Berkeley Fluids Seminar

University of California, Berkeley

Bring your lunch and enjoy learning about fluids!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

3110, Etcheverry Hall, 12:00-13:00

Justin Brown (Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz)

A Spectral Element Code to Tackle Astrophysical Stratified Flows

In stellar and planetary systems, the dynamics of stratified flows are exceedingly important to evolution. However, many such flows are modeled quite simplistically even in the most advanced stellar evolution codes. In particular, the dynamics of minor mixing processes, including double-diffusive convection and overshooting convection, are still frequently treated with ad-hoc prescriptions. Over the past year, I have been working to develop a spectral element code to study stratified flows, particularly those with sharp interfaces. This code has the additional benefit of using a collocation method in the vertical direction, allowing for easy inclusion of vertically-dependent phenomena, such as diffusivities and background stratifications. Originally designed to study layer formation and evolution in double-diffusive convection, the code is now being used to study the differences between diffusion-driven and background-driven overshooting convection. Most overshooting convection studies in the past have focused on the former, but many convection zones in astronomy have interfaces defined by a change in diffusive flux, like the Sun's. I'll talk mostly about the structure of the code and some preliminary verification and benchmarking results.

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