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Multi-layered diffusive convection. Part 1. Spontaneous layer formation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2010

TAKASHI NOGUCHI*
Affiliation:
Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Nakano, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan
HIROSHI NIINO
Affiliation:
Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Nakano, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan
*
Present address: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. Email address for correspondence: noguchi@kuaero.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Diffusive convection in an infinite two-dimensional fluid with linear vertical gradients of temperature and salinity is studied numerically and analytically. When the density gradient ratio exceeds a critical value above which diffusive convection grows according to the linear stability analysis, spontaneous layer formation is found to occur. At the first stage nearly steady oscillating motions, the horizontal scale of which is of the order of the buoyancy boundary layer scale δ, arise. After several tens of the oscillation cycle, a transition to the second stage occurs in which overturning convective motions develop and well-mixed regions are formed. The convective motions resemble Rayleigh–Bénard convection at a high Rayleigh number. The well-mixed regions are gradually organized into horizontal layers, a typical thickness of which is of the order of δ. A detailed analysis of the nonlinear process during the layer formation reveals that four modes are responsible for the layer formation: The first mode is the linear fastest-growing mode with wavenumber vector (k0, 0). The second mode with (k0, m0) is weakly growing. The third mode with (0, m0) is dissipating, and the fourth mode is its higher harmonic having (0, 2m0). It is shown that a truncated spectral model with the four modes well reproduces the results of the full numerical simulation.

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Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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References

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