Influence of vortex dynamics and atmospheric turbulence on the early evolution of a contrail 1CNRS/CERFACS, URA 1875, Sciences de l'Univers au CERFACS, Toulouse, France
2Météo France, Toulouse, France
*now at: Department of Geography, King's College London, London, UK
Received: 30 Jun 2009 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 30 Sep 2009 Abstract. This study describes three-dimensional numerical simulations of the evolution of
an aircraft contrail during the first 30 min following the emission of exhausts.
The wake is modeled as a vortex pair descending in a stratified atmosphere where
turbulent fluctuations are sustained in the late dissipation regime. The focus of
the study is laid on the interactions between vortex dynamics, atmospheric
turbulence and contrail microphysics, and their role in determining the growth
and the distribution of ice crystals. The atmospheric turbulence
is synthesized using a methodology developed to force anisotropic turbulent
fluctuations. The results show the feasibility of
three-dimensional simulations of the early development of a contrail in
supersaturated conditions before its transition into a contrail-cirrus.
%(when radiative heating and sedimentation are no more negligible).
It is shown that in case of strongly supersaturated and shear-free
atmosphere the optical depth is maintained as the
contrail spreads by turbulent diffusion
in the late dissipation regime.
Revised: 29 Mar 2010 – Accepted: 14 Apr 2010 – Published: 27 Apr 2010
Citation: Paugam, R., Paoli, R., and Cariolle, D.: Influence of vortex dynamics and atmospheric turbulence on the early evolution of a contrail, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3933-3952, doi:10.5194/acp-10-3933-2010, 2010.