Observations of mesospheric neutral wind 12-hour wave in the Northern Polar Cap

Q. Wu, T. L. Killeen, S. Nozawa, D. McEwen, W. Guo, S. C. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combined three-station neutral wind observations from 70° to 80°N are used to study the 12-h oscillation from 87 to 130 km altitude. A strong 12-h wave with a 37 km vertical wavelength was observed at Tromsø (69.6°N). The observed phases and vertical wavelength are consistent with the predictions of the Global Scale Wave Model-98 (GSWM-98) for the westward zonal wavenumber two semi-diurnal migrating tide (SDW2). However, the observed amplitudes are much greater than the model prediction at Tromsø. At Resolute (74.9°N), the observed 12-h oscillation in neutral winds appears to be have large contribution from the SDW2, based on the zonal phase shift from Tromsø to Resolute. At Eureka (81.1°N), the 12-h oscillation (not the strongest wave) does not have the predicted phase shift from Tromsø based on the zonal wavenumber of the SDW2. The amplitudes of the 12-h oscillation at Resolute and Eureka are much smaller than those predicted by the GSWM-98 for the SDW2. We believe that the contribution from non-migrating semi-diurnal tide (perhaps, the zonal wavenumber one SDW1) is the likely cause of the inconsistency between the observed and predicted SDW2 in phases and amplitudes at high latitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-978
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Polar mesosphere dynamics
  • Semidiurnal tide
  • Winds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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