In January 2011, the state of the polar vortex in the midlatitudes changed significantly due to a minor Sudden Stratospheric Warming event. As a result, a bi-directional duct for infrasound propagation developed in the middle atmosphere that persisted for two weeks. The ducts were due to two zonal wind jets, one between 30-50 km and the other around 70 km altitude. In this paper, using microbarom source modeling, a previously unidentified source region in the eastern Mediterranean is identified, besides the more well known microbarom source regions in the Atlantic Ocean. Infrasound data is then presented in which the above mentioned bi-directional duct is observed in microbarom signals recorded at the IMS station I48TN in Tunisia from the Mediterranean region to the east and from the Atlantic Ocean to the west. While the frequency bands of the two sources overlap, the Mediterranean signal is coherent up to about 0.6 Hz. This observation is consistent with the microbarom source modeling. This work demonstrates the sensitivity of infrasound to stratospheric dynamics and illustrates that the classic paradigm of a unidirectional stratospheric duct for infrasound propagation can be broken during a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event.
JD Assink, R Waxler, P Smets, LG Evers. Bi-directional Infrasonic Ducts Associated with Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events
published, J. Geophys. Res., 2014, 119