High resolution numerical simulations and modeling of optical turbulence across jet streams

Alex Mahalov, Basil Nicolaenko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Results from high-resolution, forced, three-dimensional direct numerical simulations on the vertical variability of shear-stratified turbulence and its outer length scales in nonuniformly stratified tropopause jets are presented. Vertical scales O(1m - 50m) are resolved. Turbulent dynamics leads to the formation of an N 2-notch which favors gravity wave emission well within the temperature mixing layer. We demonstrate that, in inhomogeneous shear-stratified turbulence, scaling of various turbulent quantities (such as variances, fluxes, mixing efficiency, turbulence outer scales) with respect to a single parameter (such as the gradient Richardson number) typically exhibit multiple branches. Certain qualitative changes in eddy mixing during transitional regimes towards stronger stratification are highlighted. The behaviour of turbulent eddy mixing parameters found in these studies is consistent with some recent observational results in stably stratified atmospheric shear flows. The implication of this study is that such transitions and multiple scalings need to be accounted in the parameterization of microscale atmospheric optical turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsS.M. Doss-Hammel, A. Kohnle
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2005
EventAtmospheric Optical Modeling, Measurement, and Simulation - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2005Aug 3 2005


OtherAtmospheric Optical Modeling, Measurement, and Simulation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Atmospheric jets
  • High resolution numerical simulations
  • Optical turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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