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Volume 36, issue 3 | Copyright

Special issue: Space weather connections to near-Earth space and the...

Ann. Geophys., 36, 899-914, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-899-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 21 Jun 2018

Regular paper | 21 Jun 2018

Seasonal characteristics of small- and medium-scale gravity waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere over the Brazilian equatorial region

Patrick Essien1,2, Igo Paulino2, Cristiano Max Wrasse1, Jose Andre V. Campos2, Ana Roberta Paulino2, Amauri F. Medeiros2, Ricardo Arlen Buriti2, Hisao Takahashi1, Ebenezer Agyei-Yeboah2, and Aline N. Lins2 Patrick Essien et al.
  • 1National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Division of Aeronomy, Av. dos Astronautas, 12.227-010 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
  • 2Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Unidade Acadêmica de Física, Av. Aprígio Veloso, 882 – Bloco CY – Bairro Universitário, 58.109-970 Campina Grande, PB, Brazil

Abstract. The present work reports seasonal characteristics of small- and medium-scale gravity waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region. All-sky images of the hydroxyl (NIR-OH) airglow emission layer over São João do Cariri (7.4°S, 36.5°W; hereafter Cariri) were obtained from September 2000 to December 2010, during a total of 1496 nights. For investigation of the characteristics of small-scale gravity waves (SSGWs) and medium-scale gravity waves (MSGWs), we employed the Fourier two-dimensional (2-D) spectrum and keogram fast Fourier transform (FFT) techniques, respectively. From the 11 years of data, we could observe 2343 SSGW and 537 MSGW events. The horizontal wavelengths of the SSGWs were concentrated between 10 and 35km, while those of the MSGWs ranged from 50 to 200km. The observed periods for SSGWs were concentrated around 5 to 20min, whereas the MSGWs ranged from 20 to 60min. The observed horizontal phase speeds of SSGWs were distributed around 10 to 60m s−1, and the corresponding MSGWs were around 20 to 120m s−1. In summer, autumn, and winter both SSGWs and MSGWs propagated preferentially northeastward and southeastward, while in spring the waves propagated in all directions. The critical level theory of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) was applied to study the effects of wind filtering on SSGW and MSGW propagation directions. The SSGWs were more susceptible to wind filtering effects than MSGWs. The average of daily mean outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) was also used to investigate the possible wave source region in the troposphere. The results showed that in summer and autumn, deep convective regions were the possible source mechanism of the AGWs. However, in spring and winter the deep convective regions did not play an important role in the waves observed at Cariri, because they were too far away from the observatory. Therefore, we concluded that the horizontal propagation directions of SSGWs and MSGWs show clear seasonal variations based on the influence of the wind filtering process and wave source location.

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Short summary
Present work reports seasonal characteristics of small- and medium-scale gravity waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region. All-sky images of the hydroxyl airglow emission layer over São João do Cariri (7.4° S, 36.5° W) were observed from September 2000 to December 2010, during a total of 1496 nights and obtained 2343 SSGW and 537 MSGW events. The horizontal propagation directions of SSGWs and MSGWs showed clear seasonal variations based on the influence of the wind filtering process.
Present work reports seasonal characteristics of small- and medium-scale gravity waves in the...
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