Large- and small-scale periodicities in the mesosphere as obtained from variations in O2 and OH nightglow emissions
- 1Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India
- 2Department of Physics, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, India
Abstract. Using 3 years (2013–2015) of O2(0–1) and OH(6–2) band nightglow emission intensities and corresponding rotational temperatures as tracers of mesospheric dynamics, we have investigated large- and small-timescale variations in the mesosphere over a low-latitude location, Gurushikhar, Mount Abu (24.6° N, 72.8° E), in India. Both O2 and OH intensities show variations similar to those of the number of sunspots and F10.7 cm radio flux with coherent periodicities of 150 ± 2.1, 195 ± 3.6, 270 ± 6.4, and 420 ± 14.8 days, indicating a strong solar influence on mesospheric dynamics. In addition, both mesospheric airglow intensities also showed periodicities of 84 ± 0.6, 95 ± 0.9, and 122 ± 1.3 days which are of atmospheric origin. With regard to the variability of the order of a few days, O2 and OH intensities were found to be correlated, in general, except when altitude-dependent atmospheric processes were operative. To understand mesospheric gravity wave behavior over the long term, we have carried out a statistical study using the periodicities derived from the nocturnal variations in all four parameters (O2 and OH intensities and their respective temperatures). It was found that the major wave periodicity of around 2 h duration is present in all the four parameters. Our analyses also reveal that the range of periods in O2 and OH intensities and temperatures is 11 to 24 and 20 to 60 min, respectively. Periods less than 15 min were not present in the temperatures but were prevalent in both emission intensities. No seasonal dependence was found in either the wave periodicities or the number of their occurrence.