TY - JOUR

T1 - Reorientations of the large-scale flow in turbulent convection in a cube

AU - Foroozani, N.

AU - Niemela, J. J.

AU - Armenio, V.

AU - Sreenivasan, K. R.

N1 - Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to E. Brown and R. E. Ecke for useful discussions and comments. The project was supported by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). The computations have been performed on the ARGO HPC facilities of ICTP in Trieste.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Physical Society.

PY - 2017/3/10

Y1 - 2017/3/10

N2 - Large-eddy simulations of turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection were conducted for a fluid of Prandtl number Pr=0.7 confined in a cube, for Rayleigh numbers of 106 and 108. The model solves the unsteady Navier-Stokes equations under the Boussinesq approximation, using a dynamic Smagorinsky model with a Lagrangian averaging technique for the subgrid terms. Under fully developed conditions the flow topology is characterized by a large-scale circulation (LSC) developing in a plane containing one of the diagonals of the cell, while two counter-rotating vortices consequently develop in the other diagonal plane, resulting in a strong inflow at the horizontal midplane. This flow structure is not static, with the LSC undergoing nonperiodic reorientations, or switching, between the two diagonal planes; hence, we supplement the observations of the three-dimensional time-averaged flow structures with single point measurements (time series) to shed light on the dynamics of the reorientations. For all observations, this switching results from a lateral rotation of the LSC in which some finite time spent in a transient state where the large-scale circulation is parallel to one set of side walls; there are, importantly, no observations consistent with so-called cessations of the LSC, in which it decays and then reforms in another plane without such a rotation. The average switching rate for the LSC is in excellent agreement with the results of Bai et al. [K. Bai, D. Ji, and E. Brown, Phys. Rev. E 93, 023117 (2016)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.93.023117].

AB - Large-eddy simulations of turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection were conducted for a fluid of Prandtl number Pr=0.7 confined in a cube, for Rayleigh numbers of 106 and 108. The model solves the unsteady Navier-Stokes equations under the Boussinesq approximation, using a dynamic Smagorinsky model with a Lagrangian averaging technique for the subgrid terms. Under fully developed conditions the flow topology is characterized by a large-scale circulation (LSC) developing in a plane containing one of the diagonals of the cell, while two counter-rotating vortices consequently develop in the other diagonal plane, resulting in a strong inflow at the horizontal midplane. This flow structure is not static, with the LSC undergoing nonperiodic reorientations, or switching, between the two diagonal planes; hence, we supplement the observations of the three-dimensional time-averaged flow structures with single point measurements (time series) to shed light on the dynamics of the reorientations. For all observations, this switching results from a lateral rotation of the LSC in which some finite time spent in a transient state where the large-scale circulation is parallel to one set of side walls; there are, importantly, no observations consistent with so-called cessations of the LSC, in which it decays and then reforms in another plane without such a rotation. The average switching rate for the LSC is in excellent agreement with the results of Bai et al. [K. Bai, D. Ji, and E. Brown, Phys. Rev. E 93, 023117 (2016)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.93.023117].

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U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.033107

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.033107

M3 - Article

C2 - 28415317

AN - SCOPUS:85015617072

VL - 95

JO - Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics

JF - Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics

SN - 1063-651X

IS - 3

M1 - 033107

ER -