Plume emission statistics in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection

Erwin van der Poel, Roberto Verzicco, S. Grossmann, Detlef Lohse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Direct numerical simulations (DNS) of turbulent thermal convection in a PrD0:7 fluid up to RaD1012 are used to study the statistics of thermal plumes. At various vertical locations in a cylindrical set-up with aspect ratio D width=height D 1=3, plumes are identified and their properties extracted. It is found that plumes are much less likely to be emitted from plate regions with large wind shear. Close to the plates, the plumes have a unimodal log–normal distribution, whereas at more central locations the distribution becomes weakly bimodal, which can be traced back to clustering of the plumes and influence of the large-scale circulation. The number of hot plumes decreases with height. The width of the plumes scales with Ra approximately as Nu indicating that it is determined by the thermal boundary layer thickness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • IR-96718
  • METIS-310474


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