Horizontal structures of velocity and temperature boundary layers in two-dimensional numerical turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection

Quan Zhou, K. Sugiyama, Richard Johannes Antonius Maria Stevens, Siegfried Grossmann, Detlef Lohse, K. Xia

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We investigate the structures of the near-plate velocity and temperature profiles at different horizontal positions along the conducting bottom (and top) plate of a Rayleigh-Bénard convection cell, using two-dimensional (2D) numerical data obtained at the Rayleigh number Ra = 108 and the Prandtl number Pr = 4.4 of an Oberbeck-Boussinesq flow with constant material parameters. The results show that most of the time, and for both velocity and temperature, the instantaneous profiles scaled by the dynamical frame method [Q. Zhou and K.-Q. Xia, “Measured instantaneous viscous boundary layer in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 104301 (2010)] agree well with the classical Prandtl-Blasius laminar boundary layer (BL) profiles. Therefore, when averaging in the dynamical reference frames, which fluctuate with the respective instantaneous kinematic and thermal BL thicknesses, the obtained mean velocity and temperature profiles are also of Prandtl-Blasius type for nearly all horizontal positions. We further show that in certain situations the traditional definitions based on the time-averaged profiles can lead to unphysical BL thicknesses, while the dynamical method also in such cases can provide a well-defined BL thickness for both the kinematic and the thermal BLs
Original languageUndefined
Article number125104
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • METIS-281516
  • IR-78760

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