A shallow water model for magnetohydrodynamic flows with turbulent Hartmann layers

Alban Potherat, J-P. Schweitzer

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    We establish a shallow water model for flows of electrically conducting fluids in homogeneous static magnetic fields that are confined between two parallel planes where turbulent Hartmann layers are present. This is achieved by modelling the wall shear stress in these layers using Prandtl’s mixing length model, as did by Alboussière and Lingwood [Phys. Fluids 12(6), 1535 (2000)]. The idea for this new model arose from the failure of previous shallow water models that assumed a laminar Hartmann layer to recover the correct amount of dissipation found in some regimes of the MATUR experiment. This experiment, conducted by Messadek and Moreau [J. Fluid Mech. 456, 137 (2002)], consisted of a thin layer of mercury electrically driven in differential rotation in a transverse magnetic field. Numerical simulations of our new model in the configuration of this experiment allowed us to recover experimental values of both the global angular momentum and the local velocity up to a few percent when the Hartmann layer was in a sufficiently well developed turbulent state. We thus provide an evidence that the unexplained level of dissipation observed in MATUR in these specific regimes was caused by turbulence in the Hartmann layers. A parametric analysis of the flow, made possible by the simplicity of our model, also revealed that turbulent friction in the Hartmann layer prevented quasi-2D turbulence from becoming more intense and limited the size of the large scales.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number055108
    JournalPhysics of Fluids
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (2011) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Potherat, A. and Schweitzer, J-P. (2011) A shallow water model for magnetohydrodynamic flows with turbulent Hartmann layers. Physics of Fluids, volume 23 (5): 055108 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3592326.


    • angular momentum
    • flow simulation
    • magnetohydrodynamics
    • shallow water equations
    • turbulence


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