteorological analysis system and meteor radar observations during the boreal winters of 2009–2010 and 2012–2013

    McCormack, J., Hoppel, K., Kuhl, D., de Wit, R., Stober, G., Espy, P., Baker, N., Brown, P., Fritts, D., Jacobi, C., Janches, D., Mitchell, N., Ruston, B., Swadley, S., Viner, K., Whitcomb, T. & Hibbins, R., 1 Feb 2017, In : Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. 154, p. 132-166 35 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 21 Citations (Scopus)
    160 Downloads (Pure)

    Global observations of 2 day wave coupling to the diurnal tide in a high-altitude forecast-assimilation system

    Lieberman, R. S., Riggin, D. M., Nguyen, V., Palo, S. E., Siskind, D. E., Mitchell, N. J., Stober, G., Wilhelm, S. & Livesey, N. J., 27 Apr 2017, In : Journal of Geophysical Research : Atmospheres. 122, 8, p. 4135-4149 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)
    129 Downloads (Pure)

    The semiannual oscillation of the tropical zonal wind in the middle atmosphere derived from satellite geopotential height retrievals

    Smith, A. K., Garcia, R., Moss, A. C. & Mitchell, N. J., 1 Aug 2017, In : Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 74, 8, p. 2413-2425 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 8 Citations (Scopus)
    39 Downloads (Pure)