Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-779
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-779

  22 Oct 2021

22 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Comparison of mesospheric sodium profile retrievals from OSIRIS and SCIAMACHY nightglow measurements

Julia Koch1, Adam Bourassa2, Nick Lloyd2, Chris Roth2, and Christian von Savigny1 Julia Koch et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics, University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  • 2University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Abstract. Sodium airglow is generated when excited sodium atoms emit electromagnetic radiation while they are relaxing from an excited state into a lower energetic state. This electromagnetic radiation, the two sodium D-lines at 589.0 nm and 589.6 nm, can usually be detected from space or from ground. Sodium nightglow occurs at times when the sun is not present and excitation of sodium atoms is a result of chemical reaction with ozone. The detection of sodium nightglow can be a means to determine the amount of sodium in the earths' mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). In this study, we present time series of monthly mean sodium concentration profiles, by utilizing the large spatial and temporal coverage of satellite sodium D-line nightglow measurements. We use the OSIRIS/Odin mesospheric limb measurements to derive sodium concentration profiles and vertical column densities and compare those to measurements from SCIAMACHY/Envisat and GOMOS/Envisat. Here we show that the Na D-line Limb Emission Rate (LER) and Volume emission rate (VER) profiles calculated from the OSIRIS and SCIAMACHY measurements, although the OSIRIS LER and VER profiles are around 25 % lower, agree very well in shape and overall seasonal variation. The sodium concentration profiles also agree in shape and magnitude, although those do not show the clear semi-annual cycle which is present in the LER and VER profiles. The comparison to the GOMOS sodium vertical column densities (VCD) shows that the OSIRIS VCDs are in the same order of magnitude although again the semi-annual cycle is not as clear. We attribute the differences in the LER, VER and sodium profiles to the differences in spatial coverage between the two satellite measurements, the lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the SCIAMACHY measurements and differences in local time between the measurements of the two satellites.

Julia Koch et al.

Status: open (until 03 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-779', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Nov 2021 reply

Julia Koch et al.

Julia Koch et al.

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Short summary
The mesopause, the region of the earths' atmosphere between 85 and 100 km, is hard to access by direct measurements. Therefore we look for parameters that can be measured using satellite or ground-based measurements. In this study we researched sodium airglow, a phenomenon that occurs when sodium atoms are excited by chemical reactions. We compared satellite measurements of the airglow and resulting sodium concentration profiles to gain a better understanding of the sodium in that region.
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