21 Apr 2022
21 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Meteor Radar vertical wind observation biases and mathematical debiasing strategies including a 3DVAR+DIV algorithm

Gunter Stober1, Alan Liu2, Alexander Kozlovsky3, Zishun Qiao2, Ales Kuchar4, Christoph Jacobi4, Chris Meek5, Diego Janches6, Guiping Liu6,7, Masaki Tsutsumi8,9, Njal Gulbrandsen10, Satonori Nozawa11, Mark Lester12, Evgenia Belova13, Johan Kero13, and Nicholas Mitchell14,15 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
  • 4Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
  • 5University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 6ITM Physics Laboratory, Mail Code 675, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 7Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 8National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 9The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Tokyo, Japan
  • 10Tromsø Geophysical Observatory UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 11Division for Ionospheric and Magnetospheric Research Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya university, Japan
  • 12University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 13Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden
  • 14British Antarctic Survey, UK
  • 15University of Bath, Bath, UK

Abstract. Meteor radars have become a widely used instrument to study atmospheric dynamics, in particular in the 70 to 110 km altitude region. These systems have been proven to provide reliable and continuous measurements of horizontal winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Recently, there have been many attempts to utilize specular/transverse scatter meteor measurements to estimate vertical winds and vertical wind variability. In this study we investigate potential biases in vertical wind estimation that are intrinsic to the meteor radar observation geometry and scattering mechanism, and introduce a mathematical debiasing process to mitigate them. This process makes use of a spatio-temporal Laplace filter which is based on a generalized Tikhonov regularization. Vertical winds obtained from this retrieval algorithm are compared to UA-ICON model data. This comparison reveals a good agreement in the statistical moments of the vertical velocity distributions. Furthermore, we present the first observational indications of a forward scatter wind bias. It appears to be caused by the scattering center's apparent motion along the meteor trajectory when the meteoric plasma column is drifted by the wind. The hypothesis is tested by a radiant mapping of two meteor showers. Finally, we introduce a new retrieval algorithm providing a physically and mathematically sound solution to derive vertical winds and wind variability from multistatic meteor radar networks such as the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster and the Chilean Observation Network De meteOr Radars (CONDOR). The new retrieval is called 3DVAR+DIV and includes additional diagnostic such as the horizontal divergence and relative vorticity to ensure a physically consistent solution for all 3D winds in spatially resolved domains. Based on this new algorithm we obtained vertical velocities in the range of w = ±1–2 m/s for most of the analyzed data during two years of collected data, which is consistent to the values reported from GCMs for this time scale and spatial resolution.

Gunter Stober et al.

Status: open (until 27 May 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-203', Samuel Kristoffersen, 08 May 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Gunter Stober, 13 May 2022 reply

Gunter Stober et al.

Gunter Stober et al.


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Short summary
Precise and accurate measurements of vertical winds at the mesosphere and lower thermosphere are rare. Although meteor radars have been used for decades to observe horizontal winds, their ability to derive reliable vertical wind measurements was always questioned. In this article, we provide mathematical concepts to retrieve mathematical and physical consistent solutions, which are compared to the state-of-the-art non-hydrostatic model UA-ICON.