EGU22-11160, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Local energy release by extreme vertical drafts in stratified geophysical flows

Raffaello Foldes1,2, Silvio Sergio Cerri3,4, Raffaele Marino2, Fabio Feraco2,5, and Enrico Camporeale6,7
Raffaello Foldes et al.
  • 1University of L'Aquila, Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 2Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique, CNRS, École Centrale de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSA de Lyon, Ecully, France
  • 3Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 4Université Cote d’Azur, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice cedex, France
  • 5Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Rende (CS), Italy
  • 6CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 7NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Boulder, CO, USA

Investigating energy injection mechanisms in stratified turbulent flows is critical to understand the multi-scale dynamics of the atmosphere and the oceans. Geophysical fluids are characterized by anisotropy, supporting the propagation of gravity waves. Classical paradigms of homogeneous isotropic turbulence may therefore not apply, the energy transfer in these frameworks being determined by the interplay of waves and turbulence as well as by the presence of structures emerging intermittently in space and time. In particular, it has been observed that stably stratified fluids can develop large-scale intermittent events in the form of extreme vertical velocity drafts, in a specific range of Froude numbers ([1]). These events were found to be associated with the enhancement of small-scale intermittency ([2]) and local dissipation ([3]). Here we verify the possibility that such extreme vertical drafts may release energy to the flow, affecting its overall dynamics and energetics. The analysis presented consists in the implementation of a space-filtering technique ([4]) applied to three-dimensional direct numerical simulations of the Boussinesq equations.

The strength of this approach relies on dealing with quantities (referred to as “sub-grid terms”) which are a reliable proxies of the classical Fourier flux terms but defined locally in the physical space, allowing for a scale analysis of the energy transfer at specific location of the domain flow. By investigating the correlation between values of the sub-grid terms and the presence of the extreme values of the vertical velocity, we found an increase in the energy transfer at intermediate scales that is likely to be associated with the development of vertical drafts in the flow. In the range of the governing parameters (namely the Froude and the Reynolds numbers) in which the extreme vertical drafts are detected in stratified turbulent flows, enhancement of the coupling between kinetic and potential energy modes is also observed, feeding in turn the scale-to-scale potential energy transfer.


[1] Feraco et al., EPL, 2018

[2] Feraco et al., EPL, 2021

[3] Marino et al., PRF, in review

[4] Camporeale et al., PRL, 2018

How to cite: Foldes, R., Cerri, S. S., Marino, R., Feraco, F., and Camporeale, E.: Local energy release by extreme vertical drafts in stratified geophysical flows, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11160,, 2022.


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