Thursday, May 10, 2007

gravity wave

In this time-lapse video from Iowa, you can see the movement of a gravity wave.

Gravity waves are generated in the troposphere by frontal systems or by airflow over mountains. At first waves propagate through the atmosphere without affecting its mean velocity. But as the waves reach more rarefied air at higher altitudes, their amplitude increases, and nonlinear effects cause the waves to break, transferring their momentum to the mean flow.
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