Small-Scale Properties of Turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard Convection

Detlef Lohse, K. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

681 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


The properties of the structure functions and other small-scale quantities in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection are reviewed, from an experimental, theoretical, and numerical point of view. In particular, we address the question of whether, and if so where in the flow, the so-called Bolgiano-Obukhov scaling exists, i.e., Sθ(r) r2/5 for the second-order temperature structure function and Su(r) r6/5 for the second-order velocity structure function. Apart from the anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the flow, insufficiently high Rayleigh numbers, and intermittency corrections (which all hinder the identification of such a potential regime), there are also reasons, as a matter of principle, why such a scaling regime may be limited to at most a decade, namely the lack of clear scale separation between the Bolgiano length scale LB and the height of the cell.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)335-364
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual review of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • METIS-263401
  • thermal convectionturbulencestructure functionsBolgiano scaling
  • IR-79235

Cite this