Prandtl-Blasius temperature and velocity boundary-layer profiles in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection

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

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The shapes of the velocity and temperature profiles near the horizontal conducting plates' centre regions in turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection are studied numerically and experimentally over the Rayleigh number range 108 ≲ Ra ≲ 3 × 1011 and the Prandtl number range 0.7 ≲ Pr ≲ 5.4. The results show that both the temperature and velocity profiles agree well with the classical Prandtl–Blasius (PB) laminar boundary-layer profiles, if they are re-sampled in the respective dynamical reference frames that fluctuate with the instantaneous thermal and velocity boundary-layer thicknesses. The study further shows that the PB boundary layer in turbulent thermal convection not only holds in a time-averaged sense, but is most of the time also valid in an instantaneous sense
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Convection
  • Boundary layers
  • IR-79254
  • METIS-270426
  • Bénard convection

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