Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Internal gravity waves generated by convective plumes

  • JOSEPH K. ANSONG (a1) and BRUCE R. SUTHERLAND (a2)

Abstract

We present experimental results of the generation of internal gravity waves by a turbulent buoyant plume impinging upon the interface between a uniform density layer of fluid and a linearly stratified layer. The wave field is observed and its properties are measured non-intrusively using axisymmetric Schlieren. In particular, we determine the fraction of the energy flux associated with the plume at the neutral buoyancy level that is extracted by the waves. On average, this was found to be approximately 4%. Within the limits of the experimental parameters, the maximum vertical displacement amplitude of waves were found to depend linearly upon the maximum penetration height of the plume beyond the neutral level. The frequency of the waves was found to lie in a narrow range relative to the buoyancy frequency. The results are used to interpret the generation of waves in the atmosphere by convective storms impinging upon the tropopause via the mechanical oscillator effect.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence: bruce.sutherland@ualberta.ca

References

Hide All
Abraham, G. 1963 Jet diffusion in stagnant ambient fluid. Tech. Rep. 29. Delft Hydraulics Lab.
Alexander, M. J. & Barnet, C. 2007 Using satellite observations to constrain parameterizations of gravity wave effects for global models. J. Atmos. Sci. 64, 16521665.
Alexander, M. J. & Pfister, L. 1995 Gravity wave momentum flux in the lower stratosphere over convection. Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 20292032.
Ansong, J. K., Kyba, P. & Sutherland, B. R. 2008 Fountains impinging on a density interface. J. Fluid Mech. 595, 115139.
Balachandran, N. K. 1980 Gravity waves from thunderstorms. Monthly Weather Rev. 108, 804816.
Bloomfield, L. J. & Kerr, R. C. 1998 Turbulent fountains in a stratified fluid. J. Fluid Mech. 358, 335356.
Bloomfield, L. J. & Kerr, R. C. 2000 A theoretical model of a turbulent fountain. J. Fluid Mech. 424, 197216.
Cerasoli, C. P. 1978 Experiments on buoyant-parcel motion and the generation of internal gravity waves. J. Fluid Mech. 86, 247271.
Chen, J. C. 1980 Studies on gravitational spreading currents. PhD thesis, California Institute of Technology.
Chen, J. C. & Rodi, W. 1980 Turbulent Buoyant Jets: A Review of Experimental Data. Pergamon.
Clark, T. L., Hauf, T. & Kuettner, J. P. 1986 Convectively forced internal gravity waves: results from two-dimensional numerical experiments. Quart. J. R. Meteor. Soc. 112, 899925.
Curry, M. J. & Murty, R. C. 1974 Thunderstorm-generated gravity waves. J. Atmos. Sci. 31, 14021408.
Decamp, S., Kozack, C. & Sutherland, B. R. 2008 Three-dimensional schlieren measurements using inverse tomography. Expts. Fluids 44 (5), 747758.
Dewan, E. M. & Coauthors 1998 MSX satellite observations of thunderstorm-generated gravity waves in mid-wave infrared images of the upper stratosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 939946.
Didden, N. & Maxworthy, T. 1982 The viscous spreading of plane and axisymmetric gravity currents. J. Fluid Mech. 121, 2742.
Dohan, K. & Sutherland, B. R. 2003 Internal waves generated from a turbulent mixed region. Phys. Fluids 15, 488498.
Dohan, K. & Sutherland, B. R. 2005 Numerical and laboratory generation of internal waves from turbulence. Dyn. Atmos. Oceans 40, 4356.
Dunkerton, T. 1997 The role of gravity waves in the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Geophys. Res. 102, 2605326076.
Fischer, H. B., List, E. J., Imberger, J. S. & Brooks, N. H. 1979 Mixing in Inland and Coastal Waters. Academic Press.
Flynn, M. R., Onu, K. & Sutherland, B. R. 2003 Internal wave excitation by a vertically oscillating sphere. J. Fluid Mech. 494, 6593.
Fovell, R., Durran, D. & Holton, J. R. 1992 Numerical simulations of convectively generated stratospheric gravity waves. J. Atmos. Sci. 49, 14271442.
Fritts, D. C. & Alexander, M. J. 2003 Gravity wave dynamics and effects in the middle atmosphere. Rev. Geophys. 41 (1), 3.13.64.
