University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Climate and Environmental Dynamics - Department of Geography > The evolution of laminar thermals - from blob, to jellyfish, to ring.

The evolution of laminar thermals - from blob, to jellyfish, to ring.

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Buoyancy is a key aspect many of geophysical phenomena; variations in temperature drive our weather patterns, whilst salinity is responsible for the ocean currents. Elsewhere buoyancy is also present in many industrial processes.

In this talk I will focus on a particular buoyant phenomenon: the thermal. These are isolated anomalies that undergo motion relative to their surroundings as a result of buoyancy forces. The turbulent case was first examined by Scorer (1957) with the intention of understanding the homonymous phenomenon exploited by birds and glider pilots

The laminar case is less well studied, however. Though aspects are touched upon by other authors, there is no study of the entire life cycle. We seek to present an overarching framework by which the evolution of a laminar thermal can be viewed. This theory is then explored through a series of numerical simulations.

This talk is part of the Climate and Environmental Dynamics - Department of Geography series.

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