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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 3 | Copyright

Special issue: Observing Atmosphere and Climate with Occultation Techniques...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 1363-1375, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Mar 2018

Research article | 08 Mar 2018

On the distortions in calculated GW parameters during slanted atmospheric soundings

Alejandro de la Torre1, Peter Alexander2, Torsten Schmidt3, Pablo Llamedo1, and Rodrigo Hierro1 Alejandro de la Torre et al.
  • 1LIDTUA, CIC, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Austral and CONICET, Mariano Acosta 1611, Pilar, Provincia de Buenos Aires B1629ODT, Argentina
  • 2IFIBA, CONICET, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EGA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 3GFZ, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Sect. 1.1: GPS/Galileo Earth Observation, Telegrafenberg A17, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The significant distortions introduced in the measured atmospheric gravity wavelengths by soundings other than those in vertical and horizontal directions, are discussed as a function of the elevation angle of the sounding path and the gravity wave aspect ratio. Under- or overestimation of real vertical wavelengths during the measurement process depends on the value of these two parameters. The consequences of these distortions on the calculation of the energy and the vertical flux of horizontal momentum are analyzed and discussed in the context of two experimental limb satellite setups: GPS-LEO radio occultations and TIMED/SABER ((Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry/Thermosphere–Ionosphere–Mesosphere–Energetics and Dynamics)) measurements. Possible discrepancies previously found between the momentum flux calculated from satellite temperature profiles, on site and from model simulations, may to a certain degree be attributed to these distortions. A recalculation of previous momentum flux climatologies based on these considerations seems to be a difficult goal.

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This work is based on previous findings from our group of researchers, regarding the analysis of atmospheric data from slanted soundings during radiosoundings and GPS radio occulations. Several gravity wave climatologies may be found in the literature that to a certain extent are affected by considerable measurement distortions. We intend here to contribute to the interpretation of gravity waves analyses from slanted soundings in future climatologies.
This work is based on previous findings from our group of researchers, regarding the analysis of...