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Estimates of turbulent diffusivities and energy dissipation rates from satellite measurements of spectra of stratospheric refractivity perturbations

Gavrilov N ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 23 (2013) pp. 12107-12116

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Approaches for estimations of effective turbulent diffusion and
energetic parameters from characteristics of anisotropic and isotropic
spectra of perturbations of atmospheric refractivity, density and
temperature are developed. The approaches are applied to the data
obtained with the GOMOS instrument for measurements of stellar
scintillations on-board the Envisat satellite to estimate turbulent
Thorpe scales, L-T, diffusivities, K, and energy dissipation rates,
epsilon, in the stratosphere. At low latitudes, effective values are L-T
similar to 1-1.1 m, epsilon similar to (1.8-2.4) x 10(-5) Wkg(-1), and K
similar to (1.2-1.6) x 10(-2) m(2) s(-1) at altitudes of 30-45 km in
September-November 2004, depending on different assumed values of
parameters of anisotropic and isotropic spectra. Respective standard
deviations of individual values, including all kinds of variability, are
delta L-T similar to 0.6-0.7 m, delta epsilon similar to (2.3-3.5) x
10(-5) Wkg(-1), and delta K similar to (1.7-2.6) x 10(-2) m(2) s(-1).
These values correspond to high-resolution balloon measurements of
turbulent characteristics in the stratosphere, and to previous satellite
stellar scintillation measurements. Distributions of turbulent
characteristics at altitudes of 30-45 km in low latitudes have maxima at
longitudes corresponding to regions of increased gravity wave
dissipation over locations of stronger convection. Correlations between
parameters of anisotropic and isotropic spectra are evaluated.

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  • N. M. Gavrilov

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