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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-08-29
    Description: We present results from a non-linear, 3D, time dependent numerical spectral model (NSM) which extends from the ground up into the thermosphere and incorporates Hines' Doppler Spread Parameterization for small-scale gravity waves (GW). Our focal point is the mesosphere where wave interactions are playing a dominant role. We discuss planetary waves in the present paper and diurnal and semi-diurnal tides in the companion paper. Without external time dependent energy or momentum sources, planetary waves (PWs) are generated in the model for zonal wavenumbers 1 to 4, which have amplitudes in the mesosphere above 50 km as large as 30 m/s and periods between 2 and 50 days. The waves are generated primarily during solstice conditions, which indicates that the baroclinic instability (associated with the GW driven reversal in the latitudinal temperature gradient) is playing an important role. Results from a numerical experiment show that GWs are also involved directly in generating the PWs. For the zonal wavenumber m = 1, the predominant wave periods in summer are around 4 days and in winter between 6 and 10 days. For m = 2, the periods are in summer and close to 2.5 and 3.5 days respectively For m = 3, 4 the predominant wave periods are in both seasons close to two days. The latter waves have the characteristics of Rossby gravity waves with meridional winds at equatorial latitudes. A common feature of the PWs (m = 1 to 4) generated in summer and winter is that their vertical wavelengths throughout the mesosphere are large which indicates that the waves are not propagating freely but are generated throughout the region. Another common feature is that the PWs propagate preferentially westward in summer and eastward in winter, being launched from the westward and eastward zonal winds that prevail respectively in summer and winter altitudes below 80 km. During spring and fall, for m = 1 and 2 eastward propagating long period PWs are generated that are launched from the smaller eastward zonal winds that prevail in these seasons. PWs generated in the model produce large amplitude modulations of the diurnal tides at altitudes above 80 km and contribute to their seasonal variations.
    Keywords: Geophysics
    Format: application/pdf
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