Onset of Kppers-Lortz-like dynamics in finite rotating thermal convection

A. Rubio, Juan Lopez, F. Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The onset of thermal convection in a finite rotating cylinder is investigated using direct numerical simulations of the Navier-Stokes equations with the Boussinesq approximation in a regime in which spatio-temporal complexity is observed directly after onset. The system is examined in the non-physical limit of zero centrifugal force as well as with an experimentally realizable centrifugal force, leading to two different paths to Kppers-Lortz-like spatio-temporal chaos. In the idealized case, neglecting centrifugal force, the onset of convection occurs directly from a conduction state, resulting in square patterns with slow roll switching, followed at higher thermal driving by straight roll patterns with faster roll switching. The case with a centrifugal force typical of laboratory experiments exhibits target patterns near the theoretically predicted onset of convection, followed by a rotating wave that emerges via a Hopf bifurcation. A subsequent Hopf bifurcation leads to ratcheting states with sixfold symmetry near the axis. With increasing thermal driving, roll switching is observed within the ratcheting lattice before Kppers-Lortz-like spatio-temporal chaos is observed with the dissolution of the lattice at a slightly stronger thermal driving. For both cases, all of these states are observed within a 2% variation in the thermal driving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-357
Number of pages21
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - Feb 10 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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