An investigation of the influence of initial conditions on Rayleigh-Taylor mixing
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Experiments and direct numerical simulations (DNS) have been performed to examine the eÂ¤ects of initial conditions on the dynamics of a Rayleigh-Taylor unsta- ble mixing layer. Experiments were performed on a water channel facility to measure the interfacial and velocity perturbations initially present at the two-fluid interface in a small Atwood number mixing layer. The experimental measurements have been parameterized for use in numerical simulations of the experiment. Two- and three- dimensional DNS of the experiment have been performed using the parameterized initial conditions. It is shown that simulations implemented with initial velocity and density perturbations, rather than density perturbations alone, are required to match experimentally-measured statistics and spectra. Data acquired from both the exper- iment and numerical simulations are used to examine the role of initial conditions on the evolution of integral-scale, turbulence, and mixing statistics. Early-time turbu- lence and mixing statistics are shown to be strongly-dependent upon the early-time transition of the initial perturbation from a weakly-nonlinear to a strongly-nonlinear flow.
Mueschke, Nicholas Jay (2004). An investigation of the influence of initial conditions on Rayleigh-Taylor mixing. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from