06 Dec 2022
06 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Identifying gravity waves launched by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcanic eruption in mesosphere/lower thermosphere winds derived from CONDOR and the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster

Gunter Stober1, Alan Liu2, Alexander Kozlovsky3, Zishun Qiao2, Witali Krochin1, Guochun Shi1, Johan Kero10, Masaki Tsutsumi4,5, Njål Gulbrandsen6, Satonori Nozawa7, Mark Lester8, Kathrin Baumgarten9, Evgenia Belova10, and Nicholas Mitchell11,12 Gunter Stober et al.
  • 1Institute of Applied Physics & Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, Microwave Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Center for Space and Atmospheric Research and Department of Physical Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
  • 3Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 4National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 5The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Tokyo, Japan
  • 6Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 7Division for Ionospheric and Magnetospheric Research Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya university, Japan
  • 8University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 9Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, Smart Ocean Technologies, Rostock, Germany
  • 10Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden
  • 11British Antarctic Survey, UK
  • 12University of Bath, Bath, UK

Abstract. The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcano eruption was a unique event that caused many atmospheric phenomena around the globe. In this study, we investigate the atmospheric gravity waves in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT) launched by the volcanic explosion in the Pacific leveraging multistatic meteor radar observations from the Chilean Observation Network De Meteor Radars (CONDOR) and the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster in Fennoscandia. MLT winds are computed using a recently developed 3DVAR+DIV algorithm. We found an eastward and a westward traveling gravity wave in the CONDOR zonal and meridional wind measurements, which arrived 12 hours and 48 hours after the eruption, and one in Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster that arrived 27.5 hours after the volcanic detonation. We obtained observed phase speeds for the eastward great circle path at both locations of about 250 m/s and 170–150 m/s for the opposite propagation direction. The intrinsic phase speed was estimated to be 200–212 m/s. Furthermore, we identified a potential lamb wave signature in the MLT winds using 5 minute resolved 3DVAR+DIV retrievals.

Gunter Stober et al.

Status: open (until 23 Feb 2023)

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Gunter Stober et al.

Gunter Stober et al.


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Short summary
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcanic eruption was one of the most vigorous volcanic explosions in the last centuries. The eruption launched many atmospheric waves traveling around the Earth. In this study, we identify these volcanic waves at the edge of space in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere leveraging wind observations conducted with multi-static meteor radars in Northern Europe and with the Chilean Observation Network De Meteor Radars (CONDOR).