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Irreversible compressible work and APE dissipation in turbulent stratified fluid

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Tailleux, R. (2013) Irreversible compressible work and APE dissipation in turbulent stratified fluid. Physica Scripta, T155. 014033. ISSN 1402-4896

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/0031-8949/2013/T155/014033

Abstract/Summary

Although it plays a key role in the theory of stratified turbulence, the concept of available potential energy (APE) dissipation has remained until now a rather mysterious quantity, owing to the lack of rigorous result about its irreversible character or energy conversion type. Here, we show by using rigorous energetics considerations rooted in the analysis of the Navier-Stokes for a fully compressible fluid with a nonlinear equation of state that the APE dissipation is an irreversible energy conversion that dissipates kinetic energy into internal energy, exactly as viscous dissipation. These results are established by showing that APE dissipation contributes to the irreversible production of entropy, and by showing that it is a part of the work of expansion/contraction. Our results provide a new interpretation of the entropy budget, that leads to a new exact definition of turbulent effective diffusivity, which generalizes the Osborn-Cox model, as well as a rigorous decomposition of the work of expansion/contraction into reversible and irreversible components. In the context of turbulent mixing associated with parallel shear flow instability, our results suggests that there is no irreversible transfer of horizontal momentum into vertical momentum, as seems to be required when compressible effects are neglected, with potential consequences for the parameterisations of momentum dissipation in the coarse-grained Navier-Stokes equations.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute for Climate System Research
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:34395
Publisher:IOP Science

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