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Gravity wave

From Academic Kids

For the concept in physics of "waves in the gravity field", see gravitational radiation.

In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are those generated in a fluid medium or on an interface (e.g. the atmosphere or ocean) and having a restoring force of gravity or buoyancy.

When a fluid parcel is displaced on an interface or internally to a region with a different density, gravity restores the parcel toward equilibrium resulting in an oscillation about the equilibrium state. Gravity waves on an air-sea interface are called surface gravity waves or surface waves while internal gravity waves are called internal waves.

Atmosphere dynamics on Earth

Since the fluid is a continuous medium, a traveling disturbance will result. In the earth's atmosphere, gravity waves are important for transferring momentum from the troposphere to the mesosphere. Gravity waves are generated in the troposphere by frontal systems or by airflow over mountains. At first waves propagate through the atmosphere without affecting its mean velocity. But as the waves reach more rarefied air at higher altitudes, their amplitude increases, and nonlinear effects cause the waves to transfer overall momentum.

This process plays a key role in controlling the dynamics of the middle atmosphere.

References and external links

es:Ondas de Gravedad ja:重力波

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