Articles | Volume 18, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 18, 750–765, 2000

Special issue: Lance Thomas

Ann. Geophys., 18, 750–765, 2000

  31 Jul 2000

31 Jul 2000

ST radar observations of atmospheric waves over mountainous areas: a review

J. Röttger J. Röttger
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
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Abstract. Lee and mountain waves are dominant dynamic processes in the atmosphere above mountain areas. ST VHF radars had been intensively used to investigate these wave processes. These studies are summarized in this work. After discussing features of long-period quasi-stationary lee waves, attention is drawn to the frequent occurrence of freely propagating waves of shorter periods, which seem to be more common and characteristic for wave processes generated over mountainous areas. Characteristics of these waves such as their relation to the topography and background winds, the possibility of trapping by and breaking in the tropopause region and their propagation into the stratosphere is investigated. These orographically produced waves transport energy and momentum into the troposphere and stratosphere, which is considered an important contribution to the kinetic energy of the lower atmosphere. The occurrence of inertia-gravity waves in the stratosphere had been confused with lee waves, which is discussed in conclusion. Finally further questions on mountain and lee waves are drawn up, which remain to be solved and where investigations with ST radars could play a fundamental role.

Key words: Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (Middle atmosphere dynamics; Waves and tides; Instruments and techniques)

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