, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 269-286

Solitary wave disturbances of the nocturnal boundary layer revealed by radar observations of migrating insects

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Four solitary wave disturbances of the nocturnal boundary layer have been detected during radar observations of insect migration over central-western New South Wales. Three of the disturbances took the form of trains of long waves of elevation of large relative amplitude, and these were manifested as propagating variations of the highly stratified vertical distributions of the migrating insects; in the fourth disturbance, which appeared as an evenly spaced series of steadily advancing insect line concentrations, the waves almost certainly contained regions of closed circulation in which large numbers of insects had become entrained. Wave profiles have been reconstructed from the radar observations, and measurements of the length and speed of the wave components have been compared with theoretical values determined from upper air data.