Brunt-vaisala frequency

From Glossary of Meteorology
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Brunt–Väisälä frequency

  1. The frequency N at which a displaced air parcel will oscillate when displaced vertically within a statically stable environment.

    Given as
    ams2001glos-Be21
    where g = 9.8 m s-1 is gravitational acceleration, Tv is the average absolute virtual temperature, and ∂θv/∂z is the vertical gradient of virtual potential temperature. Units are radians per second, although this is usually abbreviated as s-1. This frequency is not defined in statically unstable air and is zero in statically neutral air. The frequency of internal gravity waves in the atmosphere cannot exceed the local Brunt–Väisälä frequency. This frequency is also sometimes used as a measure of the stability within a statically stable environment.

  2. Stull, R. B. 1995. Meteorology Today for Scientists and Engineers. 385 pp.


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