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Volume 15, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 2709–2721, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-2709-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 2709–2721, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-2709-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 10 Mar 2015

Research article | 10 Mar 2015

Evidence for tropospheric wind shear excitation of high-phase-speed gravity waves reaching the mesosphere using the ray-tracing technique

M. Pramitha1, M. Venkat Ratnam1, A. Taori1, B. V. Krishna Murthy2, D. Pallamraju3, and S. Vijaya Bhaskar Rao4 M. Pramitha et al.
  • 1National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, India
  • 2B1, CEBROS, Chennai, India
  • 3Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmadabad, India
  • 4Department of Physics, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India

Abstract. Sources and propagation characteristics of high-frequency gravity waves observed in the mesosphere using airglow emissions from Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E) and Hyderabad (17.5° N, 78.5° E) are investigated using reverse ray tracing. Wave amplitudes are also traced back, including both radiative and diffusive damping. The ray tracing is performed using background temperature and wind data obtained from the MSISE-90 and HWM-07 models, respectively. For the Gadanki region, the suitability of these models is tested. Further, a climatological model of the background atmosphere for the Gadanki region has been developed using nearly 30 years of observations available from a variety of ground-based (MST radar, radiosondes, MF radar) and rocket- and satellite-borne measurements. ERA-Interim products are utilized for constructing background parameters corresponding to the meteorological conditions of the observations. With the reverse ray-tracing method, the source locations for nine wave events could be identified to be in the upper troposphere, whereas for five other events the waves terminated in the mesosphere itself. Uncertainty in locating the terminal points of wave events in the horizontal direction is estimated to be within 50–100 km and 150–300 km for Gadanki and Hyderabad wave events, respectively. This uncertainty arises mainly due to non-consideration of the day-to-day variability in the tidal amplitudes. Prevailing conditions at the terminal points for each of the 14 events are provided. As no convection in and around the terminal points is noticed, convection is unlikely to be the source. Interestingly, large (~9 m s−1km−1) vertical shears in the horizontal wind are noticed near the ray terminal points (at 10–12 km altitude) and are thus identified to be the source for generating the observed high-phase-speed, high-frequency gravity waves.

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Sources and propagation characteristics of high-frequency gravity waves observed in the mesosphere using airglow emissions from Gadanki and Hyderabad, India, are investigated using reverse ray tracing. Wave amplitudes are also traced back, including both radiative and diffusive damping. Interestingly, large vertical shears in the horizontal wind are noticed near the ray terminal points (at 10-12km altitude) and are thus identified to be the source for generating the observed gravity waves.
Sources and propagation characteristics of high-frequency gravity waves observed in the...
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