Buoyancy-driven turbulent mixing of fluids of slightly different densities [At=Δρ/(2ρ)=1.15×102] in a long circular tube tilted at an angle θ=15° from the vertical is studied at the local scale, both experimentally from particle image velocimetry and laser induced fluorescence measurements in the vertical diametrical plane and numerically throughout the tube using direct numerical simulation. In a given cross section of the tube, the axial mean velocity and the mean concentration both vary linearly with the crosswise distance z from the tube axis in the central 70% of the diameter. A small crosswise velocity component is detected in the measurement plane and is found to result from a four-cell mean secondary flow associated with a nonzero streamwise component of the vorticity. In the central region of the tube cross section, the intensities of the three turbulent velocity fluctuations are found to be strongly different, that of the streamwise fluctuation being more than twice larger than that of the spanwise fluctuation which itself is about 50% larger than that of the crosswise fluctuation. This marked anisotropy indicates that the turbulent structure is close to that observed in homogeneous turbulent shear flows. Still in the central region, the turbulent shear stress dominates over the viscous stress and reaches a maximum on the tube axis. Its crosswise variation is approximately accounted for by a mixing length whose value is about one-tenth of the tube diameter. The momentum exchange in the core of the cross section takes place between its lower and higher density parts and there is no net momentum exchange between the core and the near-wall regions. A sizable part of this transfer is due both to the mean secondary flow and to the spanwise turbulent shear stress. Near-wall regions located beyond the location of the extrema of the axial velocity (|z|0.36d) are dominated by viscous stresses which transfer momentum toward (from) the wall near the top (bottom) of the tube.

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