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The Mathematical Underpinnings of Stratified Turbulence

Department A-Z

The fluid mechanics groups in applied mathematics at Bristol and Cambridge have joined together in major new £2.3M project funded by an EPSRC Programme grant.

This project will develop the mathematical underpinnings of stratified turbulence, building on the dynamical systems viewpoint developed for a fluid which has a constant density and extending it to one in which the fluid density varies in space and time. The inclusion of buoyancy effects will allow us to probe universal aspects of turbulence in a way that would not be possible in a homogeneous fluid.

Our approach is based on tight quantitative coupling between mathematics, simulation and experimentation. We are conducting experiments and simulations on stratified turbulence generated by horizontal and vertical shear. Measurements of the three-dimensional velocity and scalar fields are compared with theoretical models and highly resolved computations to explore the structures responsible for irreversible mixing. One of the important outcomes will be to develop a simplified dynamical description that captures the key physics of stratified turbulence, and provide a generic tool for understanding and modelling turbulence and mixing processes in diverse contexts of economic, environmental and societal importance.

Recent Publications

Leclercq, C. and Partridge, J. L. and Augier, P. and Dalziel, S. B. and Kerswell, R., 2016
Olsthoorn, J. & Dalziel, S. B., 2015

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