Axisymmetric plumes in viscous fluids


  • Emma J. Allwright Mathematics Department, T. U. München, Germany.
  • Larry K. Forbes School of Mathematics and Physics University of Tasmania.
  • Stephen J. Walters School of Mathematics and Physics University of Tasmania.



Boussinesq fluid, overturning plume, unsteady flow.


We consider fluid in a channel of finite height. There is a circular hole in the channel bottom, through which fluid of a lower density is injected and rises to form a plume. Viscous boundary layers close to the top and bottom of the channel are assumed to be so thin that the viscous fluid effectively slips along each of these boundaries. The problem is solved using a novel spectral method, in which Hankel transforms are first used to create a steady-state axisymmetric (inviscid) background flow that exactly satisfies the boundary conditions. A viscous correction is then added, so as to satisfy the time-dependent Boussinesq Navier–Stokes equations within the fluid, leaving the boundary conditions intact. Results are presented for the ``lazy†plume, in which the fluid rises due only to its own buoyancy, and we study in detail its evolution with time to form an overturning structure. Some results for momentum-driven plumes are also presented, and the effect of the upper wall of the channel on the evolution of the axisymmetric plume is discussed. doi:10.1017/S1446181119000075

Author Biography

Larry K. Forbes, School of Mathematics and Physics University of Tasmania.

Professor of Mathematics. School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.





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