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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of the atmospheric properties above Dome A, Dome C, and the South Pole
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Paper Abstract

The atmospheric properties above three sites on the Internal Antarctic Plateau are investigated for astronomical applications calculating the monthly median of the analysis-data from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) for an entire year (2005) thus covering all seasons. Radiosoundings extended on a yearly time scale from Dome C and the South Pole are used to verify the reliability of the analyses in the free atmosphere and to study the wind speed in the first 100 m as the analysis-data are not optimized for this altitude-range. The wind speed in the free atmosphere is obtained from the ECMWF analyses from all three sites. It appears that the strength of the wind speed in the upper atmosphere in winter is correlated to the distance of the site from the centre of the polar high. The Richardson number is employed to investigate the stability of the free atmosphere and, consequently, the probability to trigger thermodynamic instabilities above the three sites. We find that, in a large majority of the cases, the free atmosphere over the Internal Antarctic Plateau is more stable than at mid-latitude sites. Given these data we can obtain a ranking of the three sites both with respect to wind speed, in the free atmosphere as well as in the surface layer, and with respect to the stability of the atmosphere, using the Richardson number.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 70124A (10 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787333
Show Author Affiliations
Susanna Hagelin, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF (Italy)
Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Elena Masciadri, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF (Italy)
Franck Lascaux, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF (Italy)
Jeff Stoesz, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7012:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi, Editor(s)

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