Evidence at Mesospheric Altitude of Deeply Propagating Atmospheric Gravity Waves Created by Orographic Forcing over the Auckland Islands (50.5ºS) During the Deepwave Project

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 3:25 PM
Pierre-Dominique Pautet1, Jun Ma2, Michael J Taylor1, Katrina Bossert3, James D Doyle4, Stephen D Eckermann5, Bifford Preston Williams6 and David C Fritts6, (1)Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States, (2)Computational Physics Inc. Springfield, Springfield, VA, United States, (3)University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)NRL, Monterey, CA, United States, (5)Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States, (6)GATS Inc., Boulder, CO, United States
The DEEPWAVE project recently took place in New Zealand during the months of June and July 2014. This international program focused on investigating the generation and deep propagation of atmospheric gravity waves. A series of instruments was operated at several ground-based locations and on-board the NSF Gulfstream V aircraft. 26 research flights were performed to explore possible wave sources and their effects on the middle and upper atmosphere.

On July 14th, a research flight was conducted over the Auckland Islands, a small sub Antarctic archipelago located ~450km south of New Zealand. Moderate southwesterly tropospheric wind (~25m/s) was blowing over the rugged topography of the islands, generating mountain wave signature at the flight altitude. Spectacular small-scale gravity waves were simultaneously observed at the mesopause level using the USU Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (AMTM). Their similarity with the model-predicted waves was striking. This presentation will describe this remarkable case of deep wave propagation and compare the measurements obtained with the instruments on-board the aircraft with forecasting and wave propagation models.