Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 17
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Sutherland, Bruce R. Lee, Brace and Ansong, Joseph K. 2012. Light attenuation experiments on double diffusive plumes and fountains. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 24, Issue. 6, p. 066605.

    Ansong, Joseph K. Anderson-Frey, Alexandra and Sutherland, Bruce R. 2011. Turbulent fountains in one- and two-layer crossflows. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 689, p. 254.

    Richards, Tamar S. Aubourg, Quentin and Sutherland, Bruce R. 2014. Radial intrusions from turbulent plumes in uniform stratification. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 036602.

    Rogers, T. M. and MacGregor, K. B. 2011. On the interaction of internal gravity waves with a magnetic field - II. Convective forcing. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 410, Issue. 2, p. 946.

    Munroe, James R. and Sutherland, Bruce R. 2014. Internal wave energy radiated from a turbulent mixed layer. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 26, Issue. 9, p. 096604.

    Ungarish, M. Johnson, C.G. and Hogg, A.J. 2016. Sustained axisymmetric intrusions in a rotating system. European Journal of Mechanics - B/Fluids, Vol. 56, p. 110.

    Holdsworth, Amber M. Décamp, Sabine and Sutherland, Bruce R. 2010. The axisymmetric collapse of a mixed patch and internal wave generation in uniformly stratified fluid. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 22, Issue. 10, p. 106602.

    Randriamampianina, Anthony and Crespo del Arco, Emilia 2015. Inertia–gravity waves in a liquid-filled, differentially heated, rotating annulus. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 782, p. 144.

    Rooney, G. G. and Devenish, B. J. 2014. Plume rise and spread in a linearly stratified environment. Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 108, Issue. 2, p. 168.

    Mathis, S. Alvan, L. Remus, F. Hennebelle, P. and Charbonnel, C. 2013. Internal waves and tides in star-planet systems. EAS Publications Series, Vol. 62, p. 323.

    Sutherland, Bruce Dauxois, Thierry and Peacock, Thomas 2014. Modeling Atmospheric and Oceanic Flows.

    Bouffard, Damien Zdorovennov, Roman E. Zdorovennova, Galina E. Pasche, Natacha Wüest, Alfred and Terzhevik, Arkady Y. 2016. Ice-covered Lake Onega: effects of radiation on convection and internal waves. Hydrobiologia, Vol. 780, Issue. 1, p. 21.

    Bars, Michael Le Lecoanet, Daniel Perrard, Stéphane Ribeiro, Adolfo Rodet, Laetitia Aurnou, Jonathan M and Gal, Patrice Le 2015. Experimental study of internal wave generation by convection in water. Fluid Dynamics Research, Vol. 47, Issue. 4, p. 045502.

    Johnson, Christopher G. Hogg, Andrew J. Huppert, Herbert E. Sparks, R. Stephen J. Phillips, Jeremy C. Slim, Anja C. and Woodhouse, Mark J. 2015. Modelling intrusions through quiescent and moving ambients. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 771, p. 370.

    Rogers, T. M. Lin, D. N. C. McElwaine, J. N. and Lau, H. H. B. 2013. INTERNAL GRAVITY WAVES IN MASSIVE STARS: ANGULAR MOMENTUM TRANSPORT. The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 772, Issue. 1, p. 21.

    Wain, Danielle J. Lilly, Jonathan M. Callaghan, Adrian H. Yashayaev, Igor and Ward, Brian 2015. A breaking internal wave in the surface ocean boundary layer. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 120, Issue. 6, p. 4151.

    Lecoanet, Daniel Le Bars, Michael Burns, Keaton J. Vasil, Geoffrey M. Brown, Benjamin P. Quataert, Eliot and Oishi, Jeffrey S. 2015. Numerical simulations of internal wave generation by convection in water. Physical Review E, Vol. 91, Issue. 6,

  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 648
  • April 2010, pp. 405-434

Internal gravity waves generated by convective plumes

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 07 April 2010

We present experimental results of the generation of internal gravity waves by a turbulent buoyant plume impinging upon the interface between a uniform density layer of fluid and a linearly stratified layer. The wave field is observed and its properties are measured non-intrusively using axisymmetric Schlieren. In particular, we determine the fraction of the energy flux associated with the plume at the neutral buoyancy level that is extracted by the waves. On average, this was found to be approximately 4%. Within the limits of the experimental parameters, the maximum vertical displacement amplitude of waves were found to depend linearly upon the maximum penetration height of the plume beyond the neutral level. The frequency of the waves was found to lie in a narrow range relative to the buoyancy frequency. The results are used to interpret the generation of waves in the atmosphere by convective storms impinging upon the tropopause via the mechanical oscillator effect.

