EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Wave-induced constituent transport in the middle and upper atmosphere

Maria Vittoria Guarino1, Wuhu Feng2, Chester Gardner3, Daniel Marsh1, and John Plane1
Maria Vittoria Guarino et al.
  • 1University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom (
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 3University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Atmospheric gravity waves generated in the troposphere by a number of sources (convection, frontogenesis, orography etc.) can travel great vertical distances, propagating upwards to 80 - 120km where they influence the chemical and dynamical structure of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT).

Current chemistry-climate models represent gravity waves, and their impact on the temperature and the chemical composition of the atmosphere, by means of parameterizations that take into account the turbulence and the mixing caused by breaking waves but largely neglect the dynamical and chemical constituent transport by vertically propagating non-breaking waves.

We present initial results from the WAVECHASM (Wave-Induced Transport of Chemically Active Species in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere) project. By making use of a recent novel theoretical approach, where the effective wave diffusivity is expressed as a function of the eddy diffusivity and of the variances of the temperature perturbation and lapse rate fluctuations, the WAVECHASM project aims to incorporate the missing transport processes into global atmospheric chemistry models. We will show here that it is possible to modify the current gravity wave drag parameterization of NCAR’s Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to explicitly account for the wave-driven vertical mixing associated with non-breaking gravity waves. This additional source of vertical mixing is expected to induce significant constituent transport in the upper atmosphere.

How to cite: Guarino, M. V., Feng, W., Gardner, C., Marsh, D., and Plane, J.: Wave-induced constituent transport in the middle and upper atmosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9679,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.