Noctilucent clouds (NLC) are mesospheric ice clouds occurring in the summer hemisphere at high latitudes and an altitude of about 83km. This region is the coldest of the earth’s atmosphere and is characterized by the presence of wave interaction and dissipation. The processes involved here lead to a variety of structures and instabilities that become visible in noctilucent clouds and are observed by different instruments. In this work high-resolution lidar measurements are used to give a wide overview of the structures at small scales below the Brunt–Väisälä period of 5min. For the first time a large amount of NLC profiles from lidar with a temporal resolution of 1s is analyzed in detail, covering about 1400h during the summer from 2011 to 2018. A new categorization focusing on small-scale structures is introduced, and occurrence statistics for these categories in the season of 2014 are performed. Both wave structures with periods below 10min and thin layers of 100m thickness are commonly found. When taking simultaneous wind measurements into account, we find that structures often are advected by the wind.
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