Thermal convection with a freely moving top boundary

Jin Qiang Zhong, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In thermal convection, coherent flow structures emerge at high Rayleigh numbers as a result of intrinsic hydrodynamic instability and self-organization. They range from small-scale thermal plumes that are produced near both the top and the bottom boundaries to large-scale circulations across the entire convective volume. These flow structures exert viscous forces upon any boundary. Such forces will affect a boundary which is free to deform or change position. In our experiment, we study the dynamics of a free boundary that floats on the upper surface of a convective fluid. This seemingly passive boundary is subjected solely to viscous stress underneath. However, the boundary thermally insulates the fluid, modifying the bulk flow. As a consequence, the interaction between the free boundary and the convective flow results in a regular oscillation. We report here some aspects of the fluid dynamics and discuss possible links between our experiment and continental drift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115105
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Fingerprint

Flow structure
free convection
Thermal plumes
Fluids
Fluid dynamics
free boundaries
Hydrodynamics
Experiments
continental drift
floats
convective flow
fluids
Rayleigh number
fluid dynamics
plumes
hydrodynamics
Hot Temperature
Convection
oscillations
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Thermal convection with a freely moving top boundary. / Zhong, Jin Qiang; Zhang, Jun.

In: Physics of Fluids, Vol. 17, No. 11, 115105, 2005, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhong, JQ & Zhang, J 2005, 'Thermal convection with a freely moving top boundary', Physics of Fluids, vol. 17, no. 11, 115105, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2131924
Zhong, Jin Qiang ; Zhang, Jun. / Thermal convection with a freely moving top boundary. In: Physics of Fluids. 2005 ; Vol. 17, No. 11. pp. 1-12.
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