Observations of mesospheric gravity waves over the Andes

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CONFERENCE: Research Week

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Pugmire, Jonathan; Taylor, Michael; Zhao, Yucheng
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Atmospheric Sciences; Physics
lecture / presentation description
Focusing on data from an imager and the SABER instrument aboard the TIMED satellite temperature variances are determined to quantify small-scale gravity waves. IDL software was used to extract all the temperature profile measurements that were measured by SABER within a limited geographical area, centered on our ground-based optical imager at Cerro Pachon, Chile (30.3°S, 70.7°S). Large-scale tidal waves, with wavenumbers 0-6, were removed from each profile revealing the gravity wave perturbations. Temperature variances reveal possible increased wave activity due to mountain waves. Mountain waves in the mesosphere are a relatively unexplored field in aeronomy. They are generated predominantly in winter months by strong winds blowing over mountains creating stationary waves. They propagate upwards growing in amplitude, and deposit momentum and energy in the upper-atmosphere. Initial results will be shown comparing satellite and ground-based observations. This technique has high potential for investigating gravity wave effects with other ground-based measurements around the world.