Double-layer structure in polar mesospheric clouds observed from SOFIE/AIM
Abstract. Double-layer structures in polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) are observed by using Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment (SOFIE) data between 2007 and 2014. We find 816 and 301 events of double-layer structure with percentages of 10.32 and 7.25 % compared to total PMC events, and the mean distances between two peaks are 3.06 and 2.73 km for the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH) respectively. Double-layer PMCs almost always have less mean ice water content (IWC) than daily IWC during the core of the season, but they are close to each other at the beginning and the end. The result by averaging over all events shows that the particle concentration has obvious double peaks, while the particle radius exhibits an unexpected monotonic increase with decreasing altitude. By further analysis of the background temperature and water vapour residual profiles, we conclude that the lower layer is a reproduced one formed at the bottom of the upper layer. 56.00 and 47.51 % of all double-layer events for the NH and SH respectively have temperature enhancements larger than 2 K locating between their double peaks. The longitudinal anti-correlation between the gravity waves' (GWs') potential energies and occurrence frequencies of double-layer PMCs suggests that the double-layer PMCs tend to form in an environment where the GWs have weaker intensities.