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Convection in a rapidly rotating cylindrical annulus with laterally varying boundary heat flux

Sahoo, S and Sreenivasan, B (2019) Convection in a rapidly rotating cylindrical annulus with laterally varying boundary heat flux. In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 883 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2019.803


Convection in a rapidly rotating cylindrical annulus subject to azimuthal variations in outer boundary heat flux is investigated experimentally. The motivation for this problem stems from the influence of the laterally inhomogeneous lower mantle on the geodynamo. The absence of axial gradients of boundary temperature ensures that the condition of quasi-geostrophy, often used to model convection outside the tangent cylinder in spherical shells, is realized in a cylindrical annulus even in strongly driven convection. Experiments are performed with water from below onset of convection to highly supercritical states (measured by the flux Rayleigh number,) and for boundary heat flux heterogeneity (defined by the ratio of the azimuthal variation to the mean boundary heat flux) in the range 0-2. The power requirement for onset of convection reduces substantially with increasing, in line with earlier studies of the onset in rotating spherical shells. For strongly driven convection at 1]]>, the long-Time structure is that of localized coherent cyclone-Anticyclone vortex pairs, which produce narrow downwellings between them. However, shorter-Time averages of the flow reveal the presence of small-scale motions, which may have an important role in magnetic field generation. For a twofold heat flux heterogeneity of, convection within the annulus fully homogenizes at times the onset Rayleigh number, and no coherent vortices remain. Finally, the measured heat flux variation on the inner boundary is considerably larger compared with that on the outer boundary, which provides a plausible mechanism for inner-core heterogeneity in the Earth.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Natural convection; Storms; Vortex flow, Azimuthal variations; Boundary temperature; Cylindrical annulus; Heat flux variations; Magnetic field generation; Onset of convection; Plausible mechanisms; Supercritical state, Heat flux, boundary layer; cylinder; experimental study; geodynamo; Rayleigh number; rotating flow
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2022 07:23
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 07:23
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/78138

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