Trapped mountain waves during a light aircraft accident

Teresa J. Parker, Todd P. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


On 31 July 2007 a fatal light aircraft crash occurred near Clonbinane, Victoria, Australia and the official investigation concluded that mountain wave turbulence was the likely cause. This study uses three-dimensional numerical modelling and linear wave theory to examine the dynamics of mountain waves during this turbulence event and their role in generating turbulence. Analysis of the observed environment and three-dimensional idealised simulations elucidate the occurrence of trapped mountain waves and their role in creating regions of enhanced turbulence in the vicinity of the aircraft accident. Specifically, these waves perturb layers of low dynamic stability in the upstream flow, promoting turbulence in those layers. A simple ensemble of these three-dimensional simulations is also used to assess the robustness of the model solutions and demonstrate the utility of high-resolution ensembles for explicit mountain wave turbulence prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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