Journal or Book Title
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Scalars with different molecular diffusivities can be transported at different rates in a strongly stratified, weakly turbulent flow. Rapid distortion theory (RDT) is used to examine the mechanisms responsible for differential diffusion of scalars in a sheared stratified flow. The theory, which applies when the flow is strongly stratified, predicts upgradient flux and its wavenumber dependence, which previous direct numerical simulations have shown to be important in differential diffusion. The net effect of shear on differential diffusion depends on the Grashof number, or the relative importance of buoyancy and viscous effects. RDT also allows the effects of the density ratio, Schmidt number, Lewis number, scalar activity and mean shear to be examined without the high computational cost of direct numerical simulation. RDT predicts that differential diffusion will increase with increasing density ratio, but only at low Grashof number. When the Lewis number is fixed, the Grashof number below which differential diffusion occurs decreases with increasing Schmidt number, and when one of the Schmidt numbers is fixed, differential diffusion decreases with increasing Lewis number. Also, differential transport of passive scalars increases when the Schmidt number of the scalar stratifying the flow increases.
Research Focus Area
Environmental/Water Resources Engineering
Cambridge University Press
Jackson, P. Ryan and Rehmann, Chris R., "Theory for differential transport of scalars in sheared stratified turbulence" (2009). Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Publications. 7.