Physics Student Research

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Utah Valley University Physics Colloquium

Publication Date


Award Number

NSF, Office of Polar Programs 1023265


NSF, Office of Polar Programs


Short-period gravity wave observations over the Arctic region are few and their impact on the Arctic mesosphere lower thermosphere region via momentum deposition is of high interest. The Mesospheric Airglow Imaging and Dynamics project was initiated in January 2011 to investigate the presence and dynamics of these waves over the interior of Alaska. Observations were made from Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) using an all-sky imager. This site provides an exceptional opportunity to establish a long-term climatology of short-period gravity waves in the Arctic Region. We present summary measurements of prominent gravity waves over two consecutive winters and compare their characteristics with recent observations at Resolute Bay, Canada (75o N), ALOMAR Station, Norway (69o N), Svalbard (78o N), and Rothera Station (76o S). The wave parameters measured at PFRR were found to be similar to the other high-latitude sites, except for the wave headings. The waves at PFRR exhibited dominant eastward motion, while the other observations reported westward motion. To investigate the preferred wave directionality over PFRR, we look at the effects of critical level filtering.


Presented at Utah Valley University Physics Colloquium in 2013.