Corresponding author
Email address for correspondence:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. J. Alexander & C. Barnet 2007 Using satellite observations to constrain parameterizations of gravity wave effects for global models. J. Atmos. Sci. 64, 16521665.

M. J. Alexander & L. Pfister 1995 Gravity wave momentum flux in the lower stratosphere over convection. Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 20292032.

N. K. Balachandran 1980 Gravity waves from thunderstorms. Monthly Weather Rev. 108, 804816.

T. L. Clark , T. Hauf & J. P. Kuettner 1986 Convectively forced internal gravity waves: results from two-dimensional numerical experiments. Quart. J. R. Meteor. Soc. 112, 899925.

M. J. Curry & R. C. Murty 1974 Thunderstorm-generated gravity waves. J. Atmos. Sci. 31, 14021408.

S. Decamp , C. Kozack & B. R. Sutherland 2008 Three-dimensional schlieren measurements using inverse tomography. Expts. Fluids 44 (5), 747758.

E. M. Dewan & Coauthors1998 MSX satellite observations of thunderstorm-generated gravity waves in mid-wave infrared images of the upper stratosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 939946.

K. Dohan & B. R. Sutherland 2003 Internal waves generated from a turbulent mixed region. Phys. Fluids 15, 488498.

K. Dohan & B. R. Sutherland 2005 Numerical and laboratory generation of internal waves from turbulence. Dyn. Atmos. Oceans 40, 4356.

T. Dunkerton 1997 The role of gravity waves in the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Geophys. Res. 102, 2605326076.

H. B. Fischer , E. J. List , J. S. Imberger & N. H. Brooks 1979 Mixing in Inland and Coastal Waters. Academic Press.

R. Fovell , D. Durran & J. R. Holton 1992 Numerical simulations of convectively generated stratospheric gravity waves. J. Atmos. Sci. 49, 14271442.

D. C. Fritts & M. J. Alexander 2003 Gravity wave dynamics and effects in the middle atmosphere. Rev. Geophys. 41 (1), 3.13.64.

D. C. Fritts & G. D. Nastrom 1992 Sources of mesoscale variability of gravity waves. II. Frontal, convective, and jet stream excitation. J. Atmos. Sci. 49, 111127.

S. D. Gedzelman 1983 Short-period atmospheric gravity waves. Monthly Weather Rev. 111 (6), 12931299.

J. R. Holton & R. S. Lindzen 1972 An updated theory for the quasi-biennial cycle of the tropical stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. 29, 10761080.

D. J. Karoly , G. L. Roff & M. J. Reeder 1996 Gravity wave activity associated with tropical convection detected in TOGA COARE sounding data. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23 (3), 261264.

N. B. Kaye 2008 Turbulent plumes in stratified environments: a review of recent work. Atmos. Ocean 46 (4), 433441.

N. E. Kotsovinos 2000 Axisymmetric submerged intrusion in stratified fluid. J. Hydraulic Engng, ASCE 126, 446456.

T. P. Lane 2008 The vortical response to penetrative convection and the associated gravity-wave generation. Atmos. Sci. Let. 9, 103110.

T. P. Lane , M. J. Reeder & T. L. Clark 2001 Numerical modelling of gravity wave generation by deep tropical convection. J. Atmos. Sci. 58, 12491274.

M. F. Larsen , W. E. Swartz & R. F. Woodman 1982 Gravity–wave generation by thunderstorms observed with a vertically-pointing 430 MHz radar. Geophys. Res. Lett. 9 (5), 571574.

J. H. W. Lee & V. H. Chu 2003 Turbulent Buoyant Jets and Plumes: A Langrangian Approach. Kluwer.

C. J. Lemkert & J. Imberger 1993 Axisymmetric intrusive gravity currents in linearly stratified fluids. J. Hydraulic Engng, ASCE 119 (6), 662679.

