Gravity currents produced by a lock-exchange flow are studied using high-resolution molecular tagging techniques. Instead of employing salt to produce density stratification, an initial temperature difference is introduced in the system to generate the ensuing gravity currents. The experiments focus on the interface between the hot and cold fluids to characterize the resultant mixing across the interface. The present measurements spatially resolve the flow to smaller than the Kolmogorov scale and close to the Batchelor scale. This enables reasonably accurate estimates of velocity and density gradients. The measured density (temperature) distribution allowed estimation of the background potential energy of the flow that is used to quantify mixing. These measurements yield a mixing efficiency of about 0.13 with a standard deviation of 0.05 for the present Reynolds number range . An analysis combining flow visualization and quantitative measurements reveals that spatially local values of high mixing efficiency occur after the occurrence of certain dissipative stirring events. These events, largely associated with vortical overturns, are commonly observed near the interface between the two fluids and are a precursor to locally efficient mixing.
Probing the high mixing efficiency events in a lock-exchange flow through simultaneous velocity and temperature measurements
Note: This paper is part of the Special Topic, Interfaces and Mixing, and Beyond.
Tanmay Agrawal, Bhaarath Ramesh, Spencer J. Zimmerman, Jimmy Philip, Joseph C. Klewicki; Probing the high mixing efficiency events in a lock-exchange flow through simultaneous velocity and temperature measurements. Physics of Fluids 1 January 2021; 33 (1): 016605. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0033463
Download citation file: