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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-327
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-327
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Apr 2020

27 Apr 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Superposition of gravity waves with different propagation characteristics observed by airborne and space-borne infrared sounders

Isabell Krisch1,a, Manfred Ern1, Lars Hoffmann2, Peter Preusse1, Cornelia Strube1, Jörn Ungermann1,3, Wolfgang Woiwode4, and Martin Riese1 Isabell Krisch et al.
  • 1Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy- and Climate Research, Stratosphere (IEK-7), Jülich, Germany
  • 2Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Jülich, Germany
  • 3Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA), Jülich, Germany
  • 4Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Trace Gases and RemoteSensing (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • anow at: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. A complex gravity wave structure consisting of a superposition of multiple wave packets was observed above southern Scandinavia on 28 January 2016 with the Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere (GLORIA). The tomographic measurement capability of GLORIA enabled a detailed 3-D reconstruction of the gravity wave field and the identification of multiple wave packets with different horizontal and vertical scales. The larger-scale gravity waves with horizontal wavelengths 5 around 400 km could be characterised using a 3-D wave-decomposition method. For the characterization of the smaller-scale wave components with horizontal wavelengths below 200 km, the 3-D wave-decomposition method needs to be further improved in the future.

For the larger-scale gravity wave components, a combination of gravity-wave ray-tracing calculations and ERA5 reanalysis fields identified orography as well as a jet-exit region and a low pressure system as possible sources. All gravity waves propagate 10 upward into the middle stratosphere, but only the orographic waves stay directly above their source. The comparison with ERA5 also shows that ray-tracing provides reasonable results even for such complex cases with multiple overlapping wave packets. AIRS measurements in the middle stratosphere support these findings, even though their coarse vertical resolution barely resolves the observed wave structure in this case study. The high-resolution GLORIA observations are therefore an important source of information on gravity wave characteristics in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere region.

Isabell Krisch et al.

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Isabell Krisch et al.

Isabell Krisch et al.

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Latest update: 23 Sep 2020
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Short summary
In 2016, a scientific research flight above Scandinavia acquired various atmospheric data (temperature, gas composition, ...). Through advanced 3-D reconstruction methods, a superposition of multiple gravity waves was identified. An in-depth analysis enabled the characterisation of these waves as well as the identification of their sources. This work will enable a better understanding of atmosphere dynamics and could lead to improved climate projections.
In 2016, a scientific research flight above Scandinavia acquired various atmospheric data...
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