Localization of toroidal motion and shear heating in 3‐D high Rayleigh number convection with temperature‐dependent viscosity

S. Balachandar, David A Yuen, D. M. Reuteler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have applied spectral‐transform methods to study three‐dimensional thermal convection with temperature‐dependent viscosity. The viscosity varies exponentially with the form exp(‐BT), where B controls the viscosity contrast and T is temperature. Solutions for high Rayleigh numbers, up to an effective Ra of 6.25×106, have been obtained for an aspect‐ratio of 5×5×1 and a viscosity contrast of 25. Solutions show the localization of toroidal velocity fields with increasing vigor of convection to a coherent network of shear‐zones. Viscous dissipation increases with Rayleigh number and is particularly strong in regions of convergent flows and shear deformation. A time‐varying depth‐dependent mean‐flow is generated because of the correlation between laterally varying viscosity and velocity gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-480
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 1995

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