Exploring the geostrophic regime of rapidly rotating convection with experiments

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Rapidly rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection is studied using time-resolved particle image velocimetry and three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry. Approaching the geostrophic regime of rotating convection, where the flow is highly turbulent and at the same time dominated by the Coriolis force, typically requires dedicated setups with either extreme dimensions or troublesome working fluids (e.g. cryogenic helium). In this study, we explore the possibilities of entering the geostrophic regime of rotating convection with classical experimental tools: a table-top conventional convection cell with a height of 0.2 m and water as the working fluid. In order to examine our experimental measurements, we compare the spatial vorticity autocorrelations with the statistics from simulations of geostrophic convection reported earlier in [D. Nieves et al., Phys. Fluids 26, 086602 (2014)]. Our findings show that we have indeed access to the geostrophic convection regime and can observe the signatures of the typical flow features reported in the aforementioned simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number045105
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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