Solitary Waves in the Atmosphere.
Interim rept. for period ending 30 Jun 76,
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIV CANBERRA RESEARCH SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES
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This report presents a description and interpretation of an unusual type of isolated atmospheric gravity wave observed near Tennant Creek in central Australia. Comparison of experimental data with theory shows that waves of this type belong to a new class of deep fluid internal solitary wave discovered by Benjamin and by Davis and Acrivos. An interesting feature of these solitary waves is that they mark the onset of significant atmoshperic turbulence. It is proposed that the following source mechanisms play an important role in the creation of solitary atmospheric waves in the arid interior of Australia 1 the impulsive interaction of an intense thunderstorm downdraft or downdraft generated gravity current with an inversion 2 the interaction of nocturnal katabatic flow with an existing radiation inversion and 3 the interaction of stationary gravity lee waves or standing eddies with a developing nocturnal inversion following a reversal in the the circulation over an orographic feature. Author