Submesomotions add complexities to the structure of the stable boundary layer. Such motions include horizontal meandering and gravity waves, in particular when the large-scale flow is weak. The coexistence and interaction of such submeso motions is investigated through the analysis of data collected in Antarctica, in persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stratification. Detected horizontal meandering is frequently associated with temperature oscillations characterized by similar time scales (30 min) at all levels (2, 4.5 and 10 m). In contrast, dirty gravity waves superimposed on horizontal meandering are detected only at the highest level, characterized by time scales of a few minutes. The meandering produces an energy peak in the low-frequency spectral range, well fitted by a spectral model previously proposed for low wind speeds. The coexistence of horizontal and vertical oscillations is observed in the presence of large wind-direction shifts superimposed on the gradual flow meandering. Such shifts are often related to the variation of the mean flow dynamics, but also to intermittent events, localized in time, which do not produce a variation in the mean wind direction and that are associated with sharp decreases in wind speed and temperature. The noisy gravity waves coexisting with horizontal meandering persist only for a few cycles and produce bursts of turbulentmixing close to the ground, affecting the exchange processes between the surface and the stable boundary layer. The results confirm the importance of sharp wind-direction changes at lowwind speed in the stable atmosphere and suggest a possible correlation between observed gravity waves and dynamical instabilities modulated by horizontal meandering.

Interaction of Submeso Motions in the Antarctic Stable Boundary Layer

CAVA, DANIELA;MORTARINI, LUCA;Giostra, Umberto
2019

Abstract

Submesomotions add complexities to the structure of the stable boundary layer. Such motions include horizontal meandering and gravity waves, in particular when the large-scale flow is weak. The coexistence and interaction of such submeso motions is investigated through the analysis of data collected in Antarctica, in persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stratification. Detected horizontal meandering is frequently associated with temperature oscillations characterized by similar time scales (30 min) at all levels (2, 4.5 and 10 m). In contrast, dirty gravity waves superimposed on horizontal meandering are detected only at the highest level, characterized by time scales of a few minutes. The meandering produces an energy peak in the low-frequency spectral range, well fitted by a spectral model previously proposed for low wind speeds. The coexistence of horizontal and vertical oscillations is observed in the presence of large wind-direction shifts superimposed on the gradual flow meandering. Such shifts are often related to the variation of the mean flow dynamics, but also to intermittent events, localized in time, which do not produce a variation in the mean wind direction and that are associated with sharp decreases in wind speed and temperature. The noisy gravity waves coexisting with horizontal meandering persist only for a few cycles and produce bursts of turbulentmixing close to the ground, affecting the exchange processes between the surface and the stable boundary layer. The results confirm the importance of sharp wind-direction changes at lowwind speed in the stable atmosphere and suggest a possible correlation between observed gravity waves and dynamical instabilities modulated by horizontal meandering.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2669502
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