Stressed horizontal convection

J. Hazewinkel, F. Paparella, W. R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract We consider the problem of a Boussinesq fluid forced by applying both non-uniform temperature and stress at the top surface. On the other boundaries the conditions are thermally insulating and either no-slip or stress-free. The interesting case is when the direction of the steady applied surface stress opposes the sense of the buoyancy driven flow. We obtain two-dimensional numerical solutions showing a regime in which there is an upper cell with thermally indirect circulation (buoyant fluid is pushed downwards by the applied stress and heavy fluid is elevated), and a second deep cell with thermally direct circulation. In this two-cell regime the driving mechanisms are competitive in the sense that neither dominates the flow. A scaling argument shows that this balance requires that surface stress vary as the horizontal Rayleigh number to the three-fifths power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Feb 10 2012


  • buoyant boundary layers
  • ocean circulation
  • ocean processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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