Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Development and technical paper
02 Jun 2015
Development and technical paper |  | 02 Jun 2015

Vertical resolution dependence of gravity wave momentum flux simulated by an atmospheric general circulation model

S. Watanabe, K. Sato, Y. Kawatani, and M. Takahashi

Abstract. The dependence of the gravity wave spectra of energy and momentum flux on the horizontal resolution and time step of atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) has been thoroughly investigated in the past. In contrast, much less attention has been given to the dependence of these gravity wave parameters on models' vertical resolutions. The present study demonstrates the dependence of gravity wave momentum flux (GWMF) in the stratosphere and mesosphere on the model's vertical resolution, which is evaluated using an AGCM with a horizontal resolution of about 0.56°. We performed a series of sensitivity test simulations changing only the model's vertical resolution above a height of 8 km, and found a global reduction of GWMF with increasing vertical resolution. Inertial gravity waves with short vertical wavelengths simulated at higher vertical resolutions might play an important role in determining GWMF in the summertime stratosphere. The sensitivity test simulation also demonstrated the importance of the model's vertical resolution on representing realistic behaviors of gravity waves near their critical level.