The Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) is a semi-microscopic method to simulate fluid mechanics by modelling distributions of particles moving and colliding on a lattice. We present 2-D simulations using the LBM of a fluid in a rectangular box being heated from below, and cooled from above, with a Rayleigh of Ra = 108, similar to current estimates of the Earth's mantle, and a Prandtl number of 5000. At this Prandtl number, the flow is found to be in the non-inertial regime where the inertial terms denoted I ≪ 1. Hence, the simulations presented lie within the regime of relevance for geodynamical problems. We obtain narrow upwelling plumes with mushroom heads and chutes of downwelling fluid as expected of a flow in the non-inertial regime. The method developed demonstrates that the LBM has great potential for simulating thermal convection and plume dynamics relevant to geodynamics, albeit with some limitations.
- Dynamics: convection currents
- Mantle plumes
- Numerical solutions
- Thermal Lattice Boltzmann Method