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Starting laminar plumes: Comparison of laboratory and numerical modeling

Abstract : A detailed comparison of starting laminar plumes in viscous fluids is provided using the complementary approaches of laboratory modeling and numerical simulation. In the laboratory experiments the plumes are started in a nearly isoviscous silicone oil with heat supplied through a fixed circular source. The temperature field is measured by differential interferometry and thermochromic liquid crystals. The velocity field is determined by particle image velocimetry. Numerical simulations of the laboratory experiments are performed using a finite element method that employs the measured properties of the physical oil and the heating history. No further adjustments are made to match the laboratory results. For fluids at two different viscosities and for variable power supplied to the plume there is excellent agreement in the temporal evolution and fine spatial detail of the plume. Minor differences remain, particulary in the transient stage of the plume in the low-viscosity fluid, but the differences are within the experimental uncertainties. In contrast, the assumption of constant viscosity in the numerical models leads to differences that are larger than the experimental uncertainties, demonstrating that these near-isoviscous fluids should not be considered to have constant viscosity.
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Judith Vatteville, Peter van Keken, Angela Limare, Anne Davaille. Starting laminar plumes: Comparison of laboratory and numerical modeling. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, AGU and the Geochemical Society, 2009, 10 (12), pp.n/a-n/a. ⟨10.1029/2009GC002739⟩. ⟨insu-02932078⟩



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