Propagation directions of the mesospheric monochromatic inertial gravity waves observed with a lidar at SOR, NM

Xiong Hu, C. S. Gardner, A. Liu, G. Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The University of Illinois Na wind/temperature lidar data collected at the Starfire Optical Range (SOR: 35N, 106.5W), NM, can be used to extract the dominant monochromatic inertial gravity waves and to characterize their features. By using simultaneously measured horizontal wind and temperature profiles the vertical wavelengths, intrinsic periods, and propagation directions can be determined using the hodograph method. A total of 700 waves were analyzed from about 300 h of observations. Waves with vertical wavelengths between 2 and 20 km and intrinsic periods between 1 and 20 h were fully characterized. 84.4% of the waves were propagating upwards. There was a prevailing direction towards the northeast in upward waves' horizontal propagations over the year. This prevailing direction existed also in spring, summer and autumn. In winter, most waves propagated to the south and west. The filter theory of gravity waves propagating through the middle atmosphere can be used to give an explanation on the observations. Propagation directions of downward waves showed no prevailing directions over the year. A discussion was given on their different features for different seasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventLidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring III - Hangzhou, China
Duration: Oct 24 2002Oct 25 2002


  • Hodograph method
  • Inertial gravity wave
  • Mesosphere
  • Middle atmospheric filtering
  • Na wind/temperature lidar data
  • Propagation direction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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