Climatology of low-latitude mesospheric echo characteristics observed by Indian mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere radar

Kishore Kumar, G. ; Venkat Ratnam, M. ; Patra, A. K. ; Jagannadha Rao, V. V. M. ; Vijaya Bhaskara Rao, S. ; Narayana Rao, D. (2007) Climatology of low-latitude mesospheric echo characteristics observed by Indian mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere radar Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 . D06109_1-D06109_9. ISSN 0148-0227

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Low-latitude mesospheric echo characteristics are investigated using data collected during June 1994 to July 2005 (11 years) by the Indian mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere radar located at Gadanki (13.5°N, 79.2°E). Mesospheric echoes are frequently observed during 1000-1530 hrs (local time) in the height range of 68-78 km and are found to be highly intermittent in both space and time, consistent with those reported elsewhere. Although echoes are observed throughout the year, strong seasonal dependence has been observed in both echo occurrence and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Percentage occurrence (PO) of mesospheric echoes shows two maxima, one during late March equinox and early summer, and another during September. However, corresponding SNR suggests that strong echoes occur in both equinoxes with a minimum during winter. A clear semiannual variation is observed in PO of echoes with a peak occurring during the months of May and October. Similar variation is observed in SNR with peaks in March and September-November. These features are quite different from those observed at midlatitudes and high latitudes. Annual oscillation seems to fit well above 78 km and below 68 km, although on many occasions, occurrence of echo is poor at these heights. The ratio of vertical to off-vertical beam SNR (which could be taken as a measure of aspect sensitivity) was close to unity at these heights, indicating that scattering is due to turbulence-generated refractive index fluctuations. A positive correlation (R = 0.37) between PO and solar activity is observed, whereas a negative correlation (R = -0.55) is found between SNR and solar activity. The echo characteristics observed have been compared in detail with those reported from midlatitudes and high latitudes. The mechanisms behind the observed features are discussed in the light of mesospheric temperature inversions (MTIs), which are often noticed at this location, and wave breaking at these altitudes.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union.
Keywords:MST Radar Mesospheric Echoes Mesospheric Temperature Inversions
ID Code:79427
Deposited On:27 Jan 2012 12:01
Last Modified:27 Jan 2012 12:01

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