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Journal article

Influence of vortex dynamics and atmospheric turbulence on the early evolution of a contrail

Paugam R, Paoli R, Cariolle D...(+3 more)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 10, issue 8 (2010) pp. 3933-3952

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This study describes three-dimensional numerical simulations of the
evolution of an aircraft contrail during the first 30 min following the
emission of exhausts. The wake is modeled as a vortex pair descending in
a stratified atmosphere where turbulent fluctuations are sustained in
the late dissipation regime. The focus of the study is laid on the
interactions between vortex dynamics, atmospheric turbulence and
contrail microphysics, and their role in determining the growth and the
distribution of ice crystals. The atmospheric turbulence is synthesized
using a methodology developed to force anisotropic turbulent
fluctuations. The results show the feasibility of three-dimensional
simulations of the early development of a contrail in supersaturated
conditions before its transition into a contrail-cirrus. %(when
radiative heating and sedimentation are no more negligible). It is shown
that in case of strongly supersaturated and shear-free atmosphere the
optical depth is maintained as the contrail spreads by turbulent
diffusion in the late dissipation regime.

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