Evaluation of momentum and sensible heat fluxes in constant density coordinates: Application to superpressure balloon data during the VORCORE campaign



[1] Expressions for momentum and heat fluxes using density as the vertical coordinate are derived. These are applied in the evaluation of fluxes using data from super-pressure balloons drifting on constant density surfaces in the Antarctic lower stratosphere during the VORCORE campaign (September 2005 to February 2006). We focus on the core months of October and November. Vertical fluxes of zonal and meridional momentum are calculated using wind, pressure and height data and the vertical flux of sensible heat is calculated using temperature and height data. Calculations were performed in three band passes covering 1–13 h. We find that the largest fluxes are in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. In October the fluxes in the low period band pass (1–5 h) account for the main part of the total flux of zonal momentum, consistent with topographically forced waves. During November the vertical fluxes of zonal momentum are found mainly in longer period band passes, consistent with weaker winds. The peak campaign-averaged flux of zonal momentum in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula is ∼−30 mPa. These values are ∼60% larger over the peninsula than those inferred by other authors. The flux of zonal momentum provides a zonal body force of ∼5 m s−1 day−1 assuming a saturated spectrum. We infer downward sensible heat fluxes of ∼3 W m−2. The corresponding cooling rates assuming a saturated spectrum are ∼0.6 K day−1, a significant fraction of the net radiative imbalance in the springtime Antarctic lower stratosphere.