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ArticleGravity wave characteristics in the mesopause region revealed from OH airglow imager observations over Northern Colorado(John Wiley & Sons, 2014-01-31) Tang, Yihuan ; Dou, Xiankang ; Li, Tao ; Nakamura, Takuji ; Xue, Xianghui ; Huang, Can ; Manson, Alan ; Meek, Chris ; Thorsen, Denise ; Avery, Susan K.Using 5 years of all-sky OH airglow imager data over Yucca Ridge Field Station, CO (40.7°N, 104.9°W), from September 2003 to September 2008, we extract and deduce quasi-monochromatic gravity wave (GW) characteristics in the mesopause region. The intrinsic periods are clustered between approximately 4 and 10 min, and many of them are unstable and evanescent. GW occurrence frequency exhibits a clear semiannual variation with equinoctial minima, which is likely related to the seasonal variation of background wind. The anomalous propagation direction in January 2006, with strong southward before major warming starting in 21 January and weak southward propagation afterward, was most likely affected by stratospheric sudden warming. The momentum fluxes show strongly anticorrelated with the tides, with ~180° out of phase in the zonal component. While in the meridional component, the easterly maximum occurred approximately 2–6 h after maximum easterly tidal wind. However, the anticorrelations are both weakest during the summer. The dissipating and breaking of small-scale and high-frequency GW's components could have a potential impact on the general circulation in the mesopause region.