Lidar observations of mesospheric Fe and sporadic Fe layers at Urbana, Illinois

Richard E. Bills, Chester S. Gardner

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Lidar measurements of mesospheric Fe were conducted at Urbana, IL (40°N, 88°W) during 4 nights in late October 1989. The average Fe abundances, layer centroid heights and rms widths varied between 1.0 – 2.0×1010 cm−2, 89.0 – 90.5 km and 3.2 – 4.1 km, respectively. The peak densities of the layer near 90 km varied between 15 – 25×103 cm−3. Considerable gravity wave and tidal activity was observed in the Fe profiles. On 3 nights the formation and dissipation of 3 large sporadic Fe (Fes) layers was observed. These are the first observations of this phenomenon. The 2 largest Fes layers formed at 102.4 km and 91.4 km over a period of about 20 min and their widths were approximately 2.3 km FWHM. The peak densities of the Fes layers were as high as 31×103 cm−3 and the abundances were as high as 5.8×109 cm−2. The observations are compared with previous measurements of mesospheric Fe and with recent observations of sporadic Na (Nas) layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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