Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 248–255 | Cite as

An experiment study of lee vortex with large topography forcing

  • Shouting Gao
  • Fan Ping


This paper, relates the lee vortex which is triggered when the rotating and stratified flow passes over the large obstacle by using towing tank and based on the similarity. The results show that Froude number Fr is the most important parameter, and, in the rotating case, the lee vortex is easily triggered, because the rotating may, on one hand, lead to downward flow, on the other hand, induce lee vortex through generating geostrophic vorticity. Even in the non-rotating case, the lee vortex can be still formed, as long as both Froude number Fr and stratification parameter N are appropriate. For the formation mechanism of the lee vortex, there are obvious differences in the rotating case compared with the non-rotating case. In the non-rotating case, the tilting term of the perturbation vorticity is a dominant factor of inducing the lee vortex. However, in the rotating case, effect and the convergence of perturbation vorticity are dominant factors.


towing tank lee vortex rotating and stratified flow largeobstacle 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ye Duzheng, Gao Youxi, The Meteorology of Tibetan Plateau (in Chinese), Beijing: Science press, 1979, 102–127.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Xu Xiangde, Gao Shouting, The Theorem of External Forcing and Wave-Flow Interaction (in Chinese), Beijing: Ocean press, 1999, 250–260.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Scorer, R. S., Theory of waves in lee of mountains, Quart. Journal Royal. Meteorology. Society, 1949, 75: 41–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Long, P. R., Some aspects of the stratified fluids, I. A theoretical investigation, Tellus, 1953, 5: 28–42.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Crapper, G. D., A three-dimensional solution for waves in the lee of mountains, Luid. Mech. J. F., 1959, 6: 51–76.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Drazin, P. G., On the steady flow of a fluid of variable density past an obstacle, Tellus, 1961, 13: 239–251.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brighton, P. W., Strongly stratified flow past three-dimensional obstacle, Quart. Journal Royal. Meteorology. Society, 1978, 104: 289–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smith, R. B., Linear theory of hydrostatic flow over an isolated mountain in isosteric coordinates, J. Atmos. Sci., 1988, 45: 3889–3896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Smith, R. B., The steepening of hydrostatic mountain waves, J. Atmos. Sci., 1977, 34: 1634–1654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Smith, R. B., Linear theory of hydrostatic flow over an isolated mountain, Tellus, 1980, 54: 348–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smolarkiewicz, P. K., Rotunno, R., Further results on lee vortices in low-Froude-number flow, J. Atmos. Sci., 1991, 48: 2204–2211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smolarkiewicz, P. K., Rotunno, R., Low Froude number airflow past three-dimensional obstacles, Part 1. Baroclinically generated lee vortices, J. Atmos. Sci., 1989, 46: 1154–1164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Smolarkiewicz, P. K., Rotunno, R., Low Froude number airflow past three-dimensional obstacles, Part 2. Up wind flow reversal zone, J. Atmos. Sci., 1990, 46: 1489–1511.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Egger, J., Alpine lee cyclogenesis: Verification of theories, J. Atmos. Sci., 1988, 43: 2187–2203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tafferner, A., Egger, J., Test of theories of lee cyclogenesis: ALPEX cases, J. Atmos. Sci., 1990, 46: 2417–2428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chen Ruirong, Li Guoqing, An experimental Simulation on the mechanical effect of Tibetan on zonal circulation of stratified atmosphere, Science in China, Series B, 1982, 25(5): 1091–1102.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sang Jianguo, On the atmospheric internal ship waves, Science in China, Series B, 1997, 40(6): 592–598.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Liu Huizhi, The study of meso-scale terrain wave and resistance, Doctor dissertation, Beijing University, 1998, 1–135.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gao Shouting, Chen Hui, The study of the lee wave passing over large topographies, Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 2000, 6: 654–665.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gao Shouting, Ping Fan, Laboratory studies of a stratified rotating flow past an isolated obstacle, Chinese Physics Letter, 2003, 20(7): 1094–1097.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations