Observations of Reduced Turbulence and Wave Activity in the Arctic Middle Atmosphere Following the January 2015 Sudden Stratospheric Warming

dc.contributor.authorTriplett, Colin C.en
dc.contributor.authorLi, Jintaien
dc.contributor.authorCollins, Richard L.en
dc.contributor.authorLehmacher, Gerald A.en
dc.contributor.authorBarjatya, Arohen
dc.contributor.authorFritts, David C.en
dc.contributor.authorStrelnikov, Borisen
dc.contributor.authorLuebken, Franz-Josefen
dc.contributor.authorThurairajah, Brenthaen
dc.contributor.authorHarvey, V. Lynnen
dc.contributor.authorHampton, Donald L.en
dc.contributor.authorVarney, Roger H.en
dc.contributor.departmentCenter for Space Science and Engineering Research (Space@VT)en
dc.description.abstractMeasurements of turbulence and waves were made as part of the Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere Turbulence Experiment (MTeX) on the night of 25-26 January 2015 at Poker Flat Research Range, Chatanika, Alaska (65 degrees N, 147 degrees W). Rocket-borne ionization gauge measurements revealed turbulence in the 70- to 88-km altitude region with energy dissipation rates between 0.1 and 24mW/kg with an average value of 2.6mW/kg. The eddy diffusion coefficient varied between 0.3 and 134m(2)/s with an average value of 10m(2)/s. Turbulence was detected around mesospheric inversion layers (MILs) in both the topside and bottomside of the MILs. These low levels of turbulence were measured after a minor sudden stratospheric warming when the circulation continued to be disturbed by planetary waves and winds remained weak in the stratosphere and mesosphere. Ground-based lidar measurements characterized the ensemble of inertia-gravity waves and monochromatic gravity waves. The ensemble of inertia-gravity waves had a specific potential energy of 0.8J/kg over the 40- to 50-km altitude region, one of the lowest values recorded at Chatanika. The turbulence measurements coincided with the overturning of a 2.5-hr monochromatic gravity wave in a depth of 3 km at 85km. The energy dissipation rates were estimated to be 3mW/kg for the ensemble of waves and 18mW/kg for the monochromatic wave. The MTeX observations reveal low levels of turbulence associated with low levels of gravity wave activity. In the light of other Arctic observations and model studies, these observations suggest that there may be reduced turbulence during disturbed winters. Plain Language Summary Turbulence remains an outstanding challenge in understanding coupling, energetics, and dynamics of the atmosphere. However, turbulence is recognized as a critical component in our models of terrestrial and space weather. Obtaining routine and accurate measurements of turbulence continues to be a major challenge. We present new rocket-borne measurements of turbulence in January 2015 at Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska. These rocket-borne measurements were coordinated with a suite of ground-based instruments. The rocket-borne instruments captured the small-scale structure of the turbulence. The ground-based measurements documented the meteorological and space weather conditions. We find low levels of turbulence coinciding with a disturbed atmosphere where wave activity is reduced. These finding suggest that there may be systematically low levels of turbulence in the Arctic middle atmosphere, as the Arctic middle atmosphere is routinely disturbed in winter.en
dc.description.notesThe authors acknowledge the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) staff and NASA Sounding Rockets Operations Contractors staff at Wallops Flight Facility and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) staff at Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) for their support of the MTeX investigation. The authors thank Theodore Gass who was the MTeX mission manager. The authors acknowledge the contributions to the development of MTeX instruments and conducting MTeX observations by the following students: Sheldon Alexander, Adam Blake, Brandon Burkholder, Paul Hughes, William Krier, Zach Krehlik, Zachary Laurencio, James Near, and Benjamin Wallace. R. L. C. thanks Brenton Watkins of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Mary McCready of SRI International, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their assistance in deploying the sodium dye laser at PFRR. RLC thanks Erich Becker for helpful discussions. The authors thank the MERRA-2, MSIS and SABER teams for open access to their data. The MTeX investigation was funded by the NASA Heliophysics Division under grants NNX13AE26G, NNX13AE31G, NNX13AE35G, and NNG14WF15P. The resonance lidar observations were conducted with support from the NSF Coupled Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) program under grant AGS-1243167. V. L. H. was supported by the NSF CEDAR program under grant AGS-1343031 and NASA under grants NNX14AH54G, NNX17AB80G and 80NSSC18K1046. The Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar is operated by SRI International under NSF Cooperative Agreement AGS-1133009. PFRR is a rocket range operated by the UAF Geophysical Institute with support from NASA. The data presented in this paper are available at NASA's publication repository, NASA PubSpace (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/funder/nasa/).en
dc.description.sponsorshipNASA Heliophysics Division [NNX13AE26G, NNX13AE31G, NNX13AE35G, NNG14WF15P]; NSF Coupled Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) program [AGS-1243167]; NSF CEDAR program [AGS-1343031]; NASA [NNX14AH54G, NNX17AB80G, 80NSSC18K1046]; NASAen
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectgravity wavesen
dc.titleObservations of Reduced Turbulence and Wave Activity in the Arctic Middle Atmosphere Following the January 2015 Sudden Stratospheric Warmingen
dc.title.serialJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheresen
dc.typeArticle - Refereeden


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