DEEPWAVE Initial Investigation of Mesospheric Gravity Wave Signatures Generated by Variable Orographic Forcing Over Lauder Station (45°S). New Zealand

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Neal Criddle, Michael J Taylor, Pierre-Dominique Pautet and Yucheng Zhao, Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States
DEEPWAVE is a new international collaborative research program focused on identifying, characterizing, and predicting the generation and propagation of deeply propagating atmospheric gravity waves from the Earth’s surface up to ̴100 km altitude and beyond. An extended series of coordinated airborne and ground-based measurements were recently conducted from New Zealand’s South Island to investigate gravity wave forcing during the winter months when strong North-Westerly winds are known to generate gravity waves capable of penetrating well into the stratosphere. As part of this collaborative effort the Atmospheric Imaging Lab at Utah State University (USU) deployed and operated an Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (AMTM) at the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) Lauder research station, NZ (45°S 169°E). In the lee of the Southern Alps, Lauder is well positioned for measuring a broad spectrum of gravity waves launched from south island orography and from other meteorological sources. The AMTM is uniquely capable of mapping the wave-induced temperature perturbations to investigate the two-dimensional gravity wave field with high temporal ( ̴10 sec) and high temperature precision ( ̴1-2 K in 30 sec). High-quality infrared image measurements of the OH (3,1) band emission layer (altitude ̴ 87 km) were made nightly from May 31 to July 22, 2014. The DEEPWAVE program has been a resounding success and over 42 nights of data were obtained at Lauder with distinct mesospheric mountain wave signatures recorded there in OH intensity, and in temperatures for the first time. In this poster we provide a summary of the AMTM data set from Lauder, complemented by data from coincident airborne over-flights where appropriate, and we present initial results characterizing the mesopause gravity wave field under varying orographic forcings. We thank the NSF for sponsoring this research program.