Planetary waves and variability of the semidiurnal tide in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere over Esrange (68°N, 21°E) during winter

D V Pancheva, N J Mitchell

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Abstract

The main features of the planetary waves and the variability of the semidiurnal tide with planetary wave periods observed by meteor radar over Esrange (68°N, 21°E) have been investigated. The interval of 39 months covering continuous measurements from October 1999 to December 2002 has been examined. The planetary waves most frequently observed by meteor radar measurements in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (80–100 km) over Esrange are: 5-, 8- to 10-, 16-, and 23-day waves (the quasi-2-day wave is excluded in this study). They are strongly amplified in the winter. Some differences between high- and middle-latitude planetary waves notwithstanding, the 5-, 10-, and 16-day waves are most probably related to the well-known normal mode. There are some reasons to believe that the vertically upward propagating 23-day wave could be generated by solar forcing. The variability of the semidiurnal tide with periods of planetary waves has been thoroughly studied as well. It is found that in the winter when the planetary waves are significantly amplified, a very strong periodic variability of the semidiurnal tide is observed as well. This result indicates that the most probable mechanism responsible for the periodic tidal variability during winter is in situ nonlinear coupling between tides and planetary waves. Two winter periods have been examined (1999/2000 and 2001/2002) in order to find strong evidence supporting this suggestion. The validity of the frequency, phase, and vertical wavenumber (wavelength) relationship between the prime (the planetary wave and semidiurnal tide) and secondary waves has been established. The novel aspect of this work is that we show for the first time that the calculated vertical structures (vertical wavelengths) of the sum and difference secondary waves, which have very close periods, are actually very different.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA08307
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume109
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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