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First global observations of the mesospheric potassium layer
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2014 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 41, no 15, 5653-5661 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Metal species, produced by meteoric ablation, act as useful tracers of upper atmosphere dynamics and chemistry. Of these meteoric metals, K is an enigma: at extratropical latitudes, limited available lidar data show that the K layer displays a semiannual seasonal variability, rather than the annual pattern seen in other metals such as Na and Fe. Here we present the first near-global K retrieval, where K atom number density profiles are derived from dayglow measurements made by the Optical Spectrograph and Infrared Imager System spectrometer on board the Odin satellite. This robust retrieval produces density profiles with typical layer peak errors of 15% and a 2km vertical grid resolution. We demonstrate that these retrieved profiles compare well with available lidar data and show for the first time that the unusual semiannual behavior is near-global in extent. This new data set has wider applications for improving understanding of the K chemistry and of related upper atmosphere processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 41, no 15, 5653-5661 p.
Keyword [en]
potassium layer, mesospheric metal, satellite retrieval
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108214DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060801ISI: 000341725200043OAI: diva2:755938


Available from: 2014-10-15 Created: 2014-10-15 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Gumbel, JörgHedin, Jonas
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Department of Meteorology
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