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The transition from laminar to complex spatio-temporal dynamics of plumes due to a localized buoyancy source is studied numerically. Several experiments have reported that this transition is sensitive to external perturbations. Therefore, a well-controlled set-up has been chosen for our numerical study, consisting of a localized heat source at the bottom of an enclosed cylinder whose sidewall is maintained at a fixed temperature which varies linearly up the wall. Restricting the dynamics to the axisymmetric subspace, the first instability is to a puffing state. However, for smaller Grashof numbers, the plume becomes unstable to three-dimensional perturbations and a swirling plume spontaneously appears. The next bifurcation, viewed in the rotating frame where the plume is stationary, also exhibits puffing and suggests a connection between the unstable axisymmetric puffing solution and the swirling plume. Further bifurcations result in quasi-periodic states with a very low-frequency modulation, and these eventually become spatio-temporally complex.
CitacióMarques, F.; Lopez, J.M. Spontaneous generation of a swirling plume in a stratified ambient. "Journal of fluid mechanics", 01 Desembre 2014, vol. 761, p. 443-463.