Quarterdiurnal tide in the middle atmosphere (QuarTA)

DFG JA836/34-1 (2016-2019)

The dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) is strongly determined by solar tides and their variability. One of the tidal components is the quarterdiurnal tide (QTD), which has occasionally been reported in ionospheric sporadic E parameters and radar and few satellite observations. While the diurnal, semidiurnal, and also terdiurnal tidal components have been analyzed more frequently, the QDT hast attained much less attention, mainly owing to its smaller amplitudes, which makes observations more difficult.

To fill this gap, within QuarTA the QDT and its forcing mechanisms will be analyzed in detail. The characteristics of the tide in MLT dynamics will be analyzed using meteor radar winds, in particular making use of the long-term data set at Collm, Germany, in combination with other Northern Hemisphere radar observations. The global structure of the QDT will be analyzed in sporadic E occurrence rates obtained from GPS radio occultations complemented by ionosonde observations. These observations will be interpreted by wind shear observed by radar and obtained from numerical modelling.

To get insight into the forcing mechanisms of the QDT, we shall use a mechanistic circulation model of the middle atmosphere, which includes nonlinear interaction processes as well as radiative forcing. In sensitivity experiments, the different forcing mechanisms will be turned off both separately and in combination.

Within QuarTA, from combining local and global observations with numerical modelling, we therefore expect to get more insight into the global structure of the QDT as well as into its forcing processes, which have not yet been analyzed in sufficient detail.

QDT zonal wind amplitudes over Collm as measured by meteor radar.

Model amplitudes
Zonal wind amplitude at ~95 km log-pressure height, as modeled by the MUAM circulation model.

Cooperation partner: Institute for Experimental Meteorology, Obninsk, Russia (Dr. E. Merzlyakov)

Publications related to the project:

Lilienthal, F., Ch. Jacobi, and C. Geißler, 2018: Forcing mechanisms of the terdiurnal tide, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review.

Jacobi, Ch., C. Geißler, F. Lilienthal und A. Krug, 2018: Forcing mechanisms of the 6-hour tide in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere , Adv. Radio Sci., in print.

Jacobi, Ch., A. Krug, and E. Merzlyakov, 2017: Radar observations of the quarterdiurnal tide at midlatitudes: Seasonal and long-term variations, J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 163, 70-77,

Jacobi, Ch., A. Krug, and E.G. Merzlyakov, 2016: Radar wind climatology of the quarterdiurnal tide in the mesopause region over Central and Eastern Europe, Rep. Inst. Meteorol. Univ. Leipzig, 54, 47-56, ISBN: 978-3-9814401-4-0.

Jacobi, Ch., A. Krug, F. Lilienthal, L. M. Lima und E. Merzlyakov, 2016: Radar observations of the quarterdiurnal tide in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere, EGU General Assembly 2016, 17.-22.4.2016, Vienna.

Last update 13 June 2018 by Ch. Jacobi