Evidence of gravity waves into the atmosphere during the March 2006 total solar eclipse
1National Observatory of Athens, V. Pavlou & I. Metaxa, P. Penteli, 15236, Athens, Greece
2Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Physics Department, Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Foundation for Biomedical Research, Academy of Athens, Greece
4University of Crete, Chemistry Department, Environmental and Chemical Processes Laboratory, Crete, Greece
Abstract. This study aims at testing the hypothesis according to which the movement of the moon's shadow sweeping the ozone layer at supersonic speed during a solar eclipse creates gravity waves in the atmosphere. An experiment was conducted to study fluctuations of the ozone layer, the Ionosonde Total Electron Content (ITEC) and the peak electron density height (hmF2) in the ionosphere, as well as at a number of other parameters before, during and after the total solar eclipse. We found the existence of dominant oscillations with periods ranging between 30–40 min in most of the parameters. Cross-spectrum analyses between total ozone and various atmospheric parameters resulted to statistically significant square coherences between the observed oscillations, while the respective phase spectra show that the perturbation originates in the stratosphere and reaches the various layers at speeds around 20 km min−1. Additional evidence supporting these findings was provided by the amplitude of the oscillations in the ionospheric electron density, which increased upwards from 160 to 220 km height.