The Amplification and Capture of Atmospheric Solitons by Topography: A Theory of the Onset of Regional Blocking

T. Warn Department of Meteorology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6 Canada

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B. Brasnett Department of Meteorology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6 Canada

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Abstract

The problem of long, quasi-geostrophic baroclinic waves interacting with topography is shown to reduce to an inhomogeneous, damped Korteweg-deVries equation. The soliton perturbation theory of Karpman and Maslov (1977, 1978) and Kaup and Newell (1978) is then used to examine the qualitative aspects of the interaction of travelling solitons with topography. The perturbation theory suggests and numerical experiments confirm that under certain conditions incident solitans can be simultaneously amplified and stalled by topography-a process which we interpret as a transition to a regional blocking configuration.

Abstract

The problem of long, quasi-geostrophic baroclinic waves interacting with topography is shown to reduce to an inhomogeneous, damped Korteweg-deVries equation. The soliton perturbation theory of Karpman and Maslov (1977, 1978) and Kaup and Newell (1978) is then used to examine the qualitative aspects of the interaction of travelling solitons with topography. The perturbation theory suggests and numerical experiments confirm that under certain conditions incident solitans can be simultaneously amplified and stalled by topography-a process which we interpret as a transition to a regional blocking configuration.

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