The Generation of Westerly Waves by Sobaek Mountains

소백산맥에 의한 서풍 파동 발생

  • Kim, Jin wook (Chungbuk Science high school) ;
  • Youn, Daeok (Department of Earth Science Education, Chungbuk National University)
  • 김진욱 (충북과학고등학교) ;
  • 윤대옥 (충북대학교 지구과학교육과)
  • Received : 2016.12.19
  • Accepted : 2017.02.15
  • Published : 2017.02.28


The westerly waves generation is described in the advanced earth science textbook used at high school as follows: as westerly wind approaches and blows over large mountains, the air flow shows wave motions in downwind side, which can be explained by the conservation of potential vorticity. However, there has been no case study showing the phenomena of the mesoscale westerly waves with observational data in the area of small mountains in Korea. And thus the wind speed and time persistency of westerly winds along with the width and length of mountains have never been studied to explain the generation of the westerly waves. As a first step, we assured the westerly waves generated in the downwind side of Sobaek mountains based on surface station wind data nearby. Furthermore, the critical or minimum wind velocity of the westerly wind over Sobaek mountains to generate the downwind wave were derived and calcuated tobe about $0.6m\;s^{-1}$ for Sobaek mountains, which means that the westerly waves could be generated in most cases of westerly blowing over the mountains. Using surface station data and 4-dimensional assimilation data of RDAPS (Regional Data Assimilation and Prediction System) provided by Korea Meteorological Agency, we also analyzed cases of westerly waves occurrence and life cycle in the downwind side of Sobaek mountains for a year of 2014. The westerly waves occurred in meso-${\beta}$ or -${\gamma}$ scales. The westerly waves generated by the mountains disappeared gradually with wind speed decreasing. The occurrence frequency of the vorticity with meso-${\beta}$ scale got to be higher when the stronger westerly wind blew. When we extended the spatial range of the analysis, phenomena of westerly waves were also observed in the downwind side of Yensan mountains in Northeastern China. Our current work will be a study material to help students understand the atmospheric phenomena perturbed by mountains.


Supported by : 한국연구재단


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