Articles | Volume 32, issue 3
Regular paper
21 Mar 2014
Regular paper |  | 21 Mar 2014

Nonlinear interaction of gravity waves in a nonisothermal and dissipative atmosphere

K. M. Huang, S. D. Zhang, F. Yi, C. M. Huang, Q. Gan, Y. Gong, and Y. H. Zhang

Abstract. Starting from a set of fully nonlinear equations, this paper studies that two initial gravity wave packets interact to produce a third substantial packet in a nonisothermal and dissipative atmosphere. The effects of the inhomogeneous temperature and dissipation on interaction are revealed. Numerical experiments indicate that significant energy exchange occurs through the nonlinear interaction in a nonisothermal and dissipative atmosphere. Because of the variability of wavelengths and frequencies of interacting waves, the interaction in an inhomogeneous temperature field is characterised by the nonresonance. The nonresonant three waves mismatch mainly in the vertical wavelengths, but match in the horizontal wavelengths, and their frequencies also tend to match throughout the interaction. Below 80 km, the influence of atmospheric dissipation on the interaction is rather weak due to small diffusivities. With the further propagation of wave above 80 km, the exponentially increasing atmospheric dissipation leads to the remarkable decay and slowly upward propagation of wave energy. Even so, the dissipation below 110 km is not enough to decrease the vertical wavelength of wave. The dissipation seems neither to prevent the interaction occurrence nor to prolong the period of wave energy exchange, which is different from the theoretical prediction based on the linearised equations. The match relationship and wave energy evolution in numerical experiments are helpful in further investigating interaction of gravity waves in the middle atmosphere based on experimental observations.