Bifurcations in penetrative Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a cylindrical container

  • Chuanshi Sun
  • Shuang Liu
  • Qi Wang
  • Zhenhua Wan
  • Dejun SunEmail author


The bifurcations of penetrative Rayleigh-Bénard convection in cylindrical containers are studied by the linear stability analysis (LSA) combined with the direct numerical simulation (DