Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-897
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
18 Nov 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Case study of wave breaking with high-resolution turbulence measurements with LITOS and WRF simulations
Andreas Schneider1, Johannes Wagner2, Jens Söder1, Michael Gerding1, and Franz-Josef Lübken1 1Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Rostock (IAP), Kühlungsborn, Germany
2German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IPA), Wessling, Germany
Abstract. Measurements of turbulent energy dissipation rates obtained from wind fluctuations observed with the balloon-borne instrument LITOS (Leibniz-Institute Turbulence Observations in the Stratosphere) are combined with simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to study the breakdown of waves into turbulence. Four flights from Kiruna (68° N, 21° E) and from Kühlungsborn (54° N, 12° E) are analysed. Average dissipation rates are in the order of 1 mW kg−1 (~ 0.1 K d−1) with typically higher rates in the stratosphere compared to the troposphere. During two flights energy dissipation rates strongly decreased above the tropopause. One of these cases featured a patch with highly increased dissipation directly below the tropopause collocated with shear generation and wave filtering conditions. The second case showed nearly no turbulence at all above 15 km. For the other two flights, dissipation rates increased continuously across the whole ascent. For all flights, observed energy dissipation rates are related to wave patterns visible in the modelled vertical winds. Particularly, the drop in turbulent fraction for two of the flights mentioned above coincides with a drop in amplitude in the wave patterns visible in WRF. For other flights both dissipation rates and wave amplitudes show continuous distributions with height. This indicates small-scale partial wave breaking.

Citation: Schneider, A., Wagner, J., Söder, J., Gerding, M., and Lübken, F.-J.: Case study of wave breaking with high-resolution turbulence measurements with LITOS and WRF simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-897, in review, 2016.
Andreas Schneider et al.
Andreas Schneider et al.
Andreas Schneider et al.

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Short summary
Wave breaking is studied with a combination of high-resolution turbulence observations with the balloon-borne instrument LITOS and mesoscale simulations with the WRF model. A relation between observed turbulent energy dissipation rates and the occurrence of wave patterns in modelled vertical winds is found. This is interpreted as small-scale partial wave breaking.
Wave breaking is studied with a combination of high-resolution turbulence observations with the...
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