Robust wall modes and their interplay with bulk turbulence in confined rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection

Xander M. de Wit, Wouter J.M. Boot, Matteo Madonia, Andrés J. Aguirre Guzmán, Rudie P.J. Kunnen (Corresponding author)

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In confined rotating convection, a strong zonal flow can develop close to the side wall with a modal structure that precesses anticyclonically (counter to the applied rotation) along the side wall. It is surmised that this is a robust nonlinear evolution of the wall modes observed before the onset of bulk convection. Here, we perform direct numerical simulations of cylindrically confined rotating convection at high rotation rates and strong turbulent forcing. Through comparison with earlier work, we find a fit-parameter-free relation that links the angular drift frequency of the robust wall mode observed far into the turbulent regime with the critical wall mode frequency at onset, firmly substantiating the connection between the observed boundary zonal flow and the wall modes. Deviations from this relation at stronger turbulent forcing suggest early signs of the bulk turbulence starting to hamper the development of the wall mode. Furthermore, by studying the interactive flow between the robust wall mode and the bulk turbulence, we identify radial jets penetrating from the wall mode into the bulk. These jets induce a large-scale multipolar vortex structure in the bulk turbulence, dependent on the wave number of the wall mode. In a narrow cylinder the entire bulk flow is dominated by a quadrupolar vortex driven by the radial jets, while in a wider cylinder the jets are found to have a finite penetration length and the vortices do not cover the entire bulk. We also identify the role of Reynolds stresses in the generation of zonal flows in the region near the sidewall.
Originele taal-2Engels
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftPhysical Review Fluids
Nummer van het tijdschrift7
StatusGepubliceerd - jul. 2023


M.M., A.J.A.G., and R.P.J.K. received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 678634). We are grateful for the support of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the use of supercomputer facilities (Cartesius and Snellius) under Grants No. 2019.005, No. 2020.009, and No. 2021.009. This publication is part of the project “Shaping turbulence with smart particles” with Project No. OCENW.GROOT.2019.031 of the research programme Open Competitie ENW XL which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

European Research Council
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek2019.005, OCENW.GROOT.2019.031, 2020.009, 2021.009
Horizon 2020678634


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