Convection in rotating annular channels heated from below. I: Linear stability and weakly nonlinear mean flows. (English) Zbl 1206.76017

Summary: Convection in a Boussinesq fluid in an annular channel rotating about a vertical axis with lateral rigid sidewalls, stress-free top and bottom, uniformly heated from below is investigated. The sidewalls are assumed to be either perfectly insulating or conducting. Three different types of convection are identified when the channel is rotating sufficiently fast: (i) global oscillatory convection preferred for small Prandtl numbers in channels with intermediate or large aspect ratios (width to height ratio), (ii) wall-localized oscillatory convection representing the most unstable mode for moderate or large Prandtl numbers in channels with intermediate or large aspect ratios and (iii) global stationary convection preferred in channels with sufficiently small aspect ratios regardless of the size of the Prandtl number. The corresponding weakly nonlinear problem describing differential rotation and meridional circulation is also examined, showing that geostrophic, multiple-peaked (two prograde and two retrograde) differential rotation can be maintained by the Reynolds stresses in wall-localized convective eddies in a rapidly rotating channel.


76E06 Convection in hydrodynamic stability
76E07 Rotation in hydrodynamic stability
76R05 Forced convection
76U05 General theory of rotating fluids
Full Text: DOI


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