On the nature of atmospheric waves and turbulence


  • Edmond M. Dewan


The basic physical properties of waves and turbulence are reviewed and, in particular, the differences between buoyancy range turbulence (BRT), inertial range turbulence (IRT), and waves are explained. As a result, the “buoyancy length” concept is extended to give the transitional scale between BRT and waves. In addition, the physical nature of BRT is described. Certain practical methods to distinguish between waves and turbulence are considered, and the waves versus two-dimensional turbulence interpretation controversy is viewed in the light of the above considerations.