The vorticity dynamics of turbulent, buoyant, and pure plumes released into the quiescent ambience has been investigated using large-eddy simulations with plume Reynolds number in the range of 6 × 107 to 108. The plume is generated by a circular heat source and sustained by buoyancy forcings generated by heating. As the starting plume rises vertically, it expands radially, entraining ambient fluid into the plume and two distinct stages of evolution are evident. During stage one (initial stage), in the near-source region the plume is accelerating characterized by developing turbulence. During the next stage (mixing stage), the plume is significantly altered by turbulence resulting in significant entrainment and expansion in the radial direction. As turbulent intensities decay during the mixing stage, the enstrophy decays in an exponential manner with height with an exponent of −7/4. The turbulent kinetic energy budget analysis reveals—baroclinic torque, stretching, and compression—as the three dominant mechanisms for the plume growth. The probability distribution function (PDF) of vorticity shows that vorticity is mainly aligned along the transverse direction near the source and slowly reaches to a quasi-isotropy state downstream. Turbulence spectra demonstrate the presence of a buoyancy-regime with a −3 spectral slope. The PDF of vorticity further shows extreme dominance of the strain rate rather than rotation within the plume. Consistent with studies in the literature, the vorticity fluctuations align with the intermediate eigen-vector of strain-rate tensor.
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Research Article| November 03 2021
New findings in vorticity dynamics of turbulent buoyant plumes
Special Collection: Tribute to Frank M. White on his 88th Anniversary
Chang Hsin Chen;
Chang Hsin Chen, Kiran Bhaganagar; New findings in vorticity dynamics of turbulent buoyant plumes. Physics of Fluids 1 November 2021; 33 (11): 115104. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0065322
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