Ground-based radio observations to probe the ozone content in the meteor region

G. Cevolani, G. Pupillo


Radar studies of the plasma irregularities produced by meteoroid ablation provide a powerful diagnostic probe of the Earth's atmosphere. This role is especially important as an inexpensive route for studying several atmospheric processes in comparison with other remote sensing techniques or satellite measurements. Ozone concentration has been indirectly measured in the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere region by the BLM (Bologna-Lecce-Modra) Forward Scatter (FS) meteor radar by the detection of meteoroids interacting with the Earth's atmosphere. Results of variations of mesospheric ozone concentration at different height levels and time scales were deduced in 1992-2000 from the cumulative duration distributions of overdense echoes. Data of the BLM radar obtained in the last millennium decade confi rm the existence of a secondary ozone layer at atmospheric heights of 85-90 km
and show a gradual yearly depletion of the ozone content, similarly to the decrease measured in the eighties by the Solar Mesosphere Explorer (SME) satellite throughout consecutive years (Rusch et al., 1990). Radio observations show in addition large seasonal variations at middle latitudes where the abundance at a secondary ozone maximum at 85-90 km is found to be as much as a factor of two higher in spring months than that in summer months.



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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X