Articles | Volume 35, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 35, 481–491, 2017
Ann. Geophys., 35, 481–491, 2017

Regular paper 24 Mar 2017

Regular paper | 24 Mar 2017

Effect of water vapour absorption on hydroxyl temperatures measured from Svalbard

Joshua M. Chadney, Daniel K. Whiter, and Betty S. Lanchester Joshua M. Chadney et al.
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract. We model absorption by atmospheric water vapour of hydroxyl airglow emission using the HIgh-resolution TRANsmission molecular absorption database (HITRAN2012). Transmission coefficients are provided as a function of water vapour column density for the strongest OH Meinel emission lines in the (8–3), (5–1), (9–4), (8–4), and (6–2) vibrational bands. These coefficients are used to determine precise OH(8–3) rotational temperatures from spectra measured by the High Throughput Imaging Echelle Spectrograph (HiTIES), installed at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO), Svalbard. The method described in this paper also allows us to estimate atmospheric water vapour content using the HiTIES instrument.

Short summary
A layer of excited OH molecules in the upper atmosphere produces strong airglow emission from which it is possible to obtain the temperature of the layer. To obtain accurate temperatures values, one must take into account the absorption of OH emission by water vapour in the lower atmosphere before this emission is measured by instruments on the ground. This paper provides the amount of absorption suffered by each OH line due to water vapour and presents a method to estimate water concentrations.