On the nonlinear shaping mechanism for gravity wave spectrum in the atmosphere
Abstract. The nonlinear mechanism of shaping of a high vertical wave number spectral tail in the field of a few discrete internal gravity waves in the atmosphere is studied in this paper. The effects of advection of fluid parcels by interacting gravity waves are taken strictly into account by calculating wave field in Lagrangian variables, and performing a variable transformation from Lagrangian to Eulerian frame. The vertical profiles and vertical wave number spectra of the Eulerian displacement field are obtained for both the case of resonant and non-resonant wave-wave interactions. The evolution of these spectra with growing parameter of nonlinearity of the internal wave field is studied and compared to that of a broad band spectrum of gravity waves with randomly independent amplitudes and phases. The calculated vertical wave number spectra of the vertical displacements or relative temperature fluctuations are found to be consistent with the observed spectra in the middle atmosphere.