Title: Numerical study of Rayleigh-Taylor instability between miscible fluids with spectral element method

Authors: Xu Zhang

Addresses: National Key Laboratory of Shock Wave and Detonation Physics, Institute of Fluid Physics, CAEP, Mianyang 621900, China

Abstract: Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities between miscible fluids are studied with a specially-developed unsteady three-dimensional high order spectral element method code. The numerical model used in this code consists of Navier-Stokes equations and a transport-diffusive equation, and the code is validated with results of linear stability perturbation theory. Several characteristics of the Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities are studied including: instantaneous turbulent structures, and statistical turbulent mixing heights under different initial wave numbers. These results indicate that turbulent structures of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities are strongly dependent on the initial conditions. The results also suggest that the spectral element method should provide the capability of simulating small scale fluctuations in Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities turbulent flows.

Keywords: direct numerical simulation; Rayleigh-Taylor instability; spectral element method; miscible fluids; turbulent flow.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2010.031560

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2010 Vol.10 No.2, pp.80 - 87

Published online: 10 Feb 2010 *

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