Special Session: SA03 The mesosphere/lower thermosphere region: Structure, dynamics, composition, and emission. Ground based and satellite observations in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) reveal large seasonal variations in the horizontal wind fields of the diurnal and semidiurnal tides. To provide an understanding of the observations, we discuss results obtained with our Numerical Spectral Model (NMS) that incorporates the gravity wave Doppler Spread Parameterization (DSP) of Hines. Our model reproduces many of the salient features observed, and we discuss numerical experiments that delineate the important processes involved. Gravity wave momentum deposition and the seasonal variations in the tidal excitation contribute primarily to produce the large equinoctial amplitude maxima in the diurnal tide. Gravity wave induced variations in eddy viscosity, not accounted for in the model, have been shown by Akmaev to be important too. For the semidiurnal tide, with amplitude maximum observed during winter solstice, these processes also contribute, but filtering by the mean zonal circulation is more important. A deficiency of our model is that it cannot reproduce the observed seasonal variations in the phase of the semidiurnal tide, and numerical experiments are being carried out to diagnose the cause and to alleviate this problem. The dynamical components of the upper mesosphere are tightly coupled through non-linear processes and wave filtering, and this may constrain the model and require it to reproduce in detail the observed phenomenology.
30 May - 3 Jun. 2000; Washington, DC; United States