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Dynamics in a stellar convective layer and at its boundary: Comparison of five 3D hydrodynamics codes

Abstract : Our ability to predict the structure and evolution of stars is in part limited by complex, 3D hydrodynamic processes such as convective boundary mixing. Hydrodynamic simulations help us understand the dynamics of stellar convection and convective boundaries. However, the codes used to compute such simulations are usually tested on extremely simple problems and the reliability and reproducibility of their predictions for turbulent flows is unclear. We define a test problem involving turbulent convection in a plane-parallel box, which leads to mass entrainment from, and internal-wave generation in, a stably stratified layer. We compare the outputs from the codes FLASH, MUSIC, PPMSTAR, PROMPI, and SLH, which have been widely employed to study hydrodynamic problems in stellar interiors. The convection is dominated by the largest scales that fit into the simulation box. All time-averaged profiles of velocity components, fluctuation amplitudes, and fluxes of enthalpy and kinetic energy are within ≲3σ of the mean of all simulations on a given grid (1283 and 2563 grid cells), where σ describes the statistical variation due to the flow's time dependence. They also agree well with a 5123 reference run. The 1283 and 2563 simulations agree within 9% and 4%, respectively, on the total mass entrained into the convective layer. The entrainment rate appears to be set by the amount of energy that can be converted to work in our setup and details of the small-scale flows in the boundary layer seem to be largely irrelevant. Our results lend credence to hydrodynamic simulations of flows in stellar interiors. We provide in electronic form all outputs of our simulations as well as all information needed to reproduce or extend our study.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, July 1, 2022 - 5:32:28 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 3:37:49 PM


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R. Andrassy, J. Higl, H. Mao, M. Mocák, D. G. Vlaykov, et al.. Dynamics in a stellar convective layer and at its boundary: Comparison of five 3D hydrodynamics codes. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2022, 659, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202142557⟩. ⟨insu-03711529⟩



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