Lidar observations, conducted at the South Pole by University of Illinois researchers, are used to characterize the seasonal variations of mesospheric Na and Fe above the site. The annual mean layer abundances are virtually identical to midlatitude values, and the mean centroid height is just 100 m higher for Na and 450 m higher for Fe compared with 40°N. The most striking feature of the metal profiles is the almost complete absence of Na and Fe below 90 km during midsummer. This leads to summertime layer…
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