A low-order model for long-range infrasound propagation in random atmospheric waveguides

Friday, 19 December 2014
Christophe Millet, CEA Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique DAM, Arpajon Cedex, France and Francois Lott, Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique - LMD, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France
In numerical modeling of long-range infrasound propagation in the atmosphere, the wind and temperature profiles are usually obtained as a result of matching atmospheric models to empirical data. The atmospheric models are classically obtained from operational numerical weather prediction centers (NOAA Global Forecast System or ECMWF Integrated Forecast system) as well as atmospheric climate reanalysis activities and thus, do not explicitly resolve atmospheric gravity waves (GWs). The GWs are generally too small to be represented in Global Circulation Models, and their effects on the resolved scales need to be parameterized in order to account for fine-scale atmospheric inhomogeneities (for length scales less than 100 km). In the present approach, the sound speed profiles are considered as random functions, obtained by superimposing a stochastic GW field on the ECMWF reanalysis ERA-Interim. The spectral domain is binned by a large number of monochromatic GWs, and the breaking of each GW is treated independently from the others. The wave equation is solved using a reduced-order model, starting from the classical normal mode technique. We focus on the asymptotic behavior of the transmitted waves in the weakly heterogeneous regime (for which the coupling between the wave and the medium is weak), with a fixed number of propagating modes that can be obtained by rearranging the eigenvalues by decreasing Sobol indices. The most important feature of the stochastic approach lies in the fact that the model order (i.e. the number of relevant eigenvalues) can be computed to satisfy a given statistical accuracy whatever the frequency. As the low-order model preserves the overall structure of waveforms under sufficiently small perturbations of the profile, it can be applied to sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification. The gain in CPU cost provided by the low-order model is essential for extracting statistical information from simulations. The statistics of a transmitted broadband pulse are computed by decomposing the original pulse into a sum of modal pulses that propagate with different phase speeds and can be described by a front pulse stabilization theory. The method is illustrated on two large-scale infrasound calibration experiments, that were conducted at the Sayarim Military Range, Israel, in 2009 and 2011.