Off-centre gravity induces large-scale flow patterns in spherical Rayleigh–Bénard convection

Guiquan Wang*, Luca Santelli, Roberto Verzicco, Detlef Lohse, Richard J.A.M. Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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We perform direct numerical simulations to study the effect of the gravity centre offset in spherical Rayleigh-Bénard convection. When the gravity centre is shifted towards the south, we find that the shift of the gravity centre has a pronounced influence on the flow structures. At low Rayleigh number Formula Presented, a steady-state large-scale meridional circulation induced by the baroclinic imbalance, created by the misalignment of the gravity potentials and isotherms, is formed. At high Formula Presented, an energetic jet is created on the northern side of the inner sphere that is directed towards the outer sphere. The large-scale circulation induces a strong co-latitudinal dependence in the local heat flux. Nevertheless, the global heat flux is not affected by the changes in the large-scale flow organization induced by the gravity centre offset.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA21
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Early online date19 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2022


  • Convection
  • fluid mechanics
  • fluid dynamics
  • turbulence
  • direct numerical simulations
  • heat transfer
  • high performance computing
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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