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  1. Abstract

    A gravity wave (GW) model that includes influences of temperature variations and large‐scale advection on polar mesospheric cloud (PMC) brightness having variable dependence on particle radius is developed. This Complex Geometry Compressible Atmosphere Model for PMCs (CGCAM‐PMC) is described and applied here for three‐dimensional (3‐D) GW packets undergoing self‐acceleration (SA) dynamics, breaking, momentum deposition, and secondary GW (SGW) generation below and at PMC altitudes. Results reveal that GW packets exhibiting strong SA and instability dynamics can induce significant PMC advection and large‐scale transport, and cause partial or total PMC sublimation. Responses modeled include PMC signatures of GW propagation and SA dynamics, “voids” having diameters of ∼500–1,200 km, and “fronts” with horizontal extents of ∼400–800 km. A number of these features closely resemble PMC imaging by the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) instrument aboard the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite. Specifically, initial CGCAM‐PMC results closely approximate various CIPS images of large voids surrounded by smaller void(s) for which dynamical explanations have not been offered to date. In these cases, the GW and instabilities dynamics of the initial GW packet are responsible for formation of the large void. The smaller void(s) at the trailing edge of a large void is (are) linked to the lower‐ or higher‐altitude SGW generation and primary mean‐flow forcing. We expect an important benefit of such modeling to be the ability to infer local forcing of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) over significant depths when CGCAM‐PMC modeling is able to reasonably replicate PMC responses.

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  2. Abstract

    Dong et al. (2020, employed a new compressible model to examine gravity wave (GW) self‐acceleration dynamics, instabilities, secondary gravity wave (SGW) generation, and mean forcing for GW packets localized in two dimensions (2D). This paper extends the exploration of self‐acceleration dynamics to a GW packet localized in three dimensions (3D) propagating into tidal winds in the mesosphere and thermosphere. As in the 2D packet responses, 3D GW self‐acceleration dynamics are found to be significant and include 3D GW phase distortions, stalled GW vertical propagation, local instabilities, and SGW and acoustic wave generation. Additional 3D responses described here include refraction by tidal winds, localized 3D instabilities, asymmetric SGW propagation, reduced SGW and acoustic wave responses at higher altitudes relative to 2D responses, and forcing of transient, large‐scale, 3D mean responses that may have implications for chemical and microphysical processes operating on longer time scales.

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  3. Abstract

    Results of two‐dimensional and narrow three‐dimensional (2‐D and 2.5‐D) simulations of a gravity wave (GW) packet localized in altitude and along its propagation direction employing a new, versatile compressible model are described. The simulations explore self‐acceleration and instability dynamics in an idealized atmosphere at rest under mean solar conditions in a domain extending to an altitude of 260 km and 1,800 km horizontally without artificial dissipation. High resolution in the central 2.5‐D domain enables the description of 3‐D instability dynamics accounting for breaking, dissipation, and momentum deposition within the GW packet. 2‐D results describe responses to localized self‐acceleration effects, including generation of secondary GWs (SGWs) at larger scales able to propagate to much higher altitudes. 2.5‐D results exhibit instability forms consistent with previous 3‐D simulations of instability dynamics and cause SGW generation and propagation at smaller spatial scales to weaken significantly compared to the 2‐D results. SGW responses at larger scales are driven primarily by GW/mean flow interactions arising at early stages of the self‐acceleration dynamics prior to strong GW instabilities and dissipation. As a result, they exhibit similar responses in both the 2‐D and 2.5‐D simulations and readily propagate to high altitudes at large distances from the initial GW packet. A companion paper examines these dynamics for an initial GW packet localized in three dimensions and evolving in a representative 3‐D tidal wind field.

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  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract A companion paper by Lund et al. (2020) employed a compressible model to describe the evolution of mountain waves arising due to increasing flow with time over the Southern Andes, their breaking, secondary gravity waves and acoustic waves arising from these dynamics, and their local responses. This paper describes the mountain wave, secondary gravity wave, and acoustic wave vertical fluxes of horizontal momentum, and the local and large-scale three-dimensional responses to gravity breaking and wave/mean-flow interactions accompanying this event. Mountain wave and secondary gravity wave momentum fluxes and deposition vary strongly in space and time due to variable large-scale winds and spatially-localized mountain wave and secondary gravity wave responses. Mountain wave instabilities accompanying breaking induce strong, local, largely-zonal forcing. Secondary gravity waves arising from mountain wave breaking also interact strongly with large-scale winds at altitudes above ~80km. Together, these mountain wave and secondary gravity wave interactions reveal systematic gravity-wave/mean-flow interactions having implications for both mean and tidal forcing and feedbacks. Acoustic waves likewise achieve large momentum fluxes, but typically imply significant responses only at much higher altitudes. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract This paper addresses the compressible nonlinear dynamics accompanying increasing mountain wave (MW) forcing over the southern Andes and propagation into the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) under winter conditions. A stretched grid provides very high resolution of the MW dynamics in a large computational domain. A slow increase of cross-mountain winds enables MWs to initially break in the mesosphere and extend to lower and higher altitudes thereafter. MW structure and breaking is strongly modulated by static mean and semidiurnal tide fields exhibiting a critical level at ~114 km for zonal MW propagation. Varying vertical group velocities for different zonal wavelengths λ x yield initial breaking in the lee of the major Andes peaks for λ x ~ 50 km, and extending significantly upstream for larger λ x approaching the critical level at later times. The localized extent of the Andes terrain in latitude leads to “ship wave” responses above the individual peaks at earlier times, and a much larger ship-wave response at 100 km and above as the larger-scale MWs achieve large amplitudes. Other responses above regions of MW breaking include large-scale secondary gravity waves and acoustic waves that achieve very large amplitudes extending well into the thermosphere. MW breaking also causes momentum deposition that yields local decelerations initially, which merge and extend horizontally thereafter and persist throughout the event. Companion papers examine the associated momentum fluxes, mean-flow evolution, gravity wave–tidal interactions, and the MW instability dynamics and sources of secondary gravity waves and acoustic waves. 
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