Quarterdiurnal tide in the middle atmosphere (QuarTA)

DFG JA836/34-1 (2016-2020)

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 are analyzed in detail. The characteristics of the tide in MLT dynamics is 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 is analyzed in sporadic E occurrence rates obtained from GPS radio occultations complemented by ionosonde observations. These observations are interpreted by wind shear observed by radar and obtained from numerical modelling.

To get insight into the forcing mechanisms of the QDT, we 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 are 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 partners:
Institute for Experimental Meteorology, Obninsk, Russia (Dr. E. Merzlyakov)
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Dr. C. Arras)

Publications related to the project:

Geißler, C., Ch. Jacobi, and F. Lilienthal, 2020: Forcing mechanisms of the migrating quarterdiurnal tide, Ann. Geophys., 38, 527–544,

Jacobi, Ch., and C. Arras, 2019: Tidal wind shear observed by meteor radar and comparison with sporadic E occurrence rates based on GPS radio occultation observations, Adv. Radio Sci., 17, 213-224,

Löffelmann, J., F. Lilienthal, and Ch. Jacobi, 2019: Trend analyses of solar tides in the middle atmosphere, Rep. Inst. Meteorol. Univ. Leipzig, 57, 71-84,

Jacobi, Ch., C. Arras, C. Geißler, and F. Lilienthal, 2019: Quarterdiurnal signature in sporadic E occurrence rates and comparison with neutral wind shear, Ann. Geophys.,37, 273-288,

Jacobi, Ch., C. Geißler, F. Lilienthal, and A. Krug, 2018: Forcing mechanisms of the 6-hour tide in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere, Adv. Radio Sci., 16, 141-147,

Jacobi, Ch., and C. Arras, 2018: 6 hr tide seen in sporadic E layers, Rep. Inst. Meteorol. Univ. Leipzig 56, 11-20, ISBN: 978-3-9814401-6-4,

Geißler, Ch., and Ch. Jacobi, 2018: Forcing of the Quarterdiurnal Tide, Rep. Inst. Meteorol. Univ. Leipzig, 56, 21-30, ISBN: 978-3-9814401-6-4,

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 15 May 2020