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A story of spinning tops, swirling plumes and sugar

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  • UserDr. Daria Frank
  • ClockFriday 11 March 2022, 12:30-13:30
  • HouseCUED, LT6.

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Turbulent plumes in a rotating environment exhibit a plethora of fascinating and yet largely unexplored phenomena. Over the past decade, the scientific interest in the dynamics of rotating plumes has been re-ignited by the long-lived oil plume emanating from the ocean bottom after the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) accident in 2010. The DwH plume, a multiphase plume consisting of oil droplets and gas bubbles, was discharged at 1500 m depth and lasted for 87 days. During its rise, the plume was affects by currents, ocean stratification, chemical and biological processes, pressure changes and, importantly, by the Earth’s rotation. The complex effects of the background rotation on the internal plume dynamics and the associated subsurface dispersion of pollutants are still poorly understood. Yet, characterising these effects is important for oil spill mitigation purposes.

In this talk, we will give an overview of some experimental and theoretical work on plumes in a rotating environment that was conducted over the recent five years. We will highlight the differences in the dynamics of single-phase plumes discharged into a homogeneous rotating and a non-rotating environment. Further features in the plume structure arise if the plume is driven by the additional forcing introduced by the presence of a multiphase effluent such as gas bubbles or oil droplets. We will also explore the formation of a coherent ``tornado’’ vortex that can occur in some circumstances. This talk will be concluded by a discussion of some aspects in the dynamics of multiphase plumes released into a stratified rotating environment.

This talk is part of the Fluids Group Seminar (CUED) series.

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