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Abstract / Description of output
The gravity waves (GWs) produced by threedimensional potential vorticity (PV) anomalies are examined under the assumption of constant vertical shear, constant stratification, and unbounded domain. As in the twodimensional case analyzed in an earlier paper, the disturbance near the PV anomaly is well modeled by quasigeostrophic theory. At larger distances the nature of the disturbance changes across the two inertial layers that are located above and below the anomaly, and it takes the form of a vertically propagating GW beyond these.
For a horizontally monochromatic PV anomaly of infinitesimal depth, the disturbance is described analytically using both an exact solution and a WKB approximation; the latter includes an exponentially small term that captures the change of the solution near the PV anomaly induced by the radiation boundary condition in the far field. The analytical results reveal a strong sensitivity of the emission to the Richardson number and to the orientation of the horizontal wavenumber: the absorptive properties of the inertial layers are such that the emission is maximized in the Northern Hemisphere for wavenumbers at negative angles to the shear.
For localized PV anomalies, numerical computations give the temporal evolution of the GW field. Analytical and numerical results are also used to establish an explicit form for the EliassenPalm flux that could be used to parameterize GW sources in GCMs. The properties of the EliassenPalm flux vector imply that in a westerly shear, the GWs exert a drag in a southwest direction in the upper inertial layer, and in a northwest direction at the altitudes where the GWs dissipate aloft.
Original language  English 

Pages (fromto)  21342151 
Number of pages  18 
Journal  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 
Volume  69 
Issue number  7 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  Jul 2012 
Keywords / Materials (for Nontextual outputs)
 dynamics
 gravity waves
 potential voticity
 shear structure/flows
 stratospheric circulation
 subgridscale processes
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 1 Finished

Generation of unbalanced motion at horizontal boundaries in the atmosphere and the oceans
1/10/08 → 30/07/11
Project: Research