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The First Six Ten Months of Investigation of Gravity Waves and Temperature Variability Over the Andes

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The Andes region is an excellent natural laboratory for investigating gravity wave influences on the Upper Mesospheric and Lower Thermospheric (MLT) dynamics. The instrument suite that comprised the very successful Maui-MALT program was recently re-located to a new Andes Lidar Observatory (ALO) located near the Cerro Pachon telescopes, Chile (30.2°S, 70.7°W) to obtain in-depth seasonal measurements of MLT dynamics over the Andes mountains. As part of the instrument set the Utah State University (USU) CEDAR Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (MTM) has operated continuously since August 2009 measuring the near infrared OH(6,2) band and the O2(0,1) Atmospheric band intensity and temperature perturbations. The primary goals of the program are to:

  • Quantify the impact and seasonal variability of a broad spectrum of waves over the Andes using coordinated wave, wind, and temperature measurements
  • Perform an in-depth investigation of mountain waves present at MLT heights during winter months, quantifying their characteristics and associated momentum fluxes
  • Compare with similar measurements during the summertime due to convective forces

This poster focuses on an initial analysis of nightly OH (6,2) band intensity and rotational temperatures and their seasonal variability (10 months of data to date), as well as selected gravity wave events illustrating the high wave activity and its diversity.


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