Lidar Investigation of middle and upper atmosphere temperature, composition, chemistry, and dynamics at McMurdo, Antarctica
University of Colorado Boulder
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Crary Lab
This project continues the operation of the Fe Boltzmann lidar installed in the Antarctica New Zealand (ANZ) lab at Arrival Heights near McMurdo Station. The initial instrument installation took place during the 2010-11 summer season. Science objectives include: (1) Exploring the recently discovered thermosphere Fe layers to at least 155 kilometers, deriving neutral temperatures from these layers, and developing a model to quantitatively explain the observations; (2) Developing the climatology of gravity wave potential energy from the lower atmosphere to the middle atmosphere and lower thermosphere, investigating wave dissipation, and characterizing high frequency and inertial gravity waves by combining lidar, radar and imager data with modeling; (3) Studying the mechanisms behind the inter-hemispheric difference and latitudinal dependence of PMC characteristics, exploring the summer-time extreme Fe events and their possible link to polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs), aurora particle precipitation and meteor smoke particles; (4) Developing the climatology of temperature from the surface to 110 kilometers, characterizing its diurnal, seasonal and inter-annual variations, and exploring various mechanisms that affect the thermal balance of the polar atmosphere on both long and short time scales; and (5) Developing the climatology of the mesospheric Fe layers, including their chemical vertical flux, characterize the diurnal, seasonal, inter-annual and solar cycle variations of the Fe layers, and developing a comprehensive model that accurately reproduces the observations.
Field Season Overview:
This year, one lidar scientist will deploy at Winfly (August 2012) to assist the winter-over lidar engineer in maintaining the equipment and collecting as much data as possible. The winter-over scientist will redeploy in November and additional field team members will deploy for much of the austral summer. One grantee will remain as the 2012-13 winter-over.
Deploying Team Members:
Xinzhao Chu (PI)