Journal of Fluid Mechanics



Coriolis effect on gravity-driven convection in a rotating porous layer heated from below


PETER VADASZ a1
a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Durban-Westville, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa

Abstract

Linear stability and weak nonlinear theories are used to investigate analytically the Coriolis effect on three-dimensional gravity-driven convection in a rotating porous layer heated from below. Major differences as well as similarities with the corresponding problem in pure fluids (non-porous domains) are particularly highlighted. As such, it is found that, in contrast to the problem in pure fluids, overstable convection in porous media is not limited to a particular domain of Prandtl number values (in pure fluids the necessary condition is Pr<1). Moreover, it is also established that in the porous-media problem the critical wavenumber in the plane containing the streamlines for stationary convection is not identical to the critical wavenumber associated with convection without rotation, and is therefore not independent of rotation, a result which is quite distinct from the corresponding pure-fluids problem. Nevertheless it is evident that in porous media, just as in the case of pure fluids subject to rotation and heated from below, the viscosity at high rotation rates has a destabilizing effect on the onset of stationary convection, i.e. the higher the viscosity the less stable the fluid. Finite-amplitude results obtained by using a weak nonlinear analysis provide differential equations for the amplitude, corresponding to both stationary and overstable convection. These amplitude equations permit one to identify from the post-transient conditions that the fluid is subject to a pitchfork bifurcation in the stationary convection case and to a Hopf bifurcation associated with the overstable convection. Heat transfer results were evaluated from the amplitude solution and are presented in terms of Nusselt number for both stationary and overstable convection. They show that rotation has in general a retarding effect on convective heat transfer, except for a narrow region of small values of the parameter containing the Prandtl number where rotation enhances the heat transfer associated with overstable convection.

(Received February 12 1997)
(Revised July 10 1998)



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