Clustering of plumes in turbulent convection

  • Parodi A
  • Von Hardenberg J
  • Passoni G
 et al. 
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Turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection produces fields of intense updrafts and downdrafts that are responsible for much of the vertical heat transport. These structures, called plumes or thermals, have horizontal scales comparable to the thicknesses of the boundary layers in which they arise. In the three-dimensional numerical simulations reported here, we have observed that convective plumes organize themselves into clusters with horizontal scales that grow with time and reach the width of the computational domain. In this two-scale process, kinetic energy is transferred mainly to low horizontal wave numbers while the sizes of individual plumes remain on the scale of the boundary layer thickness.

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  • Antonio Parodi

  • Jost Von Hardenberg

  • Giuseppe Passoni

  • Antonello Provenzale

  • Edward A. Spiegel

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