Nonmigrating tidal signals in the upper thermospheric zonal wind at equatorial latitudes as observed by CHAMP
- GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Abstract. The accelerometer onboard CHAMP enables us to derive the thermospheric zonal wind at orbit altitudes (~400 km). Numerous equatorial overflights (~45 250) are used to investigate the influence of nonmigrating tides on the thermospheric zonal wind. In a previous study a so called "wave-4" longitudinally signal observed in the satellite frame was identified in the zonal wind residuals during equinox. Using four years of data (2002–2005), we determine the annual variation of this prominent feature which is strongest during the months of July through October and has a smaller second maximum during March/April. Due to the large data set we were able to separate the observed wavenumbers into the tidal components. Thereby, we can identify the eastward propagating diurnal tide with zonal wavenumber s=3 (DE3) as the prime cause for the observed wave-4 pattern in the zonal wind. Analyzing the zonal wind along the geographic and the dip equator revealed that the largest amplitudes of DE3 are found along the dip equator. Besides DE3 we present the full spectrum of nonmigrating tides in the upper thermosphere.