Similarities between the structure functions of thermal convection and hydrodynamic turbulence

Shashwat Bhattacharya (Lead / Corresponding author), Shubhadeep Sadhukhan, Anirban Guha, Mahendra K. Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we analyze the scaling of velocity structure functions of turbulent thermal convection. Using high-resolution numerical simulations, we show that the structure functions scale similar to those of hydrodynamic turbulence, with the scaling exponents in agreement with the predictions of She and Leveque [“Universal scaling laws in fully developed turbulence,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 72, 336–339 (1994)]. The probability distribution functions of velocity increments are non-Gaussian with wide tails in the dissipative scales and become close to Gaussian in the inertial range. The tails of the probability distribution follow a stretched exponential. We also show that in thermal convection, the energy flux in the inertial range is less than the viscous dissipation rate. This is unlike in hydrodynamic turbulence where the energy flux and the dissipation rate are equal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115107
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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