CTMT - Climatological Tidal Model of the Thermosphere


CTMT is based on tidal temperature and wind observations made in the MLT region by SABER and TIDI on TIMED that are extended into the thermosphere using Hough Mode Extension (HME) modeling. The latter can be thought of as constraining a tidal model with observations and produces self-consistent tidal fields in temperature, neutral density, and zonal, meridional and vertical winds from pol-to-pole and from 80-400 km. A monthly tidal climatology is compiled from averaged 2002-2008 TIMED observations. CTMT accounts for contributions from solar radiation absorption in the troposphere and stratosphere, tropospheric latent heat release, and non-linear wave-wave interactions occurring in the MLT or below. It is valid for a solar radio flux of F10.7 = 110 sfu and includes the 6 (8) most important migrating and nonmigrating diurnal (semidiurnal) tidal components. As such it is suitable for driving upper atmosphere models that require self-consistent tidal fields in the MLT region as a lower boundary condition or to study the effects of tidal density variations in the re-entry region, to name just a few examples.

Cautious note

Thermospheric tidal forcing occurring above the MLT is not accounted for. CTMT, therefore, does not capture (i) migrating tides forced in-situ by the absorption of solar EUV radiation, and (ii) nonmigrating tides forced in the thermosphere.

Quick look

Presentation at the 2012 NSF CEDAR meeting.

Reference including validation with CHAMP data

Oberheide, J., J. M. Forbes, X. Zhang, and S. L. Bruinsma
Climatology of upward propagating diurnal and semidiurnal tides in the thermosphere
J. Geophys. Res., 116, A11306, doi:10.1029/2011JA016784, 2011.


Please refer to the abovementioned paper when you use CTMT in a presentation or publication. There are no other restrictions. Data files with amplitudes and phases for each component as function of latitude and altitude are provided in netcdf format.

Data files

IDL viewer software (tested on Mac)