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Atmosphere 2015, 6(9), 1271-1289; doi:10.3390/atmos6091271

Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, ISAC-CNR, strada. prov. Lecce-Monteroni km 1.2, Lecce 73100, Italy
Department of Basic Sciences (DiSBeF), Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo", Scientific Campus "Sogesta", Urbino 61029, Italy
CINFAI (National Inter-University Consortium for Physics of the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere), Tolentino, 62029, Italy
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708, USA,
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniele Contini and Robert W. Talbot
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
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While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of gravity waves because of persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavelike motion have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The nature and characteristic of the dominant wavy motions are investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. Moreover, a multi-resolution decomposition has been applied to separate gravity waves from turbulent fluctuations in case of a sufficiently defined spectral gap. Statistics computed after removing wavy disturbances highlight the large impact of gravity waves on second order turbulent quantities including turbulent flux calculations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Antarctica; gravity waves; multiresolution decomposition; stable boundary layer; turbulent fluxes Antarctica; gravity waves; multiresolution decomposition; stable boundary layer; turbulent fluxes

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cava, D.; Giostra, U.; Katul, G. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 1271-1289.

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