Articles | Volume 5, issue 7
Research article
17 Jul 2012
Research article |  | 17 Jul 2012

Consistency between Fourier transform and small-volume few-wave decomposition for spectral and spatial variability of gravity waves above a typhoon

C. I. Lehmann, Y.-H. Kim, P. Preusse, H.-Y. Chun, M. Ern, and S.-Y. Kim

Abstract. Convective gravity wave (GW) sources are spatially localized and emit at the same time waves with a wide spectrum of phase speeds. Any wave analysis therefore compromises between spectral and spatial resolution. Future satellite borne limb imagers will for a first time provide real 3-D volumes of observations. These volumes will be however limited which will impose further constraints on the analysis technique. In this study a three dimensional few-wave approach fitting sinusoidal waves to limited 3-D volumes is introduced. The method is applied to simulated GWs above typhoon Ewiniar and GW momentum flux is estimated from temperature fluctuations. Phase speed spectra as well as average profiles of positive, negative and net momentum fluxes are compared to momentum flux estimated by Fourier transform as well as spatial averaging of wind fluctuations. The results agree within 10–20%. The few-wave method can also reveal the spatial orientation of the GWs with respect to the source. The relevance of the results for different types of measurements as well as its applicability to model data is discussed.