First lidar observations of mesospheric hydroxyl

E. J. Brinksma*, Y.J. Meijer, I.S. McDermid, R.P. Cageao, J.B. Bergwerff, D.P.J. Swart, W. Ubachs, W.A. Matthews, W. Hogervorst, J. W. Hovenier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ground-based lidars have been used to detect and identify ground-state (v" =0) hydroxyl radicals (OH) in the mesosphere between about 75 and 85 km altitude. These lidars operate near 308 nm and OH is observed through laser-induced-fluorescence on the A 2+ -X 2II(0, 0) band. The results expose a valuable global set of nighttime OH observations, since existing long-term lidar data at several NDSC sites contain the (serendipitous) OH information. Results of lidar observations are presented from two mid-latitude sites, one in each hemisphere: Table Mountain (34°N), California, and Lauder (45°S), New Zealand. They show observations of a geometrically thin (∼3 km) nocturnal layer of OH near 80 km. For the Table Mountain observations, the derived values for the OH density at 80 km typically are 2 - 4 × 10 5 cm -3 which is in accordance with model predictions [Dodd et al., 1994]. The temporal behavior of the mesospheric OH signal, following sunset, that was found, supports previous model predictions [Allen et al., 1984] in a qualitative fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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