We analyze the reversals of the large-scale flow in Rayleigh-Bénard convection both through particle image velocimetry flow visualization and direct numerical simulations of the underlying Boussinesq equations in a (quasi-) two-dimensional, rectangular geometry of aspect ratio 1. For medium Prandtl number there is a diagonal large-scale convection roll and two smaller secondary rolls in the two remaining corners diagonally opposing each other. These corner-flow rolls play a crucial role for the large-scale wind reversal: They grow in kinetic energy and thus also in size thanks to plume detachments from the boundary layers up to the time that they take over the main, large-scale diagonal flow, thus leading to reversal. The Rayleigh vs Prandtl number space is mapped out. The occurrence of reversals sensitively depends on these parameters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)