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Turbulent Transport by Diffusive Stratified Shear Flows: From Local to Global Models. III. A Closure Model

Abstract : Being able to account for the missing mixing in stellar radiative zones is a key step toward a better understanding of stellar evolution. Zahn argued that thermally diffusive shear-induced turbulence might be responsible for some of this mixing. In Part I and Part II of this series of papers, we showed that Zahn’s mixing model applies when the properties of the turbulence are local. But we also discovered limitations of the model when this locality condition fails, in particular near the edge of a turbulent region. In this paper, we propose a second-order closure model for the transport of momentum and chemical species by shear-induced turbulence in strongly stratified, thermally diffusive environments (the so-called low Péclet number (LPN) limit), which builds upon the work of Garaud & Ogilvie. Comparison against direct numerical simulations (DNSs) shows that the model is able to predict the vertical profiles of the mean flow and of the stress tensor (including the momentum transport) in diffusive shear flows, often with a reasonably good precision, and at least within a factor of order unity in the worst case scenario. The model is sufficiently simple to be implemented in stellar evolution codes, and all the model constants have been calibrated against DNSs. While significant limitations to its use remain (e.g., it can only be used in the slowly rotating LPN limit), we argue that it is more reliable than most of the astrophysical prescriptions that are used in stellar evolution models today.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 11:23:16 AM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:02:31 AM

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Logithan Kulenthirarajah, Pascale Garaud. Turbulent Transport by Diffusive Stratified Shear Flows: From Local to Global Models. III. A Closure Model. The Astrophysical Journal, 2018, 864, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/aad5e8⟩. ⟨insu-03678183⟩

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