Accessing Core-Style Regimes of Flow Behavior: The Development of the UCLA Large-Scale Rotating Convection Device

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jonathan M Aurnou1, Jonathan Shuo Cheng1, Christina Daniel1, Chirag Jariwala1, Keith A Julien2, Ryan Marakas2, Philippe Marti2, Tong Mu1, Adolfo Ribeiro1, Steffen Tai1, Anthony Keng-In Vong1, Tim Pilegard1, David Ortega1 and Sam May1, (1)University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)Univ of Colorado--Boulder, Applied Mathematics, Boulder, CO, United States
The Earth’s magnetic field is generated in the outer core by convection that is both highly turbulent yet strongly constrained by the effects of rotation (i.e., Reynolds number Re ~ 108; Rossby number Ro ~ 10-6). This extreme form of convection has yet to characterized in detail in the laboratory or direct numerical simulations. To remedy this gap in our knowledge of basic core dynamics, we have designed and fabricated a large-scale rotating convection device at UCLA that can access Re ~ 105 at Ro ~ 10-2. We will be able to make precise measurements of heat transfer and flow velocities while acquiring high-resolution imaging of the large-scale flow fields. In addition, a newly developed rotating convection code has been designed specifically to make detailed comparisons with laboratory and theoretical results. This ensemble of diagnostics and experimental platforms will allow us to build and test advanced models of core-style flow.