Browsing by Author "Höffner, J."
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- ItemFirst global observations of the mesospheric potassium layer(Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2014) Dawkins, E.C.M.; Plane, J.M.C.; Chipperfield, M.P.; Feng, W.; Gumbel, J.; Hedin, J.; Höffner, J.; Friedman, J.S.Metal species, produced by meteoric ablation, act as useful tracers of upper atmosphere dynamics and chemistry. Of these meteoric metals, K is an enigma: at extratropical latitudes, limited available lidar data show that the K layer displays a semiannual seasonal variability, rather than the annual pattern seen in other metals such as Na and Fe. Here we present the first near-global K retrieval, where K atom number density profiles are derived from dayglow measurements made by the Optical Spectrograph and Infrared Imager System spectrometer on board the Odin satellite. This robust retrieval produces density profiles with typical layer peak errors of ±15% and a 2km vertical grid resolution. We demonstrate that these retrieved profiles compare well with available lidar data and show for the first time that the unusual semiannual behavior is near-global in extent. This new data set has wider applications for improving understanding of the K chemistry and of related upper atmosphere processes. Key Points First quantitative retrieval of the terrestrial K layer from space The unusual semiannual behavior of K is near global in extent.
- ItemFirst observations of noctilucent clouds by lidar at Svalbard, 78° N(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2003) Höffner, J.; Fricke-Begemann, C.; Lübken, F.-J.In summer 2001 a potassium lidar was installed near Longyearbyen (78° N) on the north polar island of Spitsbergen which is part of the archipelago Svalbard. At the same place a series of meteorological rockets ("falling spheres", FS) were launched which gave temperatures from the lower thermosphere to the stratosphere. The potassium lidar is capable of detecting noctilucent clouds (NLCs) and of measuring temperatures in the lower thermosphere, both under daylight conditions. In this paper we give an overview on the NLC measurements (the first at this latitude) and compare the results with temperatures from meteorological rockets which have been published recently (Lübken and Mülleman, 2003) NLCs were observed from 12 June (the first day of operation) until 12 August when a period of bad weather started. When the lidar was switched on again on 26 August, no NLC was observed. The mean occurrence frequency in the period 12 June -- 12 August ("lidar NLC period") is 77%. The mean of all individual NLC peak altitudes is 83.6 km (variability: 1.1 km). The mean peak NLC altitude does not show a significant variation with season. The average top and bottom altitude of the NLC layer is 85.1 and 82.5 km, respectively, with a variability of ~1.2 km. The mean of the maximum volume backscatter coefficient bmax at our wavelength of 770 nm is 3.9 x 10-10/m/sr with a large variability of ±3.8 x 10-10/m/sr. Comparison of NLC characteristics with measurements at ALOMAR (69° N) shows that the peak altitude and the maximum volume backscatter coefficient are similar at both locations but NLCs occur more frequently at higher latitudes. Simultaneous temperature and NLC measurements are available for 3 flights and show that the NLC layer occurs in the lower part of the height range with super-saturation. The NLC peak occurs over a large range of degree of saturation (S) whereas most models predict the peak at S = 1. This demonstrates that steady-state considerations may not be applicable when relating individual NLC properties to background conditions. On the other hand, the mean variation of the NLC appearance with height and season is in agreement with the climatological variation of super-saturation derived from the FS temperature measurements.
- ItemThe mesospheric metal layer topside: A possible connection to meteoroids(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2004) Höffner, J.; Friedman, J.S.In the past, many studies have been carried out to demonstrate the influence of meteoroids on the atmospheric metal layer, observed roughly in the altitude range 80–105 km. Even with the capability of present day resonance lidars to measure metal densities within single meteor trails, it has been difficult to prove any influence of meteors on the average metal layer. In contrast to approaches taken earlier, we discuss here the seasonal characteristics of potassium, calcium, calcium ion, iron and sodium above 110 km altitude where the average nocturnal densities are so low that the existence of a baseline level of metal atoms and ions is often overlooked. By comparing simultaneous and common-volume observations of different metal layers at one location, we demonstrate that despite their different seasonal characteristics at lower altitudes remarkably similar seasonal characteristics are observed at higher altitudes. In addition, a qualitative agreement is also found for potassium at different latitudes. A comparison of metal densities at 113 km altitude with known meteor showers indicates a strong influence of shower meteoroids on the topside of the metal layers. Simultaneous observations of K along with Ca, Fe and/or Na permit the calculation of abundance ratios, which at 113 km altitude are quite similar to values measured in single meteor trails by ground based lidars. Furthermore, the increase in densities throughout summer is strong evidence for the influence of sporadic meteoroids on the high metal layers. This increase correlates well with the seasonal variation of sporadic micrometeor input independent of meteor showers. Given these evidences, we contend that there is a direct influence of ablating meteoroids on the topside of the mesospheric metal layer.
