Katabatically Driven Downslope Windstorm-Type Flows on the Inner Sidewall of Arizona's Barringer Meteorite Crater
Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 13:40
3010 (Moscone West)
The second Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX II) conducted in October 2013 at Arizona's Barringer Meteorite Crater investigated hydraulic-analogue atmospheric flows that cascade into the crater basin over its southwest rim. These intruding downslope windstorm-type flows are produced when the depth of the temperature inversion and accompanying southwesterly downslope flow on the surrounding gently sloping plain exceeds the height of the crater rim. As the southwesterly katabatic flow approaches the crater it decelerates, splits around the crater at elevations below the crater rim, and cascades over the crater rim at upper elevations. The intruding cold katabatic air accelerates down the inner sidewall of the crater, perturbing the prexisting shallow inversion on the crater floor, sometimes creating the atmospheric equivalent of ocean or lake basin seiches. When the cold air intrusions are strong, warm air is brought down into the crater from the upwind atmosphere above the mesoscale inversion, and hydraulic jumps may form on the southwest side of the crater while leaving the rest of the crater atmosphere relatively undisturbed. In this talk, evidence for these flow features will be presented, featuring dual Doppler and time-lapse IR animations of the intruding flows.