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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-339
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-339
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 03 Feb 2020

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 03 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Interaction of Small-Scale Gravity Waves with the Terdiurnal Solar Tide in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere

Friederike Lilienthal1, Erdal Yiğit2, Nadja Samtleben1, and Christoph Jacobi1 Friederike Lilienthal et al.
  • 1Institute for Meteorology, Universität Leipzig, Stephanstr. 3, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Space Weather Lab, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA

Abstract. Implementing a nonlinear whole atmosphere gravity wave (GW) parameterization into the Middle and Upper Atmosphere Model extending to the lower thermosphere (160 km), we study the response of the atmosphere in terms of the circulation patterns, temperature distribution, and migrating terdiurnal solar tide activity to the upward propagating small-scale internal GWs originating in the lower atmosphere. We perform three test simulations for the Northern Hemisphere winter conditions in order to assess the effects of variations in the initial GW spectrum on the dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. We find that the overall strength of the source level momentum flux has a comparatively small impact on zonal mean dynamics. The tails of the GW source level spectrum, however, are crucial for the lower thermosphere dynamics. With respect to the terdiurnal tide, we find a strong dependence of tidal amplitude on the induced GW drag, generally being larger when GW drag is increased.

Friederike Lilienthal et al.

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Status: open (until 30 Mar 2020)
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Friederike Lilienthal et al.

Model code and software

The Middle and Upper Atmosphere Model (MUAM) Version 2019 F. Lilienthal, E. Yiğit, N. Samtleben, and C. Jacobi https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3628282

Friederike Lilienthal et al.

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Latest update: 28 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Gravity waves are a small-scale but prominent dynamical feature in the Earth's atmosphere. Here, we use a mechanistic nonlinear general circulation model and implement a modern whole atmosphere gravity wave parameterization. We study the response of the atmosphere on several phase speed spectra. We find a large influence of fast travelling waves on the background dynamics in the thermosphere and also a strong dependence of the amplitude of the terdiurnal solar tide, indicating wave interactions.
Gravity waves are a small-scale but prominent dynamical feature in the Earth's atmosphere. Here,...
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