Dynamical Heating of the Upper Atmosphere

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

Published Online: 17 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM018p0741

The Upper Atmosphere in Motion

The Upper Atmosphere in Motion

How to Cite

Hines, C. O. (1974) Dynamical Heating of the Upper Atmosphere, in The Upper Atmosphere in Motion, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM018p0741

Author Information

  1. Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

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


The energy that is deposited in the ionosphere by internal atmospheric gravity waves propagating upward from below is assessed on the basis of recent observational data. The implied heating rates are found to range from 10°K/day (near the 95-km level) to 100°K/day (near 140 km), and they therefore compete with solar radiation as the primary source of heating in the ionospheric E region. The tidal input may be comparable, but its height of deposition is more difficult to assess. The residual wave energy that reaches the F region carries a flux that may exceed 10−4 watt/m2, and so it may play a significant role in determining the heat budget of these higher levels. The waves should be accompanied by reversible temperature fluctuations of ±10°K and more, low in the E region, and they may therefore account for irregular temperature structure that has been reported.