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The effect of temperature-dependent solubility on the onset of thermosolutal convection in a horizontal porous layer

Pritchard, D. and Richardson, C. N. (2007) The effect of temperature-dependent solubility on the onset of thermosolutal convection in a horizontal porous layer. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 571. pp. 59-95. ISSN 0022-1120

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Abstract

We consider the onset of thermosolutal (double-diffusive) convection of a binary fluid in a horizontal porous layer subject to fixed temperatures and chemical equilibrium on the bounding surfaces, in the case when the solubility of the dissolved component depends on temperature. We use a linear stability analysis to investigate how the dissolution or precipitation of this component affects the onset of convection and the selection of an unstable wavenumber; we extend this analysis using a Galerkin method to predict the structure of the initial bifurcation and compare our analytical results with numerical integration of the full nonlinear equations. We find that the reactive term may be stabilizing or destabilizing, with subtle effects particularly when the thermal gradient is destabilizing but the solutal gradient is stabilizing. The preferred spatial wavelength of convective cells at onset may also be substantially increased or reduced, and strongly reactive systems tend to prefer direct to subcritical bifurcation. These results have implications for geothermal-reservoir management and ore prospecting.