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Gravity Wave Breaking and Vortex Ring Formation Observed by PMC Turbo

Geach, Christopher and Hanany, Shaul and Fritts, D. C. and Kaifler, Bernd and Kaifler, Natalie and Kjellstrand, Bjorn and Williams, Bifford P. and Eckermann, Stephen D. and Miller, Amber and Jones, Glenn and Reimuller, Jason (2020) Gravity Wave Breaking and Vortex Ring Formation Observed by PMC Turbo. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2020JD033038. ISSN 0148-0227.

[img] PDF - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2020JD033038


Polar mesospheric cloud (PMC) imaging and lidar profiling performed aboard the 5.9 day PMC Turbo balloon flight from Sweden to northern Canada in July 2018 revealed a wide variety of gravity wave (GW) and instability events occurring nearly continuously at approximately 82 km. We describe one event exhibiting GW breaking and associated vortex rings driven by apparent convective instability. Using PMC Turbo imaging with spatial and temporal resolution of 20 m and 2 s, respectively, we quantify the GW horizontal wavelength, propagation direction, and apparent phase speed. We identify vortex rings with diameters of 2‐5 km and horizontal spacing comparable to their size. Lidar data show GW vertical displacements of ±0.3 km. From the data, we find a GW intrinsic frequency and vertical wavelength of 0.009 ± 0.003 rad s‐1 and 9 ± 4 km, respectively. We show that these values are consistent with the predictions of numerical simulations of idealized GW breaking. We estimate the momentum deposition rate per unit mass during this event to be 0.04 ± 0.02 m s‐2 and show that this value is consistent with the observed GW. Comparison to simulation gives a mean energy dissipation rate for this event of 0.05‐0.4 W kg‐1, which is consistent with other reported in‐situ measurements at the Arctic summer mesopause.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/138146/
Document Type:Article
Title:Gravity Wave Breaking and Vortex Ring Formation Observed by PMC Turbo
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Geach, ChristopherUniv. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USAUNSPECIFIED
Hanany, ShaulUniv. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USAUNSPECIFIED
Fritts, D. C.GATS Inc./BoulderUNSPECIFIED
Kaifler, BerndDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5891-242X
Kaifler, NatalieDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3118-6480
Kjellstrand, BjornColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Williams, Bifford P.GATS Inc./BoulderUNSPECIFIED
Eckermann, Stephen D.NRL, Washington, D.C., USAUNSPECIFIED
Miller, AmberColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Jones, GlennColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Reimuller, JasonIntegr. Space. Serv., Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:9 November 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1029/2020JD033038
Keywords:polar mesospheric clouds, noctilucent clouds, balloon lidar, PMC Turbo, BOLIDE
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 - Middle Atmosphere
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kaifler, Dr. Natalie
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 07:56
Last Modified:24 Mar 2021 08:24

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