Fritts, D. C. & Nastrom, G. D. 1992 Sources of mesoscale variability of gravity waves. II. Frontal, convective, and jet stream excitation. J. Atmos. Sci. 49, 111127.
Gedzelman, S. D. 1983 Short-period atmospheric gravity waves. Monthly Weather Rev. 111 (6), 12931299.
Grachev, A. I., Danilov, S. D., Kulichkov, S. N. & Svertilov, A. I. 1995 Main characteristics of internal gravity waves from convective storms in the lower troposphere. Atmos. Oceanic Phys. 30 (6), 725733.
Holton, J. R. & Lindzen, R. S. 1972 An updated theory for the quasi-biennial cycle of the tropical stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. 29, 10761080.
Ivey, G. N. & Blake, S. 1985 Axisymmetric withdrawal and inflow in a density-stratified container. J. Fluid Mech. 161, 115137.
Karoly, D. J., Roff, G. L. & Reeder, M. J. 1996 Gravity wave activity associated with tropical convection detected in TOGA COARE sounding data. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23 (3), 261264.
Kaye, N. B. 2008 Turbulent plumes in stratified environments: a review of recent work. Atmos. Ocean 46 (4), 433441.
Kotsovinos, N. E. 2000 Axisymmetric submerged intrusion in stratified fluid. J. Hydraulic Engng, ASCE 126, 446456.
Kumar, K. K. 2007 VHF radar investigations on the role of mechanical oscillator effect in exciting convectively generated gravity waves. Geophys. Res. Lett. L01803, doi:10.1029/2006GL027404, 34.
Lane, T. P. 2008 The vortical response to penetrative convection and the associated gravity-wave generation. Atmos. Sci. Let. 9, 103110.
Lane, T. P., Reeder, M. J. & Clark, T. L. 2001 Numerical modelling of gravity wave generation by deep tropical convection. J. Atmos. Sci. 58, 12491274.
Lane, T. P. & Sharman, R. D. 2006 Gravity wave breaking, secondary wave generation, and mixing above deep convection in a three-dimensional cloud model. Geophys. Res. Lett. L23813, doi:10.1029/2006GL027988, 33.
Larsen, M. F., Swartz, W. E. & Woodman, R. F. 1982 Gravity–wave generation by thunderstorms observed with a vertically-pointing 430 MHz radar. Geophys. Res. Lett. 9 (5), 571574.
Lee, J. H. W. & Chu, V. H. 2003 Turbulent Buoyant Jets and Plumes: A Langrangian Approach. Kluwer.
Lemkert, C. J. & Imberger, J. 1993 Axisymmetric intrusive gravity currents in linearly stratified fluids. J. Hydraulic Engng, ASCE 119 (6), 662679.
Lindzen, R. S. & Holton, J. R. 1968 A theory of the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci. 25, 10951107.
List, E. J. 1982 Mechanics of turbulent buoyant jets and plumes. In Turbulent Buoyant Jets and Plumes. (ed. Rodi, W.), 168. Pergamon.
Lister, J. R. & Kerr, R. C. 1989 The propagation of two-dimensional and axisymmetric gravity currents at a fluid interface. J. Fluid Mech. 203, 215249.
Lu, D., VanZandt, T. E. & Clark, W. L. 1984 VHF Doppler radar observations of buoyancy waves associated with thunderstorms. J. Atmos. Sci. 41 (2), 272282.
McDougall, T. J. 1981 Negatively buoyant vertical jets. Tellus 33, 313320.
McLandress, C. 1998 On the importance of gravity waves in the middle atmosphere and their parameterization in the general circulation models. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 60, 13571383.
McLaren, T. I., Pierce, A. D., Fohl, T. & Murphy, B. L. 1973 An investigation of internal gravity waves generated by a buoyantly rising fluid in a stratified medium. J. Fluid Mech. 57, 229241.
MEDOC Group 1970 Observations of formation of deep water in the Mediterranean. Nature 277, 10371040.
Michaelian, M. E., Maxworthy, T. & Redekopp, L. G. 2002 The coupling between turbulent, penetrative convection and internal waves. Euro. J. Mech. B. Fluids 21, 128.
Morton, B. R. 1959 Forced plumes. J. Fluid Mech. 5, 151163.
Morton, B. R. 1971 The choice of conservation equations for plume models. J. Geophys. Res. 76 (30), 74097416.
Morton, B. R., Taylor, G. & Turner, J. S. 1956 Turbulent gravitational convection from maintained and instantaneous sources. Proc. R. Soc. A 234, 123.
Moustaoui, M., Joseph, B. & Teitelbaum, H. 2004 Mixing layer formation near the tropopause due to gravity wave–critical level interactions in a cloud-resolving model. J. Atmos. Sci. 61 (24), 31123124.
