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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 697
  • April 2012, pp. 336-366

Boundary layers and wind in cylindrical Rayleigh–Bénard cells

  • Sebastian Wagner (a1), Olga Shishkina (a1) and Claus Wagner (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 06 March 2012

We analyse the wind and boundary layer properties of turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a cylindrical container with aspect ratio one for Prandtl number and Rayleigh numbers () up to by means of highly resolved direct numerical simulations. We identify time periods in which the orientation of the large-scale circulation (LSC) is nearly constant in order to perform a statistical analysis of the LSC. The analysis is then reduced to two dimensions by considering only the plane of the LSC. Within this plane the LSC is treated as a wind with thermal and viscous boundary layers developing close to the horizontal plates. Special focus is on the spatial development of the wind magnitude and the boundary layer thicknesses along the bottom plate. A method for the local analysis of the instantaneous boundary layer thicknesses is introduced which shows a dramatically changing wind magnitude along the wind path. Furthermore a linear increase of the viscous and thermal boundary layer thickness along the wind direction is observed for all considered while their ratio is spatially constant but depends weakly on . A possible explanation is a strong spatial variation of the wind magnitude and fluctuations in the boundary layer region.

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