Publication Abstracts

Canuto 2002

Canuto, V.M., 2002: Critical Richardson numbers and gravity waves. Astron. Astrophys., 384, 1119-1123, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20011773.

In this paper we present two new results. The first concerns the proper identification of the critical Richardson number Ri(cr) above which there is no longer turbulent mixing. Thus far, all studies have assumed that: Ri(cr) = Ril(cr) = 1/4. However, since Ril(cr) determines the upper limit of a laminar regime (superscript l), it has little relevance to stars where the problem is not to determine the end point of a laminar regime but the endpoint of turbulence. We show that the latter is characterized by Rit(cr), where t stands for turbulence, and has a value four times larger than (1): Ri(cr) = Rit(cr) ∼ 4 Ril(cr) ∼ 1. We also show that use of (2) instead of (1) changes the conclusions of recent studies. Inclusion of radiative losses (characterized by the Peclet number Pe) which weaken stable stratification and help turbulence, further changes (2) to (r stands for radiative): Ri (cr) = Rir(cr) ∼ (1+Pe)Pe-1 Rit(cr) which, for Pe < 1, allows turbulence to survive far longer than (2). Finally, turbulent convection generates gravity waves that propagate into the radiative region and act as an additional source of energy. This further changes Eq. (3) to (gw stands for gravity waves): Ri(cr) = Rigw(cr) = Rir (1+ηgw) where ηgw > 1. In conclusion, the successive inclusion of relevant physical processes leads to a chain of increasing values of Ri(cr): Ri(cr) = Ril(cr) > Rit(cr)> Rir(cr)> Rigw(cr). The second result concerns the dependence of the diffusivity D on Ω. We show that the commonly used expression Dχ-1 ∼ (Ω/N)2 is not correct for the regime Pe < 1 that characterizes a stably stratified regime. The proper Ω-dependence is: Dχ-1 ∼ (Ω/N)4.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Canuto, V. M.},
  title={Critical Richardson numbers and gravity waves},
  journal={Astron. Astrophys.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ca05400j
AU  - Canuto, V. M.
PY  - 2002
TI  - Critical Richardson numbers and gravity waves
JA  - Astron. Astrophys.
VL  - 384
SP  - 1119
EP  - 1123
DO  - 10.1051/0004-6361%3A20011773
ER  -

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