Reynolds stress and heat flux in spherical shell convection⋆
1 Department of Physics, Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a ( PO Box 64), 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2 NORDITA, Roslagstullsbacken 23, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
3 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Received: 6 October 2010
Accepted: 20 April 2011
Context. Turbulent fluxes of angular momentum and enthalpy or heat due to rotationally affected convection play a key role in determining differential rotation of stars. Their dependence on latitude and depth has been determined in the past from convection simulations in Cartesian or spherical simulations. Here we perform a systematic comparison between the two geometries as a function of the rotation rate.
Aims. Here we want to extend the earlier studies by using spherical wedges to obtain turbulent angular momentum and heat transport as functions of the rotation rate from stratified convection. We compare results from spherical and Cartesian models in the same parameter regime in order to study whether restricted geometry introduces artefacts into the results. In particular, we want to clarify whether the sharp equatorial profile of the horizontal Reynolds stress found in earlier Cartesian models is also reproduced in spherical geometry.
Methods. We employ direct numerical simulations of turbulent convection in spherical and Cartesian geometries. In order to alleviate the computational cost in the spherical runs, and to reach as high spatial resolution as possible, we model only parts of the latitude and longitude. The rotational influence, measured by the Coriolis number or inverse Rossby number, is varied from zero to roughly seven, which is the regime that is likely to be realised in the solar convection zone. Cartesian simulations are performed in overlapping parameter regimes.
Results. For slow rotation we find that the radial and latitudinal turbulent angular momentum fluxes are directed inward and equatorward, respectively. In the rapid rotation regime the radial flux changes sign in accordance with earlier numerical results, but in contradiction with theory. The latitudinal flux remains mostly equatorward and develops a maximum close to the equator. In Cartesian simulations this peak can be explained by the strong “banana cells”. Their effect in the spherical case does not appear to be as large. The latitudinal heat flux is mostly equatorward for slow rotation but changes sign for rapid rotation. Longitudinal heat flux is always in the retrograde direction. The rotation profiles vary from anti-solar (slow equator) for slow and intermediate rotation to solar-like (fast equator) for rapid rotation. The solar-like profiles are dominated by the Taylor-Proudman balance.
Key words: convection / turbulence / Sun: rotation / stars: rotation
Movies and Appendix A are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2011