Articles | Volume 22, issue 9
23 Sep 2004
 | 23 Sep 2004

A review of recent MLT studies at low latitudes

B. R. Clemesha

Abstract. Recent years have shown a continuing interest in studies of the mesosphere-lower thermosphere region at low latitudes, with more than 50 papers dealing specifically with this area published over the past 5 years. Experimental ground-based work has been carried out mainly in South America and the Caribbean, India and the Pacific areas. Subjects of interest include gravity waves, tides and planetary waves, the temperature structure of the mesopause region, with special reference to temperature inversions and the two-level mesopause, sporadic neutral layers and their relationship with ionized layers, the possible effects of the micrometeoroid influx, and long-term trends in the MLT region. Experimental techniques in use include MF, MST and meteor radar, lidar, airglow (including satellite-borne limb-scanning measurements) and rocket-borne instruments. Airglow imaging has shown itself to be a particularly useful technique, mainly for studying gravity wave propagation in the MLT region. This paper will present highlights of recent work and will discuss some of the problems which remain to be resolved.