EGU24-3904, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Generation of secondary gravity waves in idealized UA-ICON simulations

Christoph Zülicke1, Mozhgan Amiramjadi2, and Sebastian Borchert3
Christoph Zülicke et al.
  • 1IAP Kühlungsborn, Germany (
  • 2KIT Karlsruhe, Germany (
  • 3DWD Offenbach, Germany (

Gravity waves are an important driver of the circulation in the mesosphere / lower thermosphere and connect it to the atmospheric layers below. This vertical coupling is realized in multiple steps – primary waves rise, break and initiate secondary waves, which further rise. We study this process for stationary mountain waves in idealized simulations with the upper-atmosphere extension of the ICON model. The setup is for constant wind and stratification up to 120 km, where a sponge layer begins. In a series of simulations with various winds and mountain sizes, we follow the evolution of mountain waves including their breaking. Particular focus is on the diagnosis of wave-mean flow interaction and the associated generation of secondary gravity waves. In the vertical wavenumber spectra we find three peaks of them, all associated with lower frequency and longer horizontal wavelengths than the primary mountain wave. The parameters of primary and secondary waves are closely correlated, which adds to the understanding of multi-step vertical coupling.

How to cite: Zülicke, C., Amiramjadi, M., and Borchert, S.: Generation of secondary gravity waves in idealized UA-ICON simulations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3904,, 2024.