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Investigating Short-Period Ripple Events Imaged Simultaneously in the OH and O2 Nightglow Emissions Near the Mesopause Over Maui, Hawaii

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The characteristics of small-scale, spatially localized ripples, were observed simultaneously in the mesopause airglow layers OH (873 km) and 02 (943 km) from Maui, Hawaii (20.7° N, 156.3° W). The ripples with small horizontal wavelengths (< ~15 km), phase speeds (< ~ 40 m/s), short periods (< ~12 min) and lifetimes of 10-35 min were measured during 1 year period in 2004. They were limited in spatial extent and had ~4-16 wave crests. These measurements were obtained using Utah State University (USU) Mesospheric Temperature Mapper combined with background wind measurements using the University of Illinois meteor radar to study ripple alignment and association with local wind shear. The ripple structures were considered to be the signatures of dynamic (Taylor and Hapgood, 1990) and convective (Fritts et al., 1997; Hecht et al., 1997) instabilities.


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