Turbulence and Mixing in Stratified Shear Flows
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
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A research program was carried out to investigate turbulent mixing in stably stratified shear flows with the hope of gaining an improved understanding of stably stratified nocturnal boundary layers. The program was mainly laboratory experimental, supplemented by theoretical and numerical developments. The flow configuration consisted of a three-layer system, with upper turbulent layer driven over the lower stratified, quiescent, layer while an intermediate inversion layer sandwiched between these two layers. The studies included the nature of instabilities, intermittent generation of turbulence, sustenance and decay of turbulence under varying background conditions essentially determined by the Richardson number and ensuing turbulent mixing in the inversion layer. An unprecedented volume of laboratory data were gathered during the program, which enabled to delve into the mechanics and energetics of mixing in stable boundary layers. The laboratory results were compared with, and was used to gain insights on, field observations. Also, the parameterizations developed were compared with those currently used in numerical models. A meso-scale numerical model also was used to check the efficacy of some of the laboratory-based parameterizations.
- Fluid Mechanics