ARL News

Gravity Wave Text Published


October 28, 2003

The classical view of a quiescent nocturnal boundary layer has been modified extensively in recent years, as the role of turbulent intermittency has been repeatedly revealed by field studies. Several years ago, ARL initiated a research program to address the issue, anticipating a future need to take such matters into account in the pollution dispersion and air quality forecasting models that were then under development. Now, several years later, the research community assembled under ARL leadership has concluded that some relatively straightforward approaches can be adopted to account for some specific causes of this nocturnal intermittency – in particular, the breaking of gravity waves spawned by terrain relief.

ARL efforts to address this matter originated as early as the 1960s, with the detection of gravity waves in the lower atmosphere by radar. Now, a text book addressing the issue has been published.

“An Introduction to Atmospheric Gravity Waves” by Carmen J. Nappo (of the ARL Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, in Oak Ridge, TN).

This text has been published as Volume 85 of the International Geophysics Series of the Academic Press.

Discussions with modelers at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction have been initiated. It is expected that terrain- driven nocturnal intermittency will be a topic of some interest as the next generations of dispersion and air quality forecasting models evolve.

Contact information: Carmen J. Nappo
Phone: (865) 576-1252