Turbulent Rayleigh-Taylor flow driven by time-varying accelerations

P Ramaprabhu, Andrew G W Lawrie, K Muthuraman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


We report on numerical simulations of turbulent Rayleigh-Taylor flow subject to variable acceleration histories. The acceleration profiles were inspired by experiments and theoretical studies, and include an impulsive acceleration, accel-decel profiles, as well as a constant drive as the baseline case. The simulations were performed using the MOBILE software, a variable-density, incompressible fluid flow code. The advection algorithm employs a 3$^{rd}$-order, monotonicity-preserving upwind scheme, allowing the definition of sharp interfaces in the flow, while pressure convergence is accelerated by the use of a multi-grid scheme. The simulations are initialized with two classes of perturbations: narrow-band, short-wavelength modes and broadband with long-wavelength modes. The effect of initial amplitudes on the perturbations is investigated under the variable drive conditions. The acceleration profiles are capable of producing stages of ``demixing,'' useful in validating turbulence models of RTI.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event64th annual meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics - Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Duration: 20 Nov 201122 Nov 2011


Conference64th annual meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, Maryland


  • Rayleigh-Taylor instability
  • mixing
  • variable acceleration
  • single mode


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