Internal Atmospheric Gravity Waves at Ionospheric Heights

  1. C. O. Hines
  1. C. O. Hines

Published Online: 17 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM018p0248

The Upper Atmosphere in Motion

The Upper Atmosphere in Motion

How to Cite

Hines, C. O. (1974) Internal Atmospheric Gravity Waves at Ionospheric Heights, in The Upper Atmosphere in Motion, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM018p0248

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1974

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900186

Online ISBN: 9781118663578



  • Atmosphere, Upper—Addresses, essays, lectures;
  • Dynamic meteorology—Addresses, essays, lectures


Irregularities and irregular motions in the upper atmosphere have been detected and studied by a variety of techniques during recent years, but their proper interpretation has yet to be established. It is shown here that many or most of the observational data may be interpreted on the basis of a single physical mechanism, namely, internal atmospheric gravity waves.

A comprehensive picture is envisaged for the motions normally encountered, in which a spectrum of waves is generated at low levels of the atmosphere and propagated upwards. The propagational effects of amplification, reflection, intermodulation, and dissipation act to change the spectrum continuously with increasing height, and so produce different types of dominant modes at different heights. These changes, coupled with an observational selection in some cases, lead to the various characteristics revealed by the different observing techniques. The generation of abnormal waves locally in the ionosphere appears to be possible, and it seems able to account for unusual motions sometimes observed.