Energy spectrum of the NCAR-TIGCM lower thermosphere

R. G. Raskin, A. G. Bums, T. L. Killeen, R. G. Roble

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The spatial energy spectrum of the 110-150 km region is evaluated using a base case run of the NCAR-TIGCM. Available potential energy, divergent kinetic energy, and rotational kinetic energy are decomposed into spherical harmonic modes and the relative sizes of the reservoirs are compared to those observed in the lower atmosphere. The lower thermospheric spectrum is dominated by the signals of diurnal and semidiurnal tides, but dissipation occurs within the study region. The total potential energy exceeds the available potential energy by three orders of magnitude, but unlike the tropospheric case, more energy resides as kinetic energy than as available potential energy, a result that is typical of propagating tides. A modified definition of available potential energy apprpriate for thermospheric heights is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Upper Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere
Subtitle of host publicationA Review of Experiment and Theory, 1995
EditorsR.M. Johnson, T.L. Killeen
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664247
ISBN (Print)9780875900445
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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