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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 1 | Copyright

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

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 515-527, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Jan 2018

Research article | 25 Jan 2018

Revisiting internal gravity waves analysis using GPS RO density profiles: comparison with temperature profiles and application for wave field stability study

Petr Pisoft1, Petr Sacha1,2, Jiri Miksovsky1, Peter Huszar1, Barbara Scherllin-Pirscher3, and Ulrich Foelsche4 Petr Pisoft et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic
  • 2Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), Faculty of Sciences of Ourense, University of Vigo, 32004, Ourense, Spain
  • 3Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), Vienna, Austria
  • 4Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Meteorology/Inst. of Physics (IGAM/IP) and Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change (WEGC), University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Abstract. We revise selected findings regarding the utilization of Global Positioning System radio occultation (GPS RO) density profiles for the analysis of internal gravity waves (IGW), introduced by Sacha et al. (2014). Using various GPS RO datasets, we show that the differences in the IGW spectra between the dry-temperature and dry-density profiles that were described in the previous study as a general issue are in fact present in one specific data version only. The differences between perturbations in the temperature and density GPS RO profiles do not have any physical origin, and there is not the information loss of IGW activity that was suggested in Sacha et al. (2014). We investigate the previously discussed question of the temperature perturbations character when utilizing GPS RO dry-temperature profiles, derived by integration of the hydrostatic balance. Using radiosonde profiles as a proxy for GPS RO, we provide strong evidence that the differences in IGW perturbations between the real and retrieved temperature profiles (which are based on the assumption of hydrostatic balance) include a significant nonhydrostatic component that is present sporadically and might be either positive or negative. The detected differences in related spectra of IGW temperature perturbations are found to be mostly about ±10%.

The paper also presents a detailed study on the utilization of GPS RO density profiles for the characterization of the wave field stability. We have analyzed selected stability parameters derived from the density profiles together with a study of the vertical rotation of the wind direction. Regarding the Northern Hemisphere the results point to the western border of the Aleutian high, where potential IGW breaking is detected. These findings are also supported by an analysis of temperature and wind velocity profiles. Our results confirm advantages of the utilization of the density profiles for IGW analysis.

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Short summary
We revise selected findings regarding utilization of Global Positioning System radio occultation density profiles for analysis of internal gravity waves. The results show that previously published results are valid only for one specific data version only. Using radiosonde profiles, we also analyze a nonhydrostatic component in temperature profiles. The last part presents detailed study on the utilization of density profiles for characterization of the wave field stability.
We revise selected findings regarding utilization of Global Positioning System radio occultation...