12.3 Resonant Instability in Steady Mountain Waves: Variable Background States

Thursday, 23 August 2012: 9:00 AM
Priest Creek C (The Steamboat Grand)
Kevin C. Viner, NRL, Monterey, CA; and C. C. Epifanio and J. D. Doyle

A Newton solver has been developed for both finding steady nonlinear mountain-wave solutions in a general 2D background flow and examining the stability of those solutions. Previous results for uniform flow over a Gaussian ridge showed resonant wave-wave instability at subcritical mountain heights, and showed that the instability strengthens with increasing nonhydrostatic effects. The focus here is on wave-wave instability for more realistic background conditions. Instability strength and spatial characteristics are examined given various profiles of shear and static stability. The hypothesis is tested that backsheared environments and sharp static stability gradients near the mountain crest all serve to widen the spectrum of possible nonlinear interactions. This widened spectrum results in increased growth rates for the instability, relative to cases with constant background states.
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