- ItemResolving the strange behavior of extraterrestrial potassium in the upper atmosphere(Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2014) Plane, J.M.C.; Feng, W.; Dawkins, E.; Chipperfield, M.P.; Höffner, J.; Janches, D.; Marsh, D.R.It has been known since the 1960s that the layers of Na and K atoms, which occur between 80 and 105 km in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of meteoric ablation, exhibit completely different seasonal behavior. In the extratropics Na varies annually, with a pronounced wintertime maximum and summertime minimum. However, K varies semiannually with a small summertime maximum and minima at the equinoxes. This contrasting behavior has never been satisfactorily explained. Here we use a combination of electronic structure and chemical kinetic rate theory to determine two key differences in the chemistries of K and Na. First, the neutralization of K+ ions is only favored at low temperatures during summer. Second, cycling between K and its major neutral reservoir KHCO3 is essentially temperature independent. A whole atmosphere model incorporating this new chemistry, together with a meteor input function, now correctly predicts the seasonal behavior of the K layer.
- ItemSeasonal variation of nocturnal temperatures between 1 and 105 km altitude at 54° N observed by lidar(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Gerding, M.; Höffner, J.; Lautenbach, J.; Rauthe, M.; Lübken, F.-J.Temperature soundings are performed by lidar at the mid-latitude station of Kühlungsborn (Germany, 54° N, 12° E). The profiles cover the complete range from the lower troposphere (~1 km) to the lower thermosphere (~105 km) by simultaneous and co-located operation of a Rayleigh-Mie-Raman lidar and a potassium resonance lidar. Observations have been done during 266 nights between June 2002 and July 2007, each of 3–15 h length. This large and unique data set provides comprehensive information on the altitudinal and seasonal variation of temperatures from the troposphere to the lower thermosphere. The remaining day-to-day-variability is strongly reduced by harmonic fits at constant altitude levels and a representative data set is achieved. This data set reveals a two-level mesopause structure with an altitude of about 86–87 km (~144 K) in summer and ~102 km (~170 K) during the rest of the year. The average stratopause altitude is ~48 km throughout the whole year, with temperatures varying between 258 and 276 K. From the fit parameters amplitudes and phases of annual, semi-annual, and quarter-annual variations are derived. The amplitude of the annual component is largest with amplitudes of up to 30 K in 85 km, while the quarter-annual variation is smallest and less than 3 K at all altitudes. The lidar data set is compared with ECMWF temperatures below about 70 km altitude and reference data from the NRLMSISE-00 model above. Apart from the temperature soundings the aerosol backscatter ratio is measured between 20 and 35 km. The seasonal variation of these values is presented here for the first time.
- ItemSimultaneous in situ measurements of small-scale structures in neutral, plasma, and atomic oxygen densities during the WADIS sounding rocket project(Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2019) Strelnikov, B.; Eberhart, M.; Friedrich, M.; Hedin, J.; Khaplanov, M.; Baumgarten, G.; Williams, B.P.; Staszak, T.; Asmus, H.; Strelnikova, I.; Latteck, R.; Grygalashvyly, M.; Lübken, F.-J.; Höffner, J.; Wörl, R.; Gumbel, J.; Löhle, S.; Fasoulas, S.; Rapp, M.; Barjatya, A.; Taylor, M.J.; Pautet, P.-D.In this paper we present an overview of measurements conducted during the WADIS-2 rocket campaign. We investigate the effect of small-scale processes like gravity waves and turbulence on the distribution of atomic oxygen and other species in the mesosphere-lower thermosphere (MLT) region. Our analysis suggests that density fluctuations of atomic oxygen are coupled to fluctuations of other constituents, i.e., plasma and neutrals. Our measurements show that all measured quantities, including winds, densities, and temperatures, reveal signatures of both waves and turbulence. We show observations of gravity wave saturation and breakdown together with simultaneous measurements of generated turbulence. Atomic oxygen inside turbulence layers shows two different spectral behaviors, which might imply a change in its diffusion properties. © 2019 Author(s).
