Thermoconvective vortices in a cylindrical annulus with varying inner radius
2014 - D. Castaño, M.C. Navarro and H. Herrero
Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 24, 043116 (2014)
This paper shows the influence of the inner radius on the stability and intensity of vertical vortices, qualitatively similar to dust devils and cyclones, generated in a cylindrical annulus non-homogeneously heated from below. Little relation is found between the intensity of the vortex and the magnitude of the inner radius. Strong stable vortices can be found for both small and large values of the inner radius. The Rankine combined vortex structure, that characterizes the tangential velocity in dust devils, is clearly observed when small values of the inner radius and large values of the ratio between the horizontal and vertical temperature differences are considered. A contraction on the radius of maximum azimuthal velocity is observed when the vortex is intensified by thermal mechanisms. This radius becomes then nearly stationary when frictional force balances the radial inflow generated by the pressure drop in the center, despite the vortex keeps intensifying. These results connect with the behavior of the radius of the maximum tangential wind associated with a hurricane.