Articles | Volume 6, issue 11
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 3169–3180, 2013
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 3169–3180, 2013

Research article 20 Nov 2013

Research article | 20 Nov 2013

On the determination of gravity wave momentum flux from GPS radio occultation data

A. Faber1,2, P. Llamedo3, T. Schmidt1, A. de la Torre3, and J. Wickert1 A. Faber et al.
  • 1Department 1, Geodesy and Remote Sensing, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute for Space Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 3Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Abstract. Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) is a well-established technique for obtaining global gravity wave (GW) information. RO uses GPS signals received by low Earth-orbiting satellites for atmospheric limb sounding. Temperature profiles are derived with high vertical resolution and provide a global coverage under any weather conditions, offering the possibility of global monitoring of the vertical temperature structure and atmospheric wave parameters. The six-satellite constellation COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 delivers approximately 2000 temperature profiles daily. In this study, we use a method to obtain global distributions of horizontal gravity wave wavelengths, to be applied in the determination of the vertical flux of horizontal momentum transported by gravity waves. Here, a method for the determination of the real horizontal wavelength from three vertical profiles is applied to the COSMIC data. The horizontal and vertical wavelength, the specific potential energy (Ep), and the vertical flux of horizontal momentum (MF) are calculated and their global distribution is discussed.