By analyzing data recorded at the Andes Lidar Observatory in Cerro Pachon, Chile (30.3°S, 70.7°W) from May 2014 to July 2019, we investigated the fundamental features of three-dimensional wind and temperature spectra. The vertical wavenumber spectral amplitudes of horizontal winds show obvious seasonal variations that are closely related to the seasonal variations in the source and background winds. The wavenumber spectral slopes of the horizontal winds are systematically less negative than −3, with mean values of −1.96 and −2.18 for zonal and meridional winds, respectively. The zonal and meridional wind frequency spectra have mean slopes of −1.37 and −1.56, respectively; these values are slightly less negative than −5/3. Moreover, the frequency spectral amplitudes show different seasonal variations from those of the wavenumber spectra, possibly because they correspond to different GW spectral components. The vertical wind has obviously different spectral features than the horizontal winds. The vertical wind spectra are notably shallower than the horizontal wind spectra, with mean slopes of −0.82 and −0.91 for the wavenumber and frequency spectra, respectively, departing evidently from those expected under linear instability theory (LIT). Although the vertical wind spectrum is almost always separable, the horizontal wind spectra are separable only at high frequencies. As the frequency increased, the horizontal wind wavenumber spectra become shallower and depart from the spectral slope expected under LIT, likely because high-frequency GWs are not completely saturated. In general, our results do not support LIT.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Advancing Earth and Space Science
Scholarly Commons Citation
Li, Q., Liu, A. Z., Zhang, S. D., Huang, C. M., Huang, K. M., Gong, Y., Gan, Q., Yan, Y. Y., & Liu, H. (2021). Statistical Spectral Characteristics of Three-Dimensional Winds in the Mesopause Region Revealed by the Andes Lidar. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126(23). https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JD035586