Detection of gravity waves across the USArray: A case study

De Groot-Hedlin, CD, Hedlin MAH, Walker KT.  2014.  Detection of gravity waves across the USArray: A case study. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 402:346-352.

Date Published:



coherent processing, gravity wave detection, location, lower atmosphere, morning glory, nonlinear-waves, USArray Transportable Array


Barometers deployed as part of the USArray Transportable Array (TA) recorded large (300 Pa peak-to-peak) gravity waves, or gust fronts, that originated near a severe tornadic storm system in the southern United States on April 27, 2011. We present a new method in which the TA is divided into a large number of elemental sub-arrays. Each 3-element sub-array (triad) is sufficiently closely spaced so that the long-period gravity wave signal is coherent, but large enough to provide a robust estimate of the signal's direction and speed. The results from each triad are combined to follow the progress of gravity waves as they propagate across the TA over 2 days in late April, 2011. We observe a large, high-amplitude gravity wave, spanning a region over 200,000 km(2), progressing to the NNW away from the tomadic storm region. We also observe gravity waves with lower amplitudes and smaller spatial extent along the gulf coast, propagating southward, away from the storm region. This study demonstrates the functionality of the USArray pressure sensors for analyzing gravity wave dynamics over periods greater than 40 min and across a wide region. In principle the method could be applied to study other long-period wave phenomena recorded by any dense large-scale network and is not limited to gravity waves. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.