Structure and seasonal variability of the nighttime mesospheric Fe layer at midlatitudes

T. J. Kane, C. S. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Fe layer abundance and root-mean-square (RMS) width have strong annual variations, with minima in summer. The abundance varied from 3.5 × 109 to 25 × 109 cm-2 with a mean of 10.6 × 109 cm-2, and the RMS width varied from 2.3 to 5.2 km with a mean of 3.4 km. The centroid height of the Fe layer has a strong semiannual variation, with minima at the solstices. The centroid varies from 86.0 to 90.3 km and has a mean of 88.1 km. Sporadic Fe (Fes) layers were present about 27% of the total observation time. The Fe measurements are compared with the extensive Na layer observations obtained during the past decade at Urbana and with common volume observations made simultaneously on 24 nights with a Na temperature lidar. The mean Fe column abundance is approximately twice the mean Na column abundance. The Fe layer centroid height is also on average nearly 4 km lower and the RMS width is approximately 24% narrower than the corresponding Na layer parameters. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16,875-16,886
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD9
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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