- ItemSimultaneous observations of NLCs and MSEs at midlatitudes: Implications for formation and advection of ice particles(Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2018) Gerding, M.; Zöllner, J.; Zecha, M.; Baumgarten, K.; Höffner, J.; Stober, G.; Lübken, F.-J.We combined ground-based lidar observations of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) with collocated, simultaneous radar observations of mesospheric summer echoes (MSEs) in order to compare ice cloud altitudes at a midlatitude site (Kühlungsborn, Germany, 54° N, 12° E). Lidar observations are limited to larger particles ( > 10 nm), while radars are also sensitive to small particles ( < 10 nm), but require sufficient ionization and turbulence at the ice cloud altitudes. The combined lidar and radar data set thus includes some information on the size distribution within the cloud and through this on the of the cloud. The soundings for this study are carried out by the IAP Rayleigh-Mie-Raman (RMR) lidar and the OSWIN VHF radar. On average, there is no difference between the lower edges (lowNLC and lowMSE). The mean difference of the upper edges upNLC and upMSE is g1/4 500 m, which is much less than expected from observations at higher latitudes. In contrast to high latitudes, the MSEs above our location typically do not reach much higher than the NLCs. In addition to earlier studies from our site, this gives additional evidence for the supposition that clouds containing large enough particles to be observed by lidar are not formed locally but are advected from higher latitudes. During the advection process, the smaller particles in the upper part of the cloud either grow and sediment, or they sublimate. Both processes result in a thinning of the layer. High-altitude MSEs, usually indicating nucleation of ice particles, are rarely observed in conjunction with lidar observations of NLCs at Kühlungsborn. © Author(s) 2018.
- ItemSolar cycle response and long-term trends in the mesospheric metal layers(Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2016) Dawkins, E.C.M.; Plane, J.M.C.; Chipperfield, M.P.; Feng, W.; Marsh, D.R.; Höffner, J.; Janches, D.The meteoric metal layers (Na, Fe, and K)—which form as a result of the ablation of incoming meteors—act as unique tracers for chemical and dynamical processes that occur within the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere region. In this work, we examine whether these metal layers are sensitive indicators of decadal long-term changes within the upper atmosphere. Output from a whole-atmosphere climate model is used to assess the response of the Na, K, and Fe layers across a 50 year period (1955–2005). At short timescales, the K layer has previously been shown to exhibit a very different seasonal behavior compared to the other metals. Here we show that this unusual behavior is also exhibited at longer timescales (both the ~11 year solar cycle and 50 year periods), where K displays a much more pronounced response to atmospheric temperature changes than either Na or Fe. The contrasting solar cycle behavior of the K and Na layers predicted by the model is confirmed using satellite and lidar observations for the period 2004–2013.
- ItemSporadic Ca and Ca+ layers at mid-latitudes: Simultaneous observations and implications for their formation(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2001) Gerding, M.; Alpers, M.; Höffner, J.; von Zahn, U.We report on the observations of 188 sporadic layers of either Ca atoms and/or Ca ions that we have observed during 112 nights of lidar soundings of Ca, and 58 nights of Ca+ soundings, at Kühlungsborn, Germany (54° N, 12° E). The Ca+ soundings have been performed simultaneously and in a common volume with the Ca soundings by two separate lidars. Correlations between sporadic neutral and ionized metal layers are demonstrated through four case studies. A systematic study of the variations of occurrence of sporadic Ca and Ca+ layers reveals that neutral and ionized Ca layers are not as closely correlated as expected earlier: (a) The altitude distribution shows the simultaneous occurrence of both sporadic Ca and Ca+ layers to be most likely only in the narrow altitude range between 90 and 95 km. Above that region, in the lower thermosphere, the sporadic ion layers are much more frequent than atom layers. Below 90 km only very few sporadic layers have been observed; (b) The seasonal variation of sporadic Ca layers exhibits a minimum of occurrence in summer, while sporadic Ca+ layers do not show a significant seasonal variation (only the dense Ca+ layers appear to have a maximum in summer). At mid-latitudes sporadic Ca layers are more frequent than sporadic layers of other atmospheric metals like Na or K. For the explanation of our observations new formation mechanisms are discussed.
- ItemA study of the dissociative recombination of CaO+ with electrons: Implications for Ca chemistry in the upper atmosphere(Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2016) Bones, D.L.; Gerding, M.; Höffner, J.; Gómez Martín, Juan Carlos; Plane, J.M.C.The dissociative recombination of CaO+ ions with electrons has been studied in a flowing afterglow reactor. CaO+ was generated by the pulsed laser ablation of a Ca target, followed by entrainment in an Ar+ ion/electron plasma. A kinetic model describing the gas-phase chemistry and diffusion to the reactor walls was fitted to the experimental data, yielding a rate coefficient of (3.0 ± 1.0) × 10−7 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 at 295 K. This result has two atmospheric implications. First, the surprising observation that the Ca+/Fe+ ratio is ~8 times larger than Ca/Fe between 90 and 100 km in the atmosphere can now be explained quantitatively by the known ion-molecule chemistry of these two metals. Second, the rate of neutralization of Ca+ ions in a descending sporadic E layer is fast enough to explain the often explosive growth of sporadic neutral Ca layers.
