Formation of layered structures in double-diffusive convection as applied to the geosciences

Ulrich Hansen, David A. Yuen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


We have studied the different scenarios for layered structures to form or be destroyed in time-dependent, double-diffusive convection for an infinite Prandtl number fluid. We have concentrated on the subcritical diffusive and finger regimes and examined the thermal-chemical evolution as applied to magma chambers. Both cooling from the top and side boundary conditions have also been examined. Subcritical double-diffusive convection yields the most favorable conditions for layering. A sufficiently high chemical buoyancy ratio keeps the layering intact and yields a small Nusselt number. Double-diffusive convection in the subcritical regime can lead to layering from an initially unlayered state. There are no evidences for layering in the finger regime. Finally we present a new result dealing with the potentially important role played by viscous dissipation in double-diffusive convection, as found in the Earth’s outer core and crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDouble-Diffusive Convection, 1995
EditorsAlan Brandt, H.J.S. Fernando
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664520
ISBN (Print)9780875900766
StatePublished - 1995

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Frank J. Spera for discussions and for remarks by an anonymous reviewer. This research has been supported by the Geochemistry and the Ocean Sciences Programs of the NSF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1995 by the American Geophysical Union.


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