Small-scale structures in Boussinesq convection

E. Weinan, Chi Wang Shu

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115 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional Boussinesq convection is studied numerically using two different methods: a filtered pseudospectral method and a high-order accurate ENO scheme. The issue whether finite time singularity occurs for initially smooth flows is investigated. In contrast to the findings of Pumir and Siggia who reported finite time collapse of the bubble cap, the present numerical results suggest that the strain rate corresponding to the intensification of the density gradient across the front saturates at the bubble cap. Consequently, the thickness of the bubble decreases exponentially. On the other hand, the bubble experiences much stronger straining and intensification of gradients at its side. As the bubble rises, a secondary front also forms from its tail. Together with the primary front, they constitute a pair of tightly bound plus and minus double vortex sheet structure which is highly unstable and vulnerable to viscous dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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