Regarding the Spontaneous Mechanism of Atmospheric Whirlwind Generation in Narrow Mountain Canyons

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Zurab A. Kereselidze
George J. Lominadze
Elene D. Salukvadze
Eleonora B. Tchania


In a narrow, rather deep mountain canyons, under certain conditions, an irregular thermal mechanism can be activated, leading to the spontaneous convective movement of the air mass. This effect differs from the well-known phenomenon caused by the diurnal variation of the solar heat flux in large, broad valleys, where the regular diurnal variation in the direction of onshore winds is systematically suppressed. A specific hydrodynamic picture corresponds to spontaneous convection. In particular, there is a change of direction (inversion) in the vertical profile of the horizontal movement of air along the slope of the canyon at a certain height. At that time, Ludwig Prandtl developed the theoretical model through which it is possible to analytically determine the level of velocity inversion compared to the base of the valley. At this height, due to the instability of the velocity profile, the formation of atmospheric vortexes of a certain size is likely. It is natural that the dissolution (dissipation) of such vortexes will affect the temperature field.Therefore, the breakup of whirlwinds is related to the violation of thermodynamic equilibrium, meaning that there will be an impulsive change in the meteorological regime in the local area due to the spontaneous turbulence of air masses in the areas of velocity inversion. The characteristic time of this event will depend on the duration of the temperature field disturbance. It is likely that such a location will become a dangerous opportunity for hang gliding or paragliding enthusiasts. It should be noted that this type of sport has become an important component of tourism in Georgia, particularly in the mountainous regions of the country. Therefore, there is a need to focus on ensuring the safe flight conditions of individual aircraft in narrow valleys. Their formation, among other measures, requires an assessment of the probability of the operation of a thermal mechanism causing stochastic atmospheric disturbances in narrow canyons. This task can be carried out only as a result of a special investigation, based on the monitoring of seasonal and short-term hourly indicators of the mentioned physical event in a specially selected canyon, which can be considered typical for the mountainous regions of Georgia.

vertical profile, velocity iinversion, turbulence, paragliding, narrow canyons.
Published: Dec 28, 2023

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How to Cite
Kereselidze, Z. A., Lominadze, G. J., Salukvadze, E. D., & Tchania, E. B. (2023). Regarding the Spontaneous Mechanism of Atmospheric Whirlwind Generation in Narrow Mountain Canyons. Journals of Georgian Geophysical Society, 26(2).


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