Multimodal Excitation to Model the Quasibiennial Oscillation

P. Léard, D. Lecoanet, M. Le Bars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The quasibiennial oscillation (QBO) of stratospheric winds is the most striking example of mean-flow generation and reversal by the nonlinear interactions of internal waves. Previous studies have used an idealized monochromatic forcing to investigate the QBO. Here we instead force a more realistic continuous wave spectrum. Unexpectedly, spreading the wave energy across a wide frequency range leads to more regular oscillations. We also find that different forcing spectra can yield the same QBO. Multimodal wave forcing is thus essential for understanding wave-mean-flow interactions in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number234501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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