Open Access

A note on the semidiurnal non-migrating tide at polar latitudes

Earth, Planets and Space200759:BF03352024

Received: 5 March 2007

Accepted: 11 June 2007

Published: 18 July 2007


In the Antarctic upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere around 90 km, meteor radar observations at the South Pole have detected a significant semidiurnal wind component in summer which is found to be non-migrating with zonal wavenumber s = 1. It has been surmised that this component might possibly be excited through the non-linear interaction of the migrating semidiurnal tide with stationary planetary waves with zonal wavenumber s = 1 prevailing at stratospheric heights. The Kyushu University GCM has been successful in elucidating very unambiguously this conjecture. In the present paper, linearized steady tidal modeling is carried out in this connection to reproduce, by a fairly simplified but explicit model, trans-equatorial propagation of non-migrating semidiurnal tide forced in the opposite winter hemisphere and to compare latitudinal structures of migrating and non-linearly excited intermittent tides in view of polar latitudes where non-migrating tide tends to dominate over migrating tide. It is also shown that the re-analysis meteorological data for almost 10 years clearly supports the well-known N-S asymmetry in stationary planetary wave activity in winter polar stratospheric regions, possibly due to the difference in surface topography between two hemispheres. We suggest that there might be significant asymmetry in the summertime enhancement of semidiurnal non-migrating tide between both polar regions. This phenomenon may be in a context similar with the N-S asymmetry of gravity wave activity in the polar regions, possibly giving rise to N-S disparity of cold summertime mesopause temperature. Clarification awaits intensive bi-polar studies by coordinated radar and optical observations which are running both in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Key words

Semidiurnal tide non-migrating tide stationary planetary wave polar mesosphere and lower thermosphere