The present experimental investigation is concerned with the transient flow response in a reservoir model to periodic heating and cooling at the water surface. The experiment reveals a stable stratification of the water body during the heating phase and an unsteady mixing flow in the reservoir during the cooling phase. It is shown that thermal instabilities play an important role in breaking up the residual circulation and initiating a reverse flow circulation in deep waters after the switch of thermal forcing from heating to cooling. Moreover, the heating from the water surface results in a stable large-scale convective roll that is clearly observed in the experiment. The present flow visualization is carried out with the application of thermo-chromic liquid crystals. Quantitative temperature and velocity fields are extracted using Particle Image Thermometry and Particle Image Velocimetry techniques. Understanding of the flow mechanisms pertinent to this problem is important for predicting the transport of nutrients and pollutants across reservoirs.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 18, 2009
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