Fluxes of Heat and Constituents Due to Convectively Unstable Gravity Waves

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  • 1 Geophysical Institute and Department of Space Physics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • | 2 Physical Dynamics, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98009
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Abstract

We consider the implications of a nonuniform turbulent diffusion due to the IOM saturation of a gravity wave via convective instabilities. It is found that both wave and turbulence fluxes of heat can be reduced dramatically, depending on the amplitude of the wave motion and the extent to which the turbulent diffusion is localized. These results suggest that previous studies that assumed a uniform turbulent diffusion may have overestimated the beat and constituent fluxes due to gravity wave saturation.

Abstract

We consider the implications of a nonuniform turbulent diffusion due to the IOM saturation of a gravity wave via convective instabilities. It is found that both wave and turbulence fluxes of heat can be reduced dramatically, depending on the amplitude of the wave motion and the extent to which the turbulent diffusion is localized. These results suggest that previous studies that assumed a uniform turbulent diffusion may have overestimated the beat and constituent fluxes due to gravity wave saturation.

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