With aircraft-mounted in situ and remote sensing instruments for dynamical, thermal, and chemical measurements we studied two cases of tropopause folding. In both folds we found Kelvin-Helmholtz billows with horizontal wavelength of ∼900 m and thickness of ∼120 m. In one case the instability was effectively mixing the bottomside of the fold, leading to the transfer of stratospheric air into the troposphere. Also, we discovered in both cases small-scale secondary ozone maxima shortly after the aircraft ascended past the topside of the fold that corresponded to regions of convective instability. We interpreted this phenomenon as convectively breaking gravity waves. Therefore we posit that convectively breaking gravity waves acting on tropopause folds must be added to the list of important irreversible mixing mechanisms leading to stratosphere-troposphere exchange.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry