AbstractThe interactions between a katabatic flow on a plain and a circular basin cut into the plain and surrounded by an elevated rim were examined during a 5-hour steady-state period during the Second Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX II) to explain observed disturbances to the nocturnal basin atmosphere. The approaching katabatic flow split horizontally around Arizona’s Meteor Crater below a dividing streamline while, above the dividing streamline, a ~50-m-deep stable layer on the plain was carried over the 30-50 m rim of the basin. A flow bifurcation occurred over or just upwind of the rim, with the lowest portion of the stable layer having negative buoyancy relative to the air within the crater pouring continuously over the crater’s upwind rim and accelerating down the inner sidewall. The cold air intrusion was deepest and coldest over the direct upwind crater rim. Cold air penetration depths varied around the inner sidewall depending on the temperature deficit of the inflow relative to the ambient environment inside the crater. A shallow but extremely stable cold pool on the crater floor could not generally be penetrated by the inflow and a hydraulic jump-like feature formed on the lower sidewall as the flow approached the cold pool. The upper non-negatively buoyant portion of the stable layer was carried horizontally over the crater, forming a neutrally stratified, low wind speed cavity or wake in the lee of the upwind rim that extended downward into the crater over the upwind sidewall.
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 24, 2017
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