Numerical study of the onset of thermosolutal convection in rotating spherical shells
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The influence of an externally enforced compositional gradient on the onset of convection of a mixture of two components in a rotating fluid spherical shell is studied for Ekman numbers E = 10−3 and E = 10−6, Prandtl numbers σ = 0.1, 0.001, Lewis numbers τ = 0.01, 0.1, 0.8, and radius ratio η = 0.35. The Boussinesq approximation of the governing equations is derived by taking the denser component of the mixture for the equation of the concentration. Differential and internal heating, an external compositional gradient, and the Soret and Dufour effects are included in the model. By neglecting these two last effects, and by considering only differential heating, it is found that the critical thermal Rayleigh number Rec depends strongly on the direction of the compositional gradient. The results are compared with those obtained previously for pure fluids of the same σ. The influence of the mixture becomes significant when the compositional Rayleigh number Rc is at least of the same order of magnitude as the known Rec computed without mixture. For positive and sufficiently large compositional gradients, Rec decreases and changes sign, indicating that the compositional convection becomes the main source of instability. Then the critical wave number mc decreases, and the drifting waves slow down drastically giving rise to an almost stationary pattern of convection. Negative gradients delay the onset of convection and determine a substantial increase of mc and ωc for Rc sufficiently high. Potential laws are obtained numerically from the dependence of Rec and of the critical frequency ωc on Rc, for the moderate and small Ekman numbers explored.
CitationNet, M.; Garcia, F.; Sánchez, J. Numerical study of the onset of thermosolutal convection in rotating spherical shells. "Physics of fluids", 01 Juny 2012, vol. 24, núm. 6, p. 1-21.