On mountain wave drag over complex terrain

Peter R. Bannon, J. A. Yuhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mountain wave drag is calculated for rotating, stratified, nonhydrostatic Boussinesq flow over a mountain ridge using linear theory for a variety of mountain profiles representing complex/irregular terrain. The inclusion of a sinusoidal corrugation to the familiar witch-of-Agnesi profile creates a "stegosaurus" profile. The associated drag is greatly enhanced for mesoscale mountains when the corrugation wave-number matches that for the dominant inertia-gravity wave contribution to the cross-mountain surface pressure gradient. Similarly, increasing the jaggedness (by decreasing the exponent b) increases the drag for mesoscale mountains whose topographic spectral intensity, M(k), has the form of a power law:M(k)=mk-b where k is the zonal wavenumber. Spectral analysis of one-kilometer resolution topographic data for the Appalachian Mountains suggests that a power law profile with b=1.7 accurately represents the topographic spectral intensity and that it yields good estimates of the drag. The application of these results to the parameterization of mountain wave drag in general circulation models is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalMeteorology and Atmospheric Physics
Volume43
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1990

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complex terrain
drag
mountain
power law
surface pressure
pressure gradient
inertia
gravity wave
spectral analysis
general circulation model
parameterization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Bannon, Peter R. ; Yuhas, J. A. / On mountain wave drag over complex terrain. In: Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics. 1990 ; Vol. 43, No. 1-4. pp. 155-162.
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On mountain wave drag over complex terrain. / Bannon, Peter R.; Yuhas, J. A.

In: Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Vol. 43, No. 1-4, 01.03.1990, p. 155-162.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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