Energy and water vapor transport across a simplified cloud-clear air interface

24 Feb 2015  ·  Gallana Luca, Di Savino Silvio, De Santi Francesca, Iovieno Michele, Tordella Daniela ·

We consider a simplified physics of the could interface where condensation, evaporation and radiation are neglected and momentum, thermal energy and water vapor transport is represented in terms of the Boussinesq model coupled to a passive scalar transport equation for the vapor. The interface is modeled as a layer separating two isotropic turbulent regions with different kinetic energy and vapor concentration... In particular, we focus on the small scale part of the inertial range as well as on the dissipative range of scales which are important to the micro-physics of warm clouds. We have numerically investigated stably stratified interfaces by locally perturbing at an initial instant the standard temperature lapse rate at the cloud interface and then observing the temporal evolution of the system. When the buoyancy term becomes of the same order of the inertial one, we observe a spatial redistribution of the kinetic energy which produce a concomitant pit of kinetic energy within the mixing layer. In this situation, the mixing layer contains two interfacial regions with opposite kinetic energy gradient, which in turn produces two intermittent sublayers in the velocity fluctuations field. This changes the structure of the field with respect to the corresponding non-stratified shearless mixing: the communication between the two turbulent region is weak, and the growth of the mixing layer stops. These results are discussed with respect to experimental results with and without stratification. read more

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Fluid Dynamics