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Small scale structures of NLC observed by lidar at 69N/69S and their possible relation to gravity waves


Kaifler, N and Baumgarten, G and Klekociuk, AR and Alexander, SP and Fiedler, J and Lubken, F-J, Small scale structures of NLC observed by lidar at 69 N/69 S and their possible relation to gravity waves, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 104 pp. 244-252. ISSN 1364-6826 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2013.01.004


Lidar measurements of noctilucent clouds (NLC) were conducted by the Davis Rayleigh-/Raman-lidar in Antarctica (68.58S, 77.97E) and by the Rayleigh-/Mie-/Raman-lidar at the ALOMAR observatory in northern Norway (69.28N, 16.01E). We compare southern and northern hemisphere NLC at time scales of 10. min to several hours using multi-year datasets (four seasons at ALOMAR, 2008-2011, and nine seasons at Davis, 2001/2002 to 2009/2010). NLC characteristics studied include the vertical structure of NLC layers, the duration of NLC layers as well as the apparent downward motion of NLC layers with time. We find multiple layers during 9% of all NLC observations with vertical separations of double layers between 1.5 and 3. km. The mean downward progression of NLC with measurement time is -0.3. km/h and comparable at Davis and ALOMAR. We find no general spatial tilt of the layer at ALOMAR but individual layers show up to 2. km altitude difference at 40. km horizontal separation. Typical NLC observations at both stations last about 5 hours, hinting at horizontal extents of about 700. km, and reoccur after approximately 10 hours. This is in the range of mid-frequency gravity waves (GW). On short-time scales NLC characteristics are presumably impacted by small scale processes in the vicinity of the clouds, generated by e.g. breaking GW. In addition, we discuss a possible relation to GW by looking at the influence of stratospheric wind conditions on NLC layer characteristics at 69S.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gravity waves, inter-hemispheric comparison, lidar, noctilucent clouds, polar mesospheric clouds, polar summer mesosphere
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Atmospheric dynamics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric processes and dynamics
UTAS Author:Klekociuk, AR (Dr Andrew Klekociuk)
UTAS Author:Alexander, SP (Dr Simon Alexander)
ID Code:118933
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-07-24
Last Modified:2017-10-25

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