Rotating convection with centrifugal buoyancy: Numerical predictions for laboratory experiments

Susanne Horn, Jonathan M. Aurnou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


In Coriolis-centrifugal convection (C3), buoyancy effects not only drive convective motions in the vertical direction due to the gravitational acceleration but also in the radial direction due to the centrifugal acceleration [Horn and Aurnou, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 204502 (2018)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.120.204502]. Here, we use the flexibility of numerical simulations to vary the gravitational Rossby number Ro¥ and the rotational Froude number Fr independently and thereby study C3 over the broadest available parameter space. Based on our simulation results we give predictions for laboratory experiments of rotating convection, which inevitably include centrifugal effects. We especially focus on the spatial distribution of the temperature field. Unlike idealized Coriolis convection in which centrifugal buoyancy is neglected, the vertical temperature profiles become strongly radially dependent and exhibit a top-bottom asymmetry with increasing Froude number. In the quasicyclostrophic regime the temperature in the center of the fluid volume shows a strong enhancement, reaching values close to the bottom boundary temperature, whereas the temperatures at the sidewall are well below the arithmetic mean. We find further that the axisymmetric, linear model of Hart and Ohlsen [Phys. Fluids 11, 2101 (1999)PHFLE61070-663110.1063/1.870072] cannot be used to accurately predict the measured center temperatures, and provide an alternative empirical function based on our fully three-dimensional simulation results. Suggestions are given for the optimal local thermal measurement positions in laboratory experiments to estimate the global heat transfer and the vertical mean-temperature profiles in centrifugally affected rotating convection cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073501
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Rotating convection with centrifugal buoyancy: Numerical predictions for laboratory experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this