Seasonal and nocturnal variations of the mesospheric sodium layer at Starfire Optical Range, New Mexico

Xiong Hu, Chester S. Gardner, Alan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The seasonal variations of the mesospheric sodium layer structure over Starfire Optic Range, NM (35°N, 106.5°W) are characterized using 46 nights data of Na wind/temperature lidar observations collected from Jan. 1998 to May 2000. The column abundance has a mean value of 5.06 × 109 cm-2 and strong annual oscillations with a maximum in November and a minimum in June and July. The annual mean rms width of the sodium layer is 4.30 km and the mean centroid height is 91.60 km. Semiannual oscillations are evident in seasonal variations of the rms width and the centroid height. Their mean nocturnal variations show effects of tides. The photo-ionization during daytime and recombination processes of Na at night, as well as tidal dynamics, induce strong nocturnal variations in the sodium abundance with a minimum just before midnight and a maximum just before sunrise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalActa Geophysica Sinica
Volume46
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • Na wind/temperature lidar
  • Seasonal variations
  • Sodium layer structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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