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AGU: Journal of Geophysical Research, Space Physics


Index Terms

  • 3389 - Tides and planetary waves
  • 3334 - Middle atmosphere dynamics
  • 3332 - Mesospheric dynamics
  • 3285 - Wave propagation

Paper in Press


Tidal Wind Mapping from observations of a meteor radar chain in December, 2011

Key Points
  • A new 4-station meridional meteor radar chain.
  • The diurnal/semidiurnal components dominate at lower/higher latitude stations
  • Mapping latitudinal distribution of tidal winds using Hough mode decomposition


You Yu

Weixing Wan

Baiqi Ning

Libo Liu

Zhengui Wang

Lianhuan Hu

Zhipeng Ren

This article proposes a technique to map the tidal winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region from the observations of a 4-station meteor radar chain located at mid- and low-latitudes along the 120{degree sign}E meridian in the Northern Hemisphere. A one-month dataset of the horizontal winds in the altitude range of 80-100 km is observed during December, 2011. We first decompose the tidal winds into mean, diurnal, semidiurnal and terdiurnal components for each station. It is found that the diurnal/semidiurnal components dominate at the low-latitude/mid-latitude stations. Their amplitudes increase at lower altitudes and then decrease at higher altitudes after reaching a peak in the MLT region. Hough functions of the classical tidal theory are then used to fit the latitudinal distribution of each decomposed component. The diurnal component is found to be dominated by the first symmetric (1, 1) mode. Yet for the semidiurnal and terdiurnal components, the corresponding dominant modes are the second symmetric modes (2, 4) and (3, 5), and considerable contributions are also from the first anti-symmetric modes (2, 3), (3, 4) and second anti-symmetric modes (2, 5), (3, 6). Based on the decomposed results, we further map the horizontal winds in the domains of latitude, altitude and local time. The mapped horizontal winds successfully reproduce the local time vs. altitudinal distributions of the original observations at the 4 stations. Thus we conclude that the meteor radar chain is useful to monitor and study the regional characteristics of the tidal winds in the MLT region.

Received 29 May 2012; accepted 16 November 2012.

Citation: Yu, Y., W. Wan, B. Ning, L. Liu, Z. Wang, L. Hu, and Z. Ren (2012), Tidal Wind Mapping from observations of a meteor radar chain in December, 2011, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2012JA017976, in press.