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

by R Paugam, R Paoli, D Cariolle
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()


This study describes three-dimensional numerical simulations of the\nevolution of an aircraft contrail during the first 30 min following the\nemission of exhausts. The wake is modeled as a vortex pair descending in\na stratified atmosphere where turbulent fluctuations are sustained in\nthe late dissipation regime. The focus of the study is laid on the\ninteractions between vortex dynamics, atmospheric turbulence and\ncontrail microphysics, and their role in determining the growth and the\ndistribution of ice crystals. The atmospheric turbulence is synthesized\nusing a methodology developed to force anisotropic turbulent\nfluctuations. The results show the feasibility of three-dimensional\nsimulations of the early development of a contrail in supersaturated\nconditions before its transition into a contrail-cirrus. %(when\nradiative heating and sedimentation are no more negligible). It is shown\nthat in case of strongly supersaturated and shear-free atmosphere the\noptical depth is maintained as the contrail spreads by turbulent\ndiffusion in the late dissipation regime.

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