The nonlinear propagation of low-frequency acoustic waves through the turbulent fluctuations induced by breaking mountain gravity waves is investigated via 2-D numerical simulations of the Navier-Stokes equations, to understand the effects of atmospheric dynamics on ground-based infrasound measurements. Emphasis is placed on acoustic signals of frequency around 0.1 Hz, traveling through tens-of-kilometers-scale gravity waves and subkilometer-scale turbulence. The sensitivity of the infrasonic phases to small-scale fluctuations is found to depend on the altitudes through which they are refracted toward the Earth. For the considered cases, the dynamics in the stratosphere impact the refracting acoustic waves to a greater extent than those in the thermosphere. This work clearly demonstrates the need for accurate descriptions of the effects of atmospheric dynamics on acoustic propagation, such as here captured by the full set of fluid dynamic equations, as well as of the subsequent effects on measured signals.
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union
Grant or Award Name
Defense Threat Reduction Agency award HDTRA1-16-1-0046
Scholarly Commons Citation
Sabatini,R.,Snively,J.B.,Bailly,C., Hickey,M.P.,&Garrison,J.L. (2019).Numerical modeling of the propagation of infrasonic acoustic waves through the turbulent field generated by the breaking of mountain gravity waves. Geophysical ResearchLetters,46.https://doi.org/10. 1029/2019GL082456