TY - JOUR

T1 - Two-dimensional moist stratified turbulence and the emergence of vertically sheared horizontal flows

AU - Sukhatme, Jai

AU - Majda, Andrew J.

AU - Smith, Leslie M.

N1 - Funding Information:
J.S. would like to acknowledge many fruitful discussions with V. Venugopal (CAOS, IISc). Financial support for J.S. and L.M.S. was provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) CMG 0529596 and the (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) Multiscale Mathematics program (Contract No. DE-FG02-05ER25703). The critical comments of an anonymous referee are appreciated; these led to significant improvements in the paper.

PY - 2012/3/14

Y1 - 2012/3/14

N2 - Moist stratified turbulence is studied in a two-dimensional Boussinesq system influenced by condensation and evaporation. The problem is set in a periodic domain and employs simple evaporation and condensation schemes, wherein both the processes push parcels towards saturation. Numerical simulations demonstrate the emergence of a moist turbulent state consisting of ordered structures with a clear power-law type spectral scaling from initially spatially uncorrelated conditions. An asymptotic analysis in the limit of rapid condensation and strong stratification shows that, for initial conditions with enough water substance to saturate the domain, the equations support a straightforward state of moist balance characterized by a hydrostatic, saturated, vertically sheared horizontal flow (VSHF). For such initial conditions, by means of long time numerical simulations, the emergence of moist balance is verified. Specifically, starting from uncorrelated data, subsequent to the development of a moist turbulent state, the system experiences a rather abrupt transition to a regime which is close to saturation and dominated by a strong VSHF. On the other hand, initial conditions which do not have enough water substance to saturate the domain, do not attain moist balance. Rather, the system is observed to remain in a turbulent state and oscillates about moist balance. Even though balance is not achieved with these general initial conditions, the time scale of oscillation about moist balance is much larger than the imposed time scale of condensation and evaporation, thus indicating a distinct dominant slow component in the moist stratified two-dimensional turbulent system.

AB - Moist stratified turbulence is studied in a two-dimensional Boussinesq system influenced by condensation and evaporation. The problem is set in a periodic domain and employs simple evaporation and condensation schemes, wherein both the processes push parcels towards saturation. Numerical simulations demonstrate the emergence of a moist turbulent state consisting of ordered structures with a clear power-law type spectral scaling from initially spatially uncorrelated conditions. An asymptotic analysis in the limit of rapid condensation and strong stratification shows that, for initial conditions with enough water substance to saturate the domain, the equations support a straightforward state of moist balance characterized by a hydrostatic, saturated, vertically sheared horizontal flow (VSHF). For such initial conditions, by means of long time numerical simulations, the emergence of moist balance is verified. Specifically, starting from uncorrelated data, subsequent to the development of a moist turbulent state, the system experiences a rather abrupt transition to a regime which is close to saturation and dominated by a strong VSHF. On the other hand, initial conditions which do not have enough water substance to saturate the domain, do not attain moist balance. Rather, the system is observed to remain in a turbulent state and oscillates about moist balance. Even though balance is not achieved with these general initial conditions, the time scale of oscillation about moist balance is much larger than the imposed time scale of condensation and evaporation, thus indicating a distinct dominant slow component in the moist stratified two-dimensional turbulent system.

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U2 - 10.1063/1.3694805

DO - 10.1063/1.3694805

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84859328898

SN - 1070-6631

VL - 24

JO - Physics of Fluids

JF - Physics of Fluids

IS - 3

M1 - 036602

ER -