12th Conference on Middle Atmosphere

Tuesday, 5 November 2002: 4:35 PM
Turbulence at the tropopause due to breaking Kelvin waves observed by the Equatorial Atmosphere Radar
Masatomo Fujiwara, Radio Science Center for Space and Atmosphere, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; and M. K. Yamamoto, H. Hashiguchi, T. Horinouchi, and S. Fukao
The role of equatorial Kelvin waves in the tropical stratosphere-troposphere exchange has been recently discussed on the basis of observations (Fujiwara et al., 1998, 2001) and a numerical experiment (Fujiwara and Takahashi, 2001). These studies suggested the turbulence generation by breaking Kelvin waves and its role in transporting stratospheric ozone into the upper troposphere, but there had been no direct turbulence observation. The Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR) is a clear-air Doppler radar installed at Kototabang (0.20S, 100.32E), West Sumatra, Indonesia, and has been operated since the end of June 2001. In November 2001, the EAR observed significant enhancement of turbulence in the tropopause region, 15-17 km, intermittently for about 4 days. The strength of turbulence was estimated with the spectral width of the radar echo power spectrum, and the turbulence during the period was a factor of about 5 larger in kinetic energy than that in other periods. Further analyses confirm that the enhanced turbulence was convectively generated in the breaking phase of an equatorial Kelvin wave. Between July and December 2001, we observed three prominent cases in which breaking Kelvin waves caused the enhancement of turbulence in the tropopause region. The results show a great potential of the EAR in studying the tropical tropopause region over the Indonesian maritime continent where active stratosphere-troposphere exchange has been postulated.

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