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Propagation of Short-Period Mesospheric Gravity Waves Over Halley, Antarctica (76°S, 27°W)

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As part of a collaborative research program between the British Antarctic Survey and Utah State University an all-sky CCD imager was deployed at Halley Station (76°S) and Rothera Station (67°S), Antarctica and has operated successfully for the austral winter seasons (Apr.-Sept.) since 2000. The primary goals were to characterize gravity wave activity over Antarctica and estimate their associated momentum flux at mesospheric and lower thermospheric (MLT) heights. Espy et al.[2004] have used a spectral method to estimate an upper limit to the deposited momentum flux assuming all the waves to be freely propagating. However, Isler et al.[1997] has shown that short-period waves observed at low latitudes are prone to strong Doppler ducting thereby severely limiting the vertical flux of momentum. In this study we utilize background wind data to investigate the propagation nature of ~170 discrete wave events observed in the NIR OH emission (nominal altitude ~87 km) over Halley Station during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.


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