Structure of the nonmigrating semidiurnal tide above Antarctica observed from the TIMED Doppler Interferometer

H. Iirnura, S. E. Palo, Q. Wu, T. L. Killeen, S. C. Solomon, W. R. Skinner

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Spatial structure and temporal evolution of the nonmigrating semidiurnal tidal components over Antarctica are determined by analyzing horizontal wind measurements in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) collected using TIMED Doppler Interferometer (TIDI) on the NASA Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite from 2002 to 2007. The data were organized into six specific intervals of approximately 60 days corresponding to the TIMED yaw periods. The results confirm the existence of a westward propagating zonal wave number 1 (Wl) semidiurnal tidal component in the Antarctic MLT meridional wind field prior to the Austral summer solstice. This wave achieves a peak amplitude near 20 m s-1 at 90 km and is vertically stratified while extending latitudinally from the pole to 60°S. A similar structure is observed in the zonal wind field. However, the amplitude maximizes around the Austral summer solstice during the yaw period spanning 15 November to 15 January. In addition to a strong latitudinal gradient in amplitude, the W1 component also shows a vertical wavelength from 20 km near the pole to 40 km at 60°S. The amplitude and phase agree well with ground-based meteor radar observations from the South Pole. Evidence for significant though weaker standing (S0) and W3 components is also found. These components diminish in the vicinity of the pole and appear during the winter months with latitudinally restricted structures. The vertical wavelength of the S0 component during the summer is 25 km, similar to the Wl component. During the winter the wavelength of the S0 component becomes nearly evanescent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD11102
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 16 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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