On the Stability of Vertical Double-Diffusive Interfaces. Part 2. Two Parallel Interfaces

I. A. Eltayeb

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This is the second part of a three-part study of the stability of vertically oriented double-diffusive interfaces having an imposed vertical stable temperature gradient. In this study, flow is forced within a fluid of infinite extent by a prescribed excess of compositionally buoyant material between two parallel interfaces. Compositional diffusivity is ignored while thermal diffusivity and viscosity are finite. The stability of the interfaces is analysed first in the limit that they are close together (compared with the salt-finger lengthscale), then for general spacing. Attention is focused on whether the preferred mode of instability is varicose or sinuous and whether its wavevector is vertical or oblique. The interfaces are found to be unstable for some wavenumber for all values of the Prandtl number and interface spacing. The preferred mode of instability for closely spaced interfaces is varicose and vertical for Prandtl number less than about 9, sinuous oblique for Prandtl number between 9 and 15 and sinuous vertical for larger Prandtl number. For general spacing each of the four possible modes of instability is preferred for some range of Prandti number and interface separation, with no clear pattern of preference, except that the sinuous oblique mode is preferred for widely separated interfaces. The growth rate of the preferred mode is largest for interfaces having separations of from 1 to 3 salt-finger lengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-273
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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