Convective flow generated by lateral heating on a vertically stable solute gradient

Yu Hsiang Huang, Falin Chen, Chih Ang Chung

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4 Scopus citations


We conduct a series of three-dimensional computations to investigate the convective flow generated by the interaction between the vertical solute gradient and the horizontal thermal gradient. The first set of computations is carried out under a wide range of boundary values considered by previous experimental studies, which mostly have a strongly stratified solute gradient. Results show that the convection invariably develops into the so-called fully developed flow composed of the largest number of horizontal convection layers under all the conditions considered. Within each layer, there prevails an array of salt-finger vortices. The multilayered structure changes with boundary values systematically, while the convection layer bears a layer thickness so that the positive thermal buoyancy can balance with the negative solute buoyancy. In the second set of computations, we consider the boundary conditions so that the thermal buoyancy is much larger than the solute buoyancy. In such a weakly stratified solute gradient and a thermal-diffusion-dominated environment, the computational domain is filled with a sizeable convective circulation while no salt finger occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053502
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


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