- ItemTemperature lidar measurements from 1 to 105 km altitude using resonance, Rayleigh, and Rotational Raman scattering(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2004) Alpers, M.; Eixmann, R.; Fricke-Begemann, C.; Gerding, M.; Höffner, J.For the first time, three different temperature lidar methods are combined to obtain time-resolved complete temperature profiles with high altitude resolution over an altitude range from the planetary boundary layer up to the lower thermosphere (about 1–105 km). The Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) at Kühlungsborn, Germany (54° N, 12° E) operates two lidar instruments, using three different temperature measurement methods, optimized for three altitude ranges: (1) Probing the spectral Doppler broadening of the potassium D1 resonance lines with a tunable narrow-band laser allows atmospheric temperature profiles to be determined at metal layer altitudes (80–105 km). (2) Between about 20 and 90 km, temperatures were calculated from Rayleigh backscattering by air molecules, where the upper start values for the calculation algorithm were taken from the potassium lidar results. Correction methods have been applied to account for, e.g. Rayleigh extinction or Mie scattering of aerosols below about 32 km. (3) At altitudes below about 25 km, backscattering in the Rotational Raman lines is strong enough to obtain temperatures by measuring the temperature dependent spectral shape of the Rotational Raman spectrum. This method works well down to about 1 km. The instrumental configurations of the IAP lidars were optimized for a 3–6 km overlap of the temperature profiles at the method transition altitudes. We present two night-long measurements with clear wave structures propagating from the lower stratosphere up to the lower thermosphere.
- ItemTen-year climatology of potassium number density at 54° N, 12° E(Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier Science, 2017) Lautenbach, J.; Höffner, J.; Lübken, F.-J.; Kopp, M.; Gerding, M.In the years from 2002 to 2012 potassium densities observations were performed in the mesopause region at Kühlungsborn using a potassium Doppler lidar. The 10-year diurnal data set comprises 5090 h of potassium number densities at 741 days with 25.2% under full daylight conditions. Potassium number densities show a clear semi-annual variation with two broad maxima reoccurring every year. The first maximum occurs in summer and lasts for about 4 months (May–August) with number densities up to 60 atoms/cc. The second maximum is observed from early December to late February with densities up to 30 atoms/cc. Both the peak density and the column density are higher at solstices than at equinoxes. The large data set shows little variation of the mean layer over the 10 years.
- ItemThe thermal structure at the topside and above of polar mesosphere summer echoes over Spitsbergen 78° N(München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Lautenbach, J.; Höffner, J.; Lübken, F.-J.; Zecha, M.Simultaneous measurements of temperature and polar mesosphere summer echoes (PMSE) were performed at the polar cap (78° N) during summer 2001 and 2003. In summer time the mesopause region is characterized by extremely low temperatures around 120 K. It is remarkable that PMSE are practically never observed above 92 km although temperatures are low enough to allow the existence of ice particles. In this case study we compare the PMSE topside with temperatures measured by the potassium lidar and with frost point temperatures using water-vapor mixing ratios from models. We find striking discrepancies with our current understanding of ice particles and temperature in this region. In this case study we find that the temperature can be more than 20 K lower than the frost point temperature but no PMSE is observed above 92 km altitude. We show that the lack of PMSE does not necessarily imply that the temperature is too high.
- ItemThermal structure of the mesopause region during the WADIS-2 rocket campaign(Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2019) Wörl, R.; Strelnikov, B.; Viehl, T.P.; Höffner, J.; Pautet, P.-D.; Taylor, M.J.; Zhao, Y.; Löbken, F.-J.This paper presents simultaneous temperature measurements by three independent instruments during the WADIS-2 rocket campaign in northern Norway (69° N, 14° E) on 5 March 2015. Vertical profiles were measured in situ with the CONE instrument. Continuous mobile IAP Fe lidar (Fe lidar) measurements during a period of 24 h, as well as horizontally resolved temperature maps by the Utah State University (USU) Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (AMTM) in the mesopause region, are analysed. Vertical and horizontal temperature profiles by all three instruments are in good agreement. A harmonic analysis of the Fe lidar measurements shows the presence of waves with periods of 24, 12, 8, and 6 h. Strong waves with amplitudes of up to 10K at 8 and 6 h are found. The 24 and 12 h components play only a minor role during these observations. In contrast only a few short periodic gravity waves are found. Horizontally resolved temperatures measured with the AMTM in the hydroxyl (OH) layer are used to connect the vertical temperature profiles. In the field of view of 200km×160km only small deviations from the horizontal mean of the order of 5K are found. Therefore only weak gravity wave signatures occurred. This suggests horizontal structures of more than 200 km. A comparison of Fe lidar, rocket-borne measurements, and AMTM temperatures indicates an OH centroid altitude of about 85 km. © 2019 Copernicus GmbH. All rights reserved.