View Full Version : MODIS: Atmospheric Gravity Waves

tlr online
14-11-03, 20:46
Atmospheric Gravity Waves ripple the surface of the ocean and shape the clouds over and off the shores of New Zealand in this true-color Aqua MODIS image captured on November 7, 2003. Also called Atmospheric Internal Waves, Atmospheric Gravity Waves occur when a uniform layer of air blows over a mountain or an island.

But before encountering the obstacle, the atmosphere must be stratified: each layer must have a uniform temperature and density, which only changes with height. When the air encounters the obstacle, in this case New Zealand, the horizontal layers of uniform air are disturbed, and the result is an air wave. These air waves then impress their patterns on the sea surface, creating Atmospheric Gravity Waves. In the air, Atmospheric Gravity Waves are manifest in wave clouds. Notice how both the clouds and the waves in this image have taken on the same pattern.