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Mountain waves modulate the water vapor distribution in the UTLS

Heller, Romy and Voigt, Christiane and Beaton, Stuart and Dörnbrack, Andreas and Kaufmann, Stefan and Schlager, Hans and Wagner, Johannes and Young, Kate and Rapp, Markus (2017) Mountain waves modulate the water vapor distribution in the UTLS. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17, pp. 14853-14869. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/acp-17-14853-2017. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-14853-2017


The water vapor distribution in the upper troposphere–lower stratosphere (UTLS) region has a strong impact on the atmospheric radiation budget. Transport and mixing processes on different scales mainly determine the water vapor concentration in the UTLS. Here, we investigate the effect of mountain waves on the vertical Transport and mixing of water vapor. For this purpose we analyze measurements of water vapor and meteorological parameters recorded by the DLR Falcon and NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research aircraft taken during the Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE) in New Zealand. By combining different methods, we develop a new approach to quantify location, direction and irreversibility of the water vapor transport during a strong mountain wave event on 4 July 2014. A large positive vertical water vapor flux is detected above the Southern Alps extending from the troposphere to the stratosphere in the altitude range between 7.7 and 13.0 km. Wavelet analysis for the 8.9 km altitude level shows that the enhanced upward water vapor transport above the mountains is caused by mountain waves with horizontal wavelengths between 22 and 60 km. A downward transport of water vapor with 22 km wavelength is observed in the lee-side of the mountain ridge. While it is a priori not clear whether the observed fluxes are irreversible, low Richardson numbers derived from dropsonde data indicate enhanced turbulence in the tropopause region related to the mountain wave event. Together with the analysis of the water vapor to ozone correlation, we find indications for vertical transport followed by irreversible mixing of water vapor.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/115569/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mountain waves modulate the water vapor distribution in the UTLS
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Heller, Romydlr, ipaUNSPECIFIED
Voigt, Christianedlr, ipahttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8925-7731
Beaton, Stuartncar boulder, coloradoUNSPECIFIED
Dörnbrack, Andreasdlr, ipahttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0936-0216
Kaufmann, Stefandlr, ipaUNSPECIFIED
Schlager, Hansdlr, ipaUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, Johannesdlr, ipaUNSPECIFIED
Rapp, Markusdlr, ipaUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 14853-14869
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:water vapour, mountain waves, Transport, UTLS
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Climatic relevance of atmospheric tracer gases, aerosols and clouds
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Transport Meteorology
Deposited By: Voigt, Dr.rer.nat. Christiane
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 12:04
Last Modified:02 May 2019 14:05

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