• Effects of gravity waves on the polar oxygen and hydroxyl airglow

      Viereck, Rodney Allen; Deehr, Charles S.; Degen, V.; Fritts, D. C.; Rees, M. H.; Smith, R. W. (1988)
      The effect of gravity waves on the OH (87 km) and O$\sb2$ (95 km) airglow emissions was examined using spectroscopic airglow data. The data was obtained from Longyearbyen, Svalbard (78$\sp\circ$N) and Fairbanks, Alaska (64$\sp\circ$N) using Ebert-Fastie spectrometers and a system of Meridian Scanning Photometers. The spectrometers scanned in wavelength from 8200A to 8750A which included the airglow emissions from the OH(6-2) Meinel band and the O$\sb2$(0-1) atmospheric band. The analysis was done by fitting a synthetic spectrum to the data and thereby the rotational temperature was calculated as well as the band intensity of each of the emissions. The rotational temperatures were assumed to represent the temperature of the emission region. Gravity waves were assumed to modify the density and temperature of the atmosphere in the region of the airglow emissions. These modifications were measured as fluctuations in the band intensity and rotational temperatures of the two emissions. In order to compare the data with theoretical models, it was necessary to calculate two parameters. The parameter $\eta$ is defined as the ratio of the amplitudes of the fluctuations in intensity and temperature. The other parameter is the phase angle between the fluctuations in intensity and temperature. These parameters were found to vary with wave period. The variations in $\eta$ and phase agreed fairly well, for long period waves, with the most recent models. None of the models agree with the observed values of $\eta$ and phase for short period waves. The second part of this thesis examines the vertical and horizontal wavelengths, the phase speeds, and the propagation directions of several specific gravity wave examples. During a 60 hour period of data taken from Svalbard, three well defined gravity waves were observed. The propagation directions implied a moving source south of the observing station.