Thermal instability of nonlinearly stratified fluids

J. E. Gatica, H. J. Viljoen, V. Hlavacek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The problem of thermal instabilities in nonlinearly stratified fluids is analyzed. When a fluid layer is subject to an initial nonlinear temperature distribution, a distribution of the critical conditions for the onset of secondary flows results. At the onset of instabilities, convective cells will develop locally in the system. These modes are better represented by local eigenfunctions than global ones. A linear stability analysis is performed and dispersion relations are reported. Analytical predictions are confirmed by numerical results. The examples analyzed also indicate that the role of certain system parameters as stabilizing/destabilizing factors can be reversed for different geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-686
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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