Seasonal variations of the nocturnal mesospheric Na and Fe layers at 30°N

Authors

  • Fan Yi,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Changming Yu,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Shaodong Zhang,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Xianchang Yue,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Yujin He,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Chunming Huang,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Yunpeng Zhang,

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Kaiming Huang

    1. School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Geophysical Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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Abstract

[1] The complete seasonal variation patterns of the nocturnal mesospheric Na and Fe layers over Wuhan, China (30°N), have been established on the basis of several years of Na and Fe lidar measurements. Both the Na and Fe layer column abundances show strong annual variations as well as moderate semiannual variations with maxima in winter and double minima from late spring to midautumn (note that only one night of Fe data is presently available between mid-May and mid-July). The seasonal variation in the Fe abundance is evidently stronger than that of Na. The Na layer abundance has an annual mean of ∼2.5 × 109 cm−2, while this value for Fe is ∼7.5 × 109 cm−2. The Na and Fe centroid heights are dominated by semiannual oscillations with similar phases. The mean centroid heights are ∼91.4 km for Na and ∼88.7 km for Fe. The Na RMS width exhibits a strong semiannual oscillation with the layer slightly broader in winter, whereas the Fe width varies principally annually with a maximum in winter. The mean RMS widths of the Na and Fe layers are 4.5 and 4.1 km, respectively. The seasonal characteristics of the Na and Fe layers observed at 30°N have been compared with those currently available at other latitudes. The seasonal ratios of their abundances are smaller compared with 40°N and the South Pole. Their centroid heights and RMS widths also show less seasonal variations than the counterparts at all other latitudes. The annual mean Na and Fe abundances are about 60–77% of the counterparts at 40°N, 18°N, and the South Pole. This suggests that both the nocturnal Na and Fe layers have a low-abundance region around 30°N. On the basis of the results observed at the three latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, the annual mean Fe layer width decreases with increasing latitude.

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