A fast-propagating, large-scale atmospheric gravity wave observed in the WAVE2004 campaign

Minoru Kubota, Seiji Kawamura, Makoto Abo, Yoshiko Koizumi, Yasuhiro Murayama, Miho Yamamori, Kazuo Shiokawa, Yuichi Otsuka, Michihiro Uchiumi, Kiyoshi Igarashi, Takumi Abe, Koh Ichiro Oyama, Naomoto Iwagami

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The Waves in Airglow Campaign in 2004 (WAVE2004), which aimed to elucidate the formation process of waves in airglow structures from both dynamical and chemical perspectives, was conducted using rocket-borne and ground-based instruments in Japan on 17 January 2004. In this experiment, we observed a large-scale atmospheric gravity wave (AGW), which appeared in both the vertical profiles of sodium density obtained by a Na lidar and the horizontal distributions of airglow emission obtained by an all-sky imager (ASI). Vertical propagation of the AGW accompanied by a shortening of its vertical wavelength was clearly visualized using the Na lidar data. The horizontal wavelength, horizontal phase velocity, period, and propagation direction of the AGW were estimated from the ASI data as 673-774 km, 107-122 m/s, ∼1.75 hours, and north-northeastward, respectively. Using these parameters and the MF radar wind, vertical wavelengths of the wave were calculated from the dispersion relation of gravity waves. The calculated vertical wavelengths were comparable at altitudes of 85.5 km and 93.25 km to those estimated from the variation of the sodium density. Using a simple ray tracing technique, the AGW was traced back to the southern edge of the distorted jet stream near tropopause. This result strongly suggests that an unstable baroclinic wave associated with ageostrophic motions in the jet stream was the wave source of the large-scale AGW observed in the WAVE2004.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD21110
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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