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METCRAX project description

Meteor Crater Experiment


The Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX) is a 3-year meteorological research program supported by the Mesoscale Dynamics Division of the U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The program is investigating the structure and evolution of temperature inversions or cold-air pools that form on a daily basis in topographic basins and valleys. As part of this research a one-month-long field experiment will be conducted in October 2006 in Arizona's Meteor Crater, a simple near-ideal topographic basin formed by the impact of a meteor. In this basin, the physical processes leading to the buildup and breakdown of temperature inversions and the formation of atmospheric seiches (atmospheric oscillations in the basin caused by wind disturbances at the basin crest) can be studied without the complications introduced by more complex topography.

* To determine the role that basin-scale seiches and internal waves play in transport and mixing in basin stable layers.

* To investigate the diurnal buildup and breakdown of basin temperature inversions or cold-air pools and the associated physical and dynamical processes.

These two goals will be met through meteorological measurements, analysis and modeling.

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Temporal coverage

Begin date: 2006-09-25 00:00:00, End date: 2006-11-01 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Minimum latitude: 35.200000, Minimum longitude: -111.200000
Maximum latitude: 35.200000, Maximum longitude: -111.200000