The middle atmosphere over South America, particularly above the Andes mountain range, is known as one of the most dynamically active regions in the world. Previous studies have investigated wave dynamics at mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) altitudes within this region, but only a handful of them have made use of continuous measurements provided by specular meteor radars (SMRs). Furthermore, it was only until recently that MLT horizontal wind gradients were estimated for the first time using Spread Spectrum Interferometric Multistatic meteor radar Observing Network (SIMONe) Argentina, a multistatic SMR network located in southern Patagonia. By observing larger amounts of meteors from different viewing angles, multistatic SMRs allow, among others, for more reliable momentum flux estimates. In this work, we explore and compare the summer and winter MLT momentum flux dynamics at low and middle latitude sectors over the Andes mountain range. We also investigate the intermittency of the total momentum flux over these sectors. For this purpose, we analyze measurements provided by four multistatic SMR networks: SIMONe Peru (12°S), CONDOR (30°S), SIMONe Argentina (49°S) and MMARIA-SAAMER (54°S). We find that the momentum flux dynamics can change considerably over distances of only a few hundred km (e.g., southern Argentina). On the other hand, the contributions of large momentum fluxes to the total flux can be similar between regions separated by thousands of km (e.g., between Peru and southern Argentina).
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
American Geophysical Union
Grant or Award Name
NSF grant AGS-1828 589
Scholarly Commons Citation
Conte, J. F., Chau, J. L., Liu, A., Qiao, Z., Fritts, D. C., Hormaechea, J. L., et al. (2022). Comparison of MLT momentum fluxes over the Andes at four different latitudinal sectors using multistatic radar configurations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127, e2021JD035982. https://doi. org/10.1029/2021JD035982