On the spectrum of thermospheric gravity waves observed by the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network

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The spectrum of acoustic gravity waves in the thermosphere observed using the Super Dual Auroral Radar Netowrk HF radar network is presented and various features are discussed. HF radars are sensitive to medium-scale gravity waves in the thermosphere that interact with the F-region ionization. The interaction of waves in the neutral atmosphere with the ionization is discussed to determine the relationship of the observed spectrum to the gravity wave spectrum. The observations showed that (1) the observed spectrum shows peaks at frequencies that correspond to quasi-monochromatic wave packets observed in the time series; (2) the spectrum often shows multiple peaks at harmonic frequencies; and (3) the spectrum nearly always shows a background level with a power law decrease having a slope of -5/3. It was also found that the overall level of the spectrum was elevated when gravity waves were present, possibly indicating an energy cascade process from the quasi-monochromatic wave to the power law background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97JA00515
Pages (from-to)11585-11595
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA6
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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