Project Information
Quantifying the Role of Short-Period Gravity Waves on the Antarctic Mesospheric Dynamics Using an Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper
A focused plan is presented to investigate the role and importance of short period (<1 hour) gravity waves on the dynamics of the Antarctic Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) region (~80-100 km). Excited primarily by deep convection, frontal activity, topography, and strong wind shears in the lower atmosphere, these waves transport energy and momentum upwards where they have a profound influence on the MLT dynamics. Most of the wave forcing is expected to occur at mid-and low-latitudes where such sources predominate. However, short-period waves (exhibiting similar characteristics to mid-latitude events) have now been detected in copious quantities from research sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and the coastal regions exhibiting strong anisotropy in their dominant horizontal motions (and hence their momentum fluxes). Radiosonde measurements have established the existence of ubiquitous gravity wave activity at South Pole but, to date, there have been no detailed measurements of the properties of short-period waves at MLT heights deep in the Antarctic interior. In particular, the South Pole Station is uniquely situated to investigate the filtering and penetration of these waves into the MLT region, a substantial fraction of which may be ducted waves traveling over vast geographic distances (several thousand km). Novel image measurements at South Pole Station combined with existing measurement programs will provide an unprecedented capability for quantifying the role of these gravity waves on the regional MLT dynamics over central Antarctica. This research also contributes to the training and education of both the graduate and undergraduate students.
Person Role
Taylor, Michael Investigator
Antarctic Astrophysics and Geospace Sciences Award # 0542164
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
  1. Pautet, P.-D., Taylor, M. J., Snively, J. B., & Solorio, C. (2018). Unexpected Occurrence of Mesospheric Frontal Gravity Wave Events Over South Pole (90°S). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(1), 160–173. (doi:10.1002/2017jd027046)
Platforms and Instruments

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