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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 863792, 12 pages
Research Article

Investigation of High-Frequency Internal Wave Interactions with an Enveloped Inertia Wave

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, 435 CTB, Provo, UT 84602, USA

Received 9 April 2012; Accepted 17 October 2012

Academic Editor: Sergej Zilitinkevich

Copyright © 2012 B. Casaday and J. Crockett. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Using ray theory, we explore the effect an envelope function has on high-frequency, small-scale internal wave propagation through a low-frequency, large-scale inertia wave. Two principal interactions, internal waves propagating through an infinite inertia wavetrain and through an enveloped inertia wave, are investigated. For the first interaction, the total frequency of the high-frequency wave is conserved but is not for the latter. This deviance is measured and results of waves propagating in the same direction show the interaction with an inertia wave envelope results in a higher probability of reaching that Jones' critical level and a reduced probability of turning points, which is a better approximation of outcomes experienced by expected real atmospheric interactions. In addition, an increase in wave action density and wave steepness is observed, relative to an interaction with an infinite wavetrain, possibly leading to enhanced wave breaking.