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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1012
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1012
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Dec 2018

Research article | 20 Dec 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Observations of OH-airglow from ground, aircraft, and satellite: investigation of wave-like structures before a minor stratospheric warming

Sabine Wüst1, Carsten Schmidt1, Patrick Hannawald2, Michael Bittner1,2, Martin G. Mlynczak3, and James M. Russell III4 Sabine Wüst et al.
  • 1Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, USA
  • 4Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton, USA

Abstract. In January and February 2016, the OH-airglow camera system FAIM (Fast Airglow Imager) measured during six flights on board the research aircraft FALCON in Northern Scandinavia. Flight 1 (14th January 2016) covering the same ground track in several flight legs and flight 5 (28th January 2016) along the shoreline of Norway are discussed in detail in this study. The images of the OH-airglow intensity are analysed with a two-dimensional FFT regarding horizontal periodic structures between 3 km and 26 km horizontal wavelength and their direction of propagation. Two ground-based spectrometers (GRIPS, Ground based Infrared P-branch Spectrometer) provided OH-airglow temperatures. One was placed at ALOMAR, Northern Norway (Arctic Lidar Observatory for Middle Atmosphere Research; 69.28 °N, 16.01 °E) and the other one at Kiruna, Northern Sweden (67.86 °N, 20.24 °E). Especially during the last third of January 2016, the weather conditions at Kiruna were good enough for the computation of nightly means of gravity wave potential energy density. Coincident TIMED-SABER (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics Dynamics, Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) measurements complete the data set. They allow for the derivation of information about the Brunt-Väisälä frequency and about the height of the OH-airglow layer as well as its thickness.

The data are analysed with respect to the temporal and spatial evolution of mesopause gravity wave activity just before a minor stratospheric warming at the end of January 2016. Wave events with periods longer (shorter) than 60 min might mainly be generated in the troposphere (at or above the height of the stratospheric jet). Special emphasize is put on small-scale signatures, i.e. on ripples, which are signatures of local instability and which may be related to a step in a wave breaking process. The most mountainous regions are characterized by the highest occurrence rate of wave-like structures in both flights.

Sabine Wüst et al.
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Sabine Wüst et al.
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Short summary
In winter 2016, the camera system FAIM derived information about the OH* airglow at ca. 86 km height during six flights on board the research aircraft FALCON in Northern Scandinavia. Coincident ground- and satellite-based measurements (GRIPS and TIMED-SABER) complete the data set. The data are analysed with respect to the temporal and spatial evolution of small-scale atmospheric dynamics just before a minor stratospheric warming. Special emphasize is put on instability features.
In winter 2016, the camera system FAIM derived information about the OH* airglow at ca. 86 km...
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