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The importance of friction in mountain wave drag amplification by Scorer parameter resonance

Teixeira, M. A. C. ORCID:, Argaín, J. L. and Miranda, P. M. A. (2012) The importance of friction in mountain wave drag amplification by Scorer parameter resonance. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138 (666). pp. 1325-1337. ISSN 1477-870X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/qj.1874


A mechanism for amplification of mountain waves, and their associated drag, by parametric resonance is investigated using linear theory and numerical simulations. This mechanism, which is active when the Scorer parameter oscillates with height, was recently classified by previous authors as intrinsically nonlinear. Here it is shown that, if friction is included in the simplest possible form as a Rayleigh damping, and the solution to the Taylor-Goldstein equation is expanded in a power series of the amplitude of the Scorer parameter oscillation, linear theory can replicate the resonant amplification produced by numerical simulations with some accuracy. The drag is significantly altered by resonance in the vicinity of n/l_0 = 2, where l_0 is the unperturbed value of the Scorer parameter and n is the wave number of its oscillation. Depending on the phase of this oscillation, the drag may be substantially amplified or attenuated relative to its non-resonant value, displaying either single maxima or minima, or double extrema near n/l_0 = 2. Both non-hydrostatic effects and friction tend to reduce the magnitude of the drag extrema. However, in exactly inviscid conditions, the single drag maximum and minimum are suppressed. As in the atmosphere friction is often small but non-zero outside the boundary layer, modelling of the drag amplification mechanism addressed here should be quite sensitive to the type of turbulence closure employed in numerical models, or to computational dissipation in nominally inviscid simulations.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:29232
Uncontrolled Keywords:internal gravity waves;parametric resonance;dissipative processes;linear theory;asymptotic expansion
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society


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