Articles | Volume 34, issue 1
Regular paper
25 Jan 2016
Regular paper |  | 25 Jan 2016

The formation of multiple layers of ice particles in the polar summer mesopause region

H. Li, J. Wu, and Z. Zhou

Abstract. This paper presents a two-dimensional theoretical model to study the formation process of multiple layers of small ice particles in the polar summer mesosphere as measured by rockets and associated with polar mesosphere summer echoes (PMSE). The proposed mechanism primarily takes into account the transport processes induced by gravity waves through collision coupling between the neutral atmosphere and the ice particles. Numerical solutions of the model indicate that the dynamic influence of wind variation induced by gravity waves can make a significant contribution to the vertical and horizontal transport of ice particles and ultimately transform them into thin multiple layers. Additionally, the pattern of the multiple layers at least partially depends on the vertical wavelength of the gravity wave, the ice particle size and the wind velocity. The results presented in this paper will be helpful to better understand the occurrence of multiple layers of PMSE as well as its variation process.