Horizontal Convection (HC) is a circulation driven by differential buoyancy forcing across a horizontal surface. Interest in HC has been motivated by the need to understand the role of surface heating in the ocean Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). We are currently studying this circulation using a combination of Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS), theoretical analysis of instabilities and flow bifurcations, and experiments in the UNC Joint Fluids Lab. This project is a collaboration with Professor Alberto Scotti, UNC Marine Sciences and is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Buoyancy field from DNS of HC run on 512 cores using the UNC KillDevil parallel computing cluster,
Close up of the convectively unstable region which feeds dense fluid into the sinking plume on the right side of the domain.