Simulation of non-hydrostatic gravity wave propagation in the upper atmosphere
Abstract. The high-frequency and small horizontal scale gravity waves may be reflected and ducted in non-hydrostatic simulations, but usually propagate vertically in hydrostatic models. To examine gravity wave propagation, a preliminary study has been conducted with a global ionosphere–thermosphere model (GITM), which is a non-hydrostatic general circulation model for the upper atmosphere. GITM has been run regionally with a horizontal resolution of 0.2° long × 0.2° lat to resolve the gravity wave with wavelength of 250 km. A cosine wave oscillation with amplitude of 30 m s−1 has been applied to the zonal wind at the low boundary, and both high-frequency and low-frequency waves have been tested. In the high-frequency case, the gravity wave stays below 200 km, which indicates that the wave is reflected or ducted in propagation. The results are consistent with the theoretical analysis from the dispersion relationship when the wavelength is larger than the cutoff wavelength for the non-hydrostatic situation. However, the low-frequency wave propagates to the high altitudes during the whole simulation period, and the amplitude increases with height. This study shows that the non-hydrostatic model successfully reproduces the high-frequency gravity wave dissipation.