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Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 923932, 2004 www.atmos-chem-phys.org/acp/4/923/

Summary: Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 923­932, 2004
SRef-ID: 1680-7324/acp/2004-4-923
and Physics
On the spectrum of vertically propagating gravity waves generated
by a transient heat source
M. J. Alexander1 and J. R. Holton2
1Colorado Research Associates Division, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Boulder, CO, USA
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Received: 13 October 2003 ­ Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 12 February 2004
Revised: ­ Accepted: 15 June 2004 ­ Published: 23 June 2004
Abstract. It is commonly believed that cumulus convection
preferentially generates gravity waves with tropospheric ver-
tical wavelengths approximately twice the depth of the con-
vective heating. Individual cumulonimbus, however, act as
short term transient heat sources (duration 10 to 30 min).
Gravity waves generated by such sources have broad fre-
quency spectra and a wide range of vertical scales. The high-


Source: Alexander, M. Joan - Colorado Research Associates Division, Northwest Research Associates, Inc.
Ecole Polytechnique, Centre de mathématiques


Collections: Geosciences; Mathematics