Mowbray, D. E. & Rarity, B. S. H. 1967 A theoretical and experimental investigation of the phase configuration of internal waves of small amplitude in a density stratified liquid. J. Fluid Mech. 28, 116.
Onu, K., Flynn, M. R. & Sutherland, B. R. 2003 Schlieren measurement of axisymmetric internal wave amplitudes. Expts. Fluids 35, 2431.
Oster, G. 1965 Density gradients. Sci. Am. 213, 70.
Paluszkiewcz, T. & Garwood, R. W. 1994 Deep convective plumes in the ocean. Oceanography 7, 3744.
Pandya, R. E. & Alexander, M. J. 1999 Linear stratospheric gravity waves above convective thermal forcing. J. Atmos. Sci. 56, 24342446.
Papanicolaou, P. N. & List, E. J. 1988 Investigations of round vertical turbulent buoyant jets. J. Fluid Mech. 195, 341391.
Pfister, L., Chan, K. R., Bui, T. P., Bowen, S., Legg, M., Gary, B., Kelly, K., Proffitt, M. & Starr, W. 1993 a Gravity waves generated by a tropical cyclone during the step tropical field program: a case study. J. Geophys. Res. 98 (D5), 86118638.
Pfister, L., Scott, S. & Loewenstein, M. 1993 b Mesoscale disturbances in the tropical stratosphere excited by convection: observations and effects on the stratospheric momentum budget. J. Atmos. Sci. 50 (8), 10581075.
Pierce, A. D. & Coroniti, S. C. 1966 A mechanism for the generation of acoustic-gravity waves during thunderstorm formation. Nature 210, 12091210.
Priestley, C. H. B. & Ball, F. K. 1955 Continuous convection from an isolated source of heat. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 81 (384), 144156.
Schott, F., Visbeck, M. & Fischer, J. 1993 Observations of vertical currents and convection in the Central Greenland Sea during the winter of 1988/89. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 1440114421.
Send, U. & Marshall, J. 1995 Integral effects of deep convection. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 25, 855872.
Song, I.-S., Chun, H.-Y. & Lane, T. P. 2003 Generation mechanisms of convectively forced internal gravity waves and their propagation to the stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. 60, 19601980.
Stull, R. B. 1976 Internal gravity waves generated by penetrative convection. J. Atmos. Sci. 33, 12791286.
Sutherland, B. R., Dalziel, S. B., Hughes, G. O. & Linden, P. F. 1999 Visualization and measurement of internal waves by ‘synthetic schlieren’. Part 1. Vertically oscillating cylinder. J. Fluid Mech. 390, 93126.
Sutherland, B. R., Flynn, M. R. & Dohan, K. 2004 Internal wave excitation from a collapsing mixed region. Deep Sea Res. II 51, 28892904.
Sutherland, B. R. & Linden, P. F. 2002 Internal wave excitation by a vertically oscillating elliptical cylinder. Phys. Fluids 14, 721731.
Townsend, A. A. 1964 Natural convection in water over an ice surface. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 90, 248259.
Townsend, A. A. 1965 Excitation of internal waves by a turbulent boundary layer. J. Fluid Mech. 22, 241252.
Townsend, A. A. 1966 Internal waves produced by a convective layer. J. Fluid Mech. 24, 307319.
Tsuda, T., Murayama, Y., Wiryosumarto, H., Harijono, S. W. B. & Kato, S. 1994 Radiosonde observations of equatorial atmosphere dynamics over Indonesia. 2. Characteristics of gravity waves. J. Geophys. Res. 99 (D5), 1050710516.
Turner, J. S. 1966 Jets and plumes with negative or reversing buoyancy. J. Fluid Mech. 26, 779792.
Turner, J. S. 1972 On the energy deficiency in self-preserving convective flows. J. Fluid Mech. 53, 217226.
Turner, J. S. 1973 Buoyancy Effects in Fluids. Cambridge University Press.
Vincent, R. A. & Alexander, M. J. 2000 Gravity waves in the tropical lower stratosphere: an observational study of seasonal and interannual variability. J. Geophys. Res. 105 (D14), 1797117982.
Wang, P. K. 2004 A cloud model interpretation of jumping cirrus above storm top. Geophys. Res. Lett. L18106, doi:10.1029/2004GL020787, 31.
Zatsepin, A. G. & Shapiro, G. I. 1982 A study of axisymmetric intrusions in a stratified fluid. Izvestiya, Atmos. Ocean Phys. 18, 7780.
MathJax
MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for mathematics. For more information see http://www.mathjax.org.

Internal gravity waves generated by convective plumes

  • JOSEPH K. ANSONG (a1) and BRUCE R. SUTHERLAND (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed