Convection in a mushy layer along a vertical heated wall

Journal of Fluid Mechanics Cambridge University Press (CUP) 926 (2021) A33


S Boury, Cr Meyer, Gm Vasil, Aj Wells


<jats:p>Motivated by the mushy zones of sea ice, volcanoes and icy moons of the outer solar system, we perform a theoretical and numerical study of boundary-layer convection along a vertical heated wall in a bounded ideal mushy region. The mush is comprised of a porous and reactive binary alloy with a mixture of saline liquid in a solid matrix, and is studied in the near-eutectic approximation. Here, we demonstrate the existence of four regions and study their behaviour asymptotically. Starting from the bottom of the wall, the four regions are (i) an isotropic corner region; (ii) a buoyancy dominated vertical boundary layer; (iii) an isotropic connection region; and (iv) a horizontal boundary layer at the top boundary with strong gradients of pressure and buoyancy. Scalings from numerical simulations are consistent with the theoretical predictions. Close to the heated wall, the convection in the mushy layer is similar to a rising buoyant plume abruptly stopped at the top, leading to increased pressure and temperature in the upper region, whose impact is discussed as an efficient melting mechanism.</jats:p>

A stochastic model for the turbulent ocean heat flux under Arctic sea ice



Srikanth Toppaladoddi, Andrew J Wells

Nonlinear interactions between an unstably stratified shear flow and a phase boundary


The role of grain-environment heterogeneity in normal grain growth: a stochastic approach

Acta Materialia Elsevier 209 (2021) 116699


Thomas Breithaupt, Lars N Hansen, Srikanth Toppaladoddi, Richard F Katz


The size distribution of grains is a fundamental characteristic of polycrystalline solids. In the absence of deformation, the grain-size distribution is controlled by normal grain growth. The canonical model of normal grain growth, developed by Hillert, predicts a grain-size distribution that bears a systematic discrepancy with observed distributions. To address this, we propose a change to the Hillert model that accounts for the influence of heterogeneity in the local environment of grains. In our model, each grain evolves in response to its own local environment of neighbouring grains, rather than to the global population of grains. The local environment of each grain evolves according to an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck stochastic process. Our results are consistent with accepted grain-growth kinetics. Crucially, our model indicates that the size of relatively large grains evolves as a random walk due to the inherent variability in their local environments. This leads to a broader grain-size distribution than the Hillert model and indicates that heterogeneity has a critical influence on the evolution of the microstructure.

Thermal convection over fractal surfaces

Journal of Fluid Mechanics Cambridge University Press 907 (2020) A12


Srikanth Toppaladoddi, Andrew J Wells, Charles R Doering, John S Wettlaufer


We use well resolved numerical simulations with the Lattice Boltzmann Method to study Rayleigh-B´enard convection in cells with a fractal boundary in two dimensions for P r = 1 and Ra ∈ [10^7 , 10^10]. The fractal boundaries are functions characterized by power spectral densities S(k) that decay with wavenumber, k, as S(k) ∼ k^p (p < 0). The degree of roughness is quantified by the exponent p with p < −3 for smooth (differentiable) surfaces and −3 ≤ p < −1 for rough surfaces with Hausdorff dimension D_f =1/2 (p + 5). By computing the exponent β in power law fits Nu ∼ Ra^β, where Nu and Ra are the Nusselt and the Rayleigh numbers for Ra ∈ [10^8, 10^10], we observe that heat transport scaling increases with roughness over the top two decades of Ra ∈ [10^8, 10^10]. For p = −3.0, −2.0 and −1.5 we find β = 0.288 ± 0.005, 0.329 ± 0.006 and 0.352 ± 0.011, respectively. We also observe that the Reynolds number, Re, scales as Re ∼ Ra^ξ , where ξ ≈ 0.57 over Ra ∈ [10^7, 10^10], for all p used in the study. For a given value of p, the averaged Nu and Re are insensitive to the specific realization of the roughness.