Observation of Wave-Wave Interactions in the Stratosphere

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
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Abstract

Data from the LIMS instrument for January 1979 are used to provide further evidence for the often observed vacillation between the amplitudes of waves 1 and 2 in the stratosphere. The vacillation is shown to result primarily from nonlinear wave-wave interactions within the stratosphere. Two ways of interacting nonlinearity are discussed. In the first, the basic state is defined to include large amplitude waves as well as the mean zonal wind. A forced wave propagates with respect to this asymmetric basic state, which can lead to changes in the conventional zonal wavemumber measured at one latitude. The other view of nonlinearity, interaction of wave with the zonal flow and with other wavenumber are considered separately. Wave-wave interactions among waves 1, 2 and 3 are calculated.

The derivation and computation of wave-wave interaction terms in the potential enstrophy balance are given. The observations indicate that enstrophy transfer among waves can be substantial even when the amplitude of one of the contributing waves is small. The computed enstrophy balance also demonstrates that wave-wave interactions can have a large effect on the interaction of waves with the men flow.

Abstract

Data from the LIMS instrument for January 1979 are used to provide further evidence for the often observed vacillation between the amplitudes of waves 1 and 2 in the stratosphere. The vacillation is shown to result primarily from nonlinear wave-wave interactions within the stratosphere. Two ways of interacting nonlinearity are discussed. In the first, the basic state is defined to include large amplitude waves as well as the mean zonal wind. A forced wave propagates with respect to this asymmetric basic state, which can lead to changes in the conventional zonal wavemumber measured at one latitude. The other view of nonlinearity, interaction of wave with the zonal flow and with other wavenumber are considered separately. Wave-wave interactions among waves 1, 2 and 3 are calculated.

The derivation and computation of wave-wave interaction terms in the potential enstrophy balance are given. The observations indicate that enstrophy transfer among waves can be substantial even when the amplitude of one of the contributing waves is small. The computed enstrophy balance also demonstrates that wave-wave interactions can have a large effect on the interaction of waves with the men flow.

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