This paper presents a three-dimensional small-perturbation approach to the problem of waves produced in a statically stable stratified air stream flowing over a mountain. The fundamental solution for a doublet disturbance in an air stream in which the parameter l2 = gβ/V2 is constant is calculated, and then is extended to that for a disturbance due to a circular mountain in the same air stream. A simple approximation to the known two-dimensional flow over an infinite ridge is also given. The second (’upper’) boundary condition for the solutions is determined in a rigorous analytical manner, assuming the presence of small friction forces, or, alternatively, of time dependence. It is hoped that this will settle the controversy which exists over the choice of this condition.
The results show that the behaviour due to a doublet is peculiar and not truly representative of that due to a mountain. The latter shows waves which decay down-stream and are contained in a strip, the width of the strip being determined by the radius of the mountain. An interesting result is that the circular mountain can give rise to waves which have greater amplitude than those produced by the infinite ridge under the same conditions.
In some previous papers the waves produced by the infinite ridge have been neglected, but the present paper shows that in many cases this procedure is not justifiable. The detailed solution for the waves behind a circular mountain has a form which emphasizes the importance for lee-wave production of ’resonance’ between the width of the mountain and the characteristic length l-1 of the air stream.