R. S. Lindzen & J. R. Holton 1968 A theory of the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci. 25, 10951107.

E. J. List 1982 Mechanics of turbulent buoyant jets and plumes. In Turbulent Buoyant Jets and Plumes. (ed. W. Rodi ), 168. Pergamon.

D. Lu , T. E. VanZandt & W. L. Clark 1984 VHF Doppler radar observations of buoyancy waves associated with thunderstorms. J. Atmos. Sci. 41 (2), 272282.

T. J. McDougall 1981 Negatively buoyant vertical jets. Tellus 33, 313320.

C. McLandress 1998 On the importance of gravity waves in the middle atmosphere and their parameterization in the general circulation models. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 60, 13571383.

M. E. Michaelian , T. Maxworthy & L. G. Redekopp 2002 The coupling between turbulent, penetrative convection and internal waves. Euro. J. Mech. B. Fluids 21, 128.

B. R. Morton 1971 The choice of conservation equations for plume models. J. Geophys. Res. 76 (30), 74097416.

B. R. Morton , G. Taylor & J. S. Turner 1956 Turbulent gravitational convection from maintained and instantaneous sources. Proc. R. Soc. A 234, 123.

M. Moustaoui , B. Joseph & H. Teitelbaum 2004 Mixing layer formation near the tropopause due to gravity wave–critical level interactions in a cloud-resolving model. J. Atmos. Sci. 61 (24), 31123124.

K. Onu , M. R. Flynn & B. R. Sutherland 2003 Schlieren measurement of axisymmetric internal wave amplitudes. Expts. Fluids 35, 2431.

G. Oster 1965 Density gradients. Sci. Am. 213, 70.

T. Paluszkiewcz & R. W. Garwood 1994 Deep convective plumes in the ocean. Oceanography 7, 3744.

R. E. Pandya & M. J. Alexander 1999 Linear stratospheric gravity waves above convective thermal forcing. J. Atmos. Sci. 56, 24342446.

L. Pfister , K. R. Chan , T. P. Bui , S. Bowen , M. Legg , B. Gary , K. Kelly , M. Proffitt & W. Starr 1993 aGravity waves generated by a tropical cyclone during the step tropical field program: a case study. J. Geophys. Res. 98 (D5), 86118638.

L. Pfister , S. Scott & M. Loewenstein 1993 bMesoscale disturbances in the tropical stratosphere excited by convection: observations and effects on the stratospheric momentum budget. J. Atmos. Sci. 50 (8), 10581075.

A. D. Pierce & S. C. Coroniti 1966 A mechanism for the generation of acoustic-gravity waves during thunderstorm formation. Nature 210, 12091210.

C. H. B. Priestley & F. K. Ball 1955 Continuous convection from an isolated source of heat. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 81 (384), 144156.

F. Schott , M. Visbeck & J. Fischer 1993 Observations of vertical currents and convection in the Central Greenland Sea during the winter of 1988/89. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 1440114421.

U. Send & J. Marshall 1995 Integral effects of deep convection. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 25, 855872.

I.-S. Song , H.-Y. Chun & T. P. Lane 2003 Generation mechanisms of convectively forced internal gravity waves and their propagation to the stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. 60, 19601980.

R. B. Stull 1976 Internal gravity waves generated by penetrative convection. J. Atmos. Sci. 33, 12791286.

B. R. Sutherland , M. R. Flynn & K. Dohan 2004 Internal wave excitation from a collapsing mixed region. Deep Sea Res. II 51, 28892904.

B. R. Sutherland & P. F. Linden 2002 Internal wave excitation by a vertically oscillating elliptical cylinder. Phys. Fluids 14, 721731.

A. A. Townsend 1964 Natural convection in water over an ice surface. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 90, 248259.

T. Tsuda , Y. Murayama , H. Wiryosumarto , S. W. B. Harijono & S. Kato 1994 Radiosonde observations of equatorial atmosphere dynamics over Indonesia. 2. Characteristics of gravity waves. J. Geophys. Res. 99 (D5), 1050710516.

R. A. Vincent & M. J. Alexander 2000 Gravity waves in the tropical lower stratosphere: an observational study of seasonal and interannual variability. J. Geophys. Res. 105 (D14), 1797117982.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *