3 years ago

The energy flux spectrum of internal waves generated by turbulent convection.

Michael Le Bars, Louis-Alexandre Couston, Daniel Lecoanet, Benjamin Favier

We present three-dimensional direct numerical simulations of internal waves excited by turbulent convection in a self-consistent, Boussinesq and Cartesian model of convective--stably-stratified fluids. We demonstrate that in the limit of large Rayleigh number ($Ra\in [4\times 10^7,10^9]$) and large stratification (Brunt-V\"{a}is\"{a}l\"{a} frequencies $f_N \gg f_c$, where $f_c$ is the convective frequency), simulations are in good agreement with a theory that assumes waves are generated by Reynolds stresses due to eddies in the turbulent region (Lecoanet \& Quataert 2013 MNRAS 430 (3) 2363-2376). Specifically, we demonstrate that the wave energy flux spectrum scales like $k_{\perp}^4f^{-13/2}$ for weakly-damped waves (with $k_{\perp}$ and $f$ the waves' horizontal wavenumbers and frequencies), and that the total wave energy flux decays with $z$, the distance from the convective region, like $z^{-13/8}$.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1808.04638

DOI: arXiv:1808.04638v1

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