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Two-dimensional planar plumes: non-Boussinesq effects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2014

T. S. van den Bremer*
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
G. R. Hunt*
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
Email addresses for correspondence:,
Email addresses for correspondence:,


In an accompanying paper (van den Bremer & Hunt, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 750, 2014, pp. 210–244) closed-form solutions, describing the behaviour of two-dimensional planar turbulent rising plumes from horizontal planar area and line sources in unconfined quiescent environments of uniform density, that are universally applicable to Boussinesq and non-Boussinesq plumes, are proposed. This universality relies on an entrainment velocity unmodified by non-Boussinesq effects, an assumption that is derived in the literature based on similarity arguments and is, in fact, in contradiction with the axisymmetric case, in which entrainment is modified by non-Boussinesq effects. Exploring these solutions, we show that a non-Boussinesq plume model predicts exactly the same behaviour with height for a pure plume as would a Boussinesq model, whereas the effects on forced and lazy plumes are opposing. Non-intuitively, the non-Boussinesq model predicts larger fluxes of volume and mass for lazy plumes, but smaller fluxes for forced plumes at any given height compared to the Boussinesq model. This raises significant questions regarding the validity of the unmodified entrainment model for planar non-Boussinesq plumes based on similarity arguments and calls for detailed experiments to resolve this debate.

© 2014 Cambridge University Press 

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