Physics Student Research

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

AGU Fall Meeting

Publication Date



Momentum deposition by short-period (<1 hr) gravity waves is known to play a major role in the global circulation in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region ~80-100 km (e.g. Fritts and Alexander, 2003). Observations of these waves over the Arctic Region are few and their impact on the Arctic MLT region is of high interest, but has yet to be determined. The Mesospheric Airglow Imaging and Dynamics (MAID) project was initiated in January 2011 to investigate short-period gravity wave dynamics over central Alaska. MAID is a collaborative project between Utah Valley University (UVU) (Principle Investigator Kim Nielsen), Utah State University (USU), and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF).

The main goals of this project are to:
-Establish a long-term climatology of short-period gravity waves observed in the Arctic MLT region.
-Determine dominant source regions and potential sources of the observed waves.
-Investigate the impact of large-scale waves (tides and planetary waves) on the short-period wave field.
-Perform quantitative comparison between Arctic and Antarctic winter-time dynamics.

In this poster, we focus on quantifying the climatology of short-period gravity waves during two winter seasons (2011-2012) over central Alaska.


Poster was presented at AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA December 2013.