Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



We present a full-wave model that simulates acoustic-gravity wave propagation in a binary-gas mixture of atomic oxygen and molecular nitrogen, including molecular viscosity and thermal conductivity appropriately partitioned between the two gases. Compositional effects include the collisional transfer of heat and momentum by mutual diffusion between the two gases. An important result of compositional effects is that the velocity and temperature summed over species can be significantly different from the results of one-gas models with the same height dependent mean molecular weight (M(z)). We compare the results of our binary-gas model to two one-gas full-wave models: one where M is fixed and fluctuations of M (M′) are zero and the other where M is conserved following parcel displacement (whence M′ is nonzero). The former is the usual approach and is equivalent to assuming that mutual diffusion acts instantaneously to restore composition to its ambient value. In all cases we considered, the single gas model results obtained assuming that M is conserved following parcels gave significantly better agreement with the binary-gas model. This implies that compositional effects may be included in one-gas models by simply adding a conservation equation for M and for the specific gas at constant pressure, which depends on M.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research



American Geophysical Union

Grant or Award Name

National Science Foundation ATM-0639293, AGS1001086 and NASA NNX08AM13G, NNX11AH82G