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Aspects of turbulent convection beyond Rayleigh and Bénard

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TURW05 - Advances in geophysical and astrophysical turbulence

Rayleigh–Bénard convection is a canonical flow in fluid mechanics, with applications in industry, geophysics, astrophysics and beyond. Investigations have examined linear and nonlinear stability, as well as deriving analytical bounds on flow quantities of interest, while laboratory and numerical experiments have given insight into the behavior at large Rayleigh numbers. Generalizations, such as the case of convection in porous media as well as the effect of rotation and magnetic fields, can be found in textbooks. In this talk I will discuss two lesser-known cases. First, periodically-driven convection, in which the temperature along one boundary varies periodically in time. This work is motivated by the heating of the waters of Lake Superior in Spring. Second, horizontal convection, in which the temperature (or buoyancy) varies along a horizontal boundary. This case offers a simplified model for e.g. large-scale oceanic flows induced by horizontal buoyancy gradients, and has led to discussions on whether such flows are in fact turbulent or not. I will review some previous results, and present recent work on the stability and behavior of these flows. Co-authors: Thomas Bossy, Todd Christopher, Navid Contantinou, Cesar Rocha, Bill Young.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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