Dynamical influence of gravity waves generated by the Vestfjella Mountains in Antarctica: radar observations, fine-scale modeling and kinetic energy budget analysis
Gravity waves generated by the Vestfjella Mountains (in western Droning Maud Land, Antarctica, southwest of the Finnish / Swedish Aboa / Wasa station) have been observed with the Moveable atmospheric radar for Antarctica (MARA) during the SWEDish Antarctic Research Programme (SWEDARP) in December 2007 / January 2008. These radar observations are compared with a two-month Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model experiment operated at 2 km horizontal resolution. A control simulation without orography is also operated in order the separate unambiguously the contribution of the mountain waves on the simulated atmospheric flow.
This contribution is then quantified with a kinetic energy budget analysis computed in the two simulations. The results of this study confirm that mountain waves reaching lower-stratospheric heights break through convective overturning and generate inertia gravity waves with a smaller vertical wavelength, in association with a brief depletion of kinetic energy through frictional dissipation and negative vertical advection. The kinetic energy budget also shows that gravity waves have a strong influence on the other terms of the budget, i.e horizontal advection and horizontal work of pressure forces, so evaluating the influence of gravity waves on the mean-flow with the vertical advection term alone is not sufficient, at least in this case. We finally obtain that gravity waves generated by the Vestfjella Mountains reaching lower stratospheric heights generally deplete (create) kinetic energy in the lower troposphere (upper troposphere - lower stratosphere), in contradiction with the usual decelerating effect attributed to gravity waves on the zonal circulation in the upper troposphere ? lower stratosphere.
Created 2012-02-02 10:44:47 by Uwe Raffalski Last changed 2012-03-07 13:18:22 by Rick McGregor