Volume 135, Number 5, September 2021
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||02 November 2021|
1 Fluids and Flows group, Department of Applied Physics and J. M. Burgers Centre for Fluid Dynamics, Eindhoven University of Technology - P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands, EU
Received: 11 June 2021
Accepted: 18 October 2021
Rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection is an oft-employed model system to evaluate the interplay of buoyant forcing and Coriolis forces due to rotation, an eminently relevant interaction of dynamical effects found in many geophysical and astrophysical flows. These flows display extreme values of the governing parameters: large Rayleigh numbers Ra, quantifying the strength of thermal forcing, and small Ekman numbers E, a parameter inversely proportional to the rotation rate. This leads to the dominant geostrophic balance of forces in the flow between pressure gradient and Coriolis force. The so-called geostrophic regime of rotating convection is difficult to study with laboratory experiments and numerical simulations given the requirements to attain simultaneously large Ra values and small values of E. Here, we use flow measurements using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry in a large-scale rotating convection apparatus in a horizontal plane at mid-height to study the rich flow phenomenology of the geostrophic regime of rotating convection. We quantify the horizontal length scales of the flow using spatial correlations of vertical velocity and vertical vorticity, reproducing features of the convective Taylor columns and plumes flow states both part of the geostrophic regime. Additionally, we find in this horizontal plane an organisation into a quadrupolar vortex at higher Rayleigh numbers starting from the plumes state.
© 2021 The author(s)
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