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Available potential energy and mixing in density-stratified fluids. (English) Zbl 0858.76095
A conceptual framework to analyze the energetics of density-stratified Boussinesq flow is presented in a unified and systematic manner. Available potential energy is used to formulate the energy budget. For closed systems, the rate of change of background potential energy due to diabatic processes is proportional to molecular diffusivity, and these changes provide a direct measure of the potential energy changes due to the irreversible diapycnal mixing. For open systems, background potential energy can also change due to boundary fluxes which can be explicitly measured. This analysis is particularly appropriate for evaluation of diabatic mixing rates in numerical simulation of turbulent flows. The analysis is illustrated by the energetics of a driven shear mixing layer.

MSC:
76V05 Reaction effects in flows
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