## Abstract

Based on a mean-field theory of a non-rotating turbulent convection [T. Elperin et al., Phys. Rev. E 66, 066305, (2002)], we perform mean-field simulations (MFS) of sheared convection that takes into account an effect of modification of the turbulent heat flux by the non-uniform large-scale motions. This effect is caused by the production of additional essentially anisotropic velocity fluctuations generated by tangling of the mean-velocity gradients by small-scale turbulent motions due to the influence of the inertial forces during the lifetime of turbulent eddies. These anisotropic velocity fluctuations contribute to the turbulent heat flux. As the result of this effect, there is an excitation of large-scale convective-shear instability, which causes the formation of large-scale semi-organized structures in the form of rolls. The lifetimes and spatial scales of these structures are much larger compared to the turbulent scales. By means of MFS performed for stress-free and no-slip vertical boundary conditions, we determine the spatial and temporal characteristics of these structures. Our study demonstrates that the modification of the turbulent heat flux by non-uniform flows leads to a strong reduction of the critical effective Rayleigh number (based on the eddy viscosity and turbulent temperature diffusivity) required for the formation of the large-scale rolls. During the nonlinear stage of the convective-shear instability, there is a transition from a two-layer vertical structure with two rolls in the vertical direction before the system reaches steady-state to a one-layer vertical structure with one roll after the system reaches steady state. This effect is observed for all effective Rayleigh numbers. We find that inside the convective rolls, the spatial distribution of the mean potential temperature includes regions with a positive vertical gradient of the potential temperature caused by the mean heat flux of the convective rolls. This study might be useful for understanding the origin of large-scale rolls observed in atmospheric convective boundary layers, as well as in numerical simulations and laboratory experiments.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 075131 |

Journal | Physics of Fluids |

Volume | 36 |

Issue number | 7 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1 Jul 2024 |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Computational Mechanics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes