Streaks to rings to vortex grids: generic patterns in transient convective spin up of an evaporating fluid

J Q Zhong, Michael D Patterson, J S Wettlaufer

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We observe the transient formation of a ringed pattern state during spin up of an evaporating fluid on a time scale of order a few Ekman spin up times. The ringed state is probed using infrared thermometry and particle image velocimetry and it is demonstrated to be a consequence of the transient balance between Coriolis and viscous forces which dominate inertia, each of which are extracted from the measured velocity field. The breakdown of the ringed state is quantified in terms of the antiphasing of these force components which drives a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and we show that the resulting vortex grid spacing scales with the ring wavelength. This is the fundamental route to quasi-two-dimensional turbulent vortex flow and thus may have implications in astrophysics and geophysics wherein rotating convection is ubiquitous.
Original languageEnglish
Article number044504
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2010

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