Articles | Volume 25, issue 12
02 Jan 2007
 | 02 Jan 2007

Latitudinal and seasonal variability of gravity-wave energy in the South-West Indian Ocean

F. Chane-Ming, D. Faduilhe, and J. Leveau

Abstract. Vertical temperature profiles obtained by radiosonde and Raman lidar measurements are used to investigate a climatology of total energy density of gravity waves (GW) in the Upper Troposphere (UT) and the Lower Stratosphere (LS) from 1992 to 2004 above Mahé (4° S, 55° E), Tromelin (15° S, 54° E) and La Réunion (21° S, 55° E) located in the tropical South-West Indian Ocean. The commonly used spectral index value (p≈5/3) of the intrinsic frequency spectrum is used for calculating estimated total energy density in the UT and LS. Estimated total energy density provides good estimation of total energy density in the LS but underestimates total energy density by one half in the UT above Mahé and Tromelin probably due to the activity of near-inertial frequency waves. Estimated total energy density reveals a strong seasonal variability as a function of latitude and convection as an evident active source of GW activity in the LS in austral summer. Above La Réunion, a semi-annual GW activity is observed in the LS with the signature of the subtropical barrier in the UT. Moreover, radiosondes and Raman lidar provide consistent GW surveys in the UT/LS at heights<23 km above La Réunion.