Berkeley Fluids Seminar

University of California, Berkeley

Bring your lunch and enjoy learning about fluids!

Monday, March 20, 2017

3110 Etcheverry Hall, 12:00-13:00

Dr. Jin-Han XIE (Physics, UC Berkeley)

A reduced model for salt-finger convection in the small diffusivity ratio limit

Abstract: A simple model of nonlinear salt-finger convection in two dimensions is derived and studied. The model is valid in the limit of small solute to heat diffusivity ratio and large density ratio, which is relevant to both oceanographic and astrophysical applications. Two limits distinguished by the magnitude of the Schmidt number are found. For order one Schmidt numbers, appropriate for astrophysical applications, a modified Rayleigh-Benard system with large-scale damping due to a stabilizing temperature is obtained. For large Schmidt numbers, appropriate for the oceanic setting, the model combines a prognostic equation for the solute field and a diagnostic equation for inertia-free momentum dynamics. Two distinct saturation regimes are identified for the second model: The weakly driven regime is characterized by a large-scale flow associated with a balance between advection and linear instability, while the strongly driven regime produces multiscale structures, resulting in a balance between the energy input through linear instability and the energy transfer between scales. For both regimes, we analytically predict and numerically confirm the dependence of the kinetic energy and salinity fluxes on the ratio between solute and heat Rayleigh numbers. The spectra and probability density functions are also computed.

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