A study of the dynamical characteristics of inertia–gravity waves in the Antarctic mesosphere combining the PANSY radar and a non-hydrostatic general circulation model
This study aims to examine the dynamical characteristics of gravity waves with relatively low frequency in the Antarctic mesosphere via the first long-term simulation using a high-top high-resolution non-hydrostatic general circulation model (NICAM). Successive runs lasting 7 days are performed using initial conditions from the MERRA reanalysis data with an overlap of 2 days between consecutive runs in the period from April to August in 2016. The data for the analyses were compiled from the last 5 days of each run. The simulated wind fields were closely compared to the MERRA reanalysis data and to the observational data collected by a complete PANSY (Program of the Antarctic Syowa MST/IS radar) radar system installed at Syowa Station (39.6∘ E, 69.0∘ S). It is shown that the NICAM mesospheric wind fields are realistic, even though the amplitudes of the wind disturbances appear to be larger than those from the radar observations. The power spectrum of the meridional wind fluctuations at a height of 70 km has an isolated and broad peak at frequencies slightly lower than the inertial frequency, f, for latitudes from 30 to 75∘ S, while another isolated peak is observed at frequencies of approximately 2π∕8 h at latitudes from 78 to 90∘ S. The spectrum of the vertical fluxes of the zonal momentum also has an isolated peak at frequencies slightly lower than f at latitudes from 30 to 75∘ S at a height of 70 km. It is shown that these isolated peaks are primarily composed of gravity waves with horizontal wavelengths of more than 1000 km. The latitude–height structure of the momentum fluxes indicates that the isolated peaks at frequencies slightly lower than f originate from two branches of gravity wave propagation paths. It is thought that one branch originates from 75∘ S due to topographic gravity waves generated over the Antarctic Peninsula and its coast, while more than 80 % of the other branch originates from 45∘ S and includes contributions by non-orographic gravity waves. The existence of isolated peaks in the high-latitude region in the mesosphere is likely explained by the poleward propagation of quasi-inertia–gravity waves and by the accumulation of wave energies near the inertial frequency at each latitude.