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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 29, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1401–1410, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-1401-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1401–1410, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-1401-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 23 Aug 2011

Regular paper | 23 Aug 2011

Statistical characteristics of gravity wave activities observed by an OH airglow imager at Xinglong, in northern China

Q. Li1,2, J. Xu1, J. Yue3, W. Yuan1,2, and X. Liu1,4 Q. Li et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • 2Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • 4College of Mathematics and Information Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, China

Abstract. An all-sky airglow imager (ASAI) was installed at Xinglong, in northern China (40.2° N, 117.4° E) in November 2009 to study the morphology of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region. Using one year of OH airglow imager data from December 2009 to November 2010, the characteristics of short-period AGWs are investigated and a yearlong AGW climatology in northern China is first ever reported. AGW occurrence frequency in summer and winter is higher than that in equinoctial months. Observed bands mainly have horizontal wavelengths from 10 to 35 km, observed periods from 4 to 14 min and observed horizontal phase speeds in the range of 30 to 60 m s−1. Most of the bands propagate in the meridional direction. The propagation directions of the bands show a strong southwestward preference in winter, while almost all bands propagate northeastward in summer. Although the wind filtering in the middle atmosphere may control AGW propagations in the zonal direction, the non-uniform distribution of wave sources in the lower atmosphere may contribute to the anisotropy in the meridional direction in different seasons. Additionally, as an indication of local instability, the characteristics of ripples are also analyzed. It also shows seasonal variations, occurring more often in summer and winter and mainly moving westward in summer and eastward in winter.

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