The nearly circular Meteor Crater, Arizona, is located on an extensive, slightly sloping plain, above which a south-westerly katabatic flow forms during undisturbed, clear-sky nights. For the katabatic flow over the upstream crater rim, the resulting flow regime in the lee depends on the upstream wind speed. For a shallow katabatic flow with a wind-speed maximum of about 5 m s −1
or less at a height of about 20 m above the ground, the flow decelerates as it approaches the crater. Cold-air intrusions form, that is, cold air spills over the crater rim and runs down the inner south-west sidewall. For a deep katabatic flow with a wind-speed maximum located above the 50-m high measurement tower and comparatively higher wind speeds, the flow accelerates towards the crater. The flow separates in the immediate lee of the crater rim, forming a wake over the south-west crater sidewall. The wake can either be small, affecting only the upper part of the sidewall, or large, affecting the entire crater sidewall or even the crater floor. When flow separation occurs, the wake region over the crater sidewall is characterized by low wind speeds and potentially a return circulation near the surface. ... mehrParticularly for large wakes, stability in the crater atmosphere is reduced and relatively high wind speeds occur at the crater floor, which is otherwise submerged in a strong surface-based inversion. Turbulent kinetic energy at the crater sidewall is typically higher during cold-air intrusions than is the case during flow separation, but high values can occur at the floor when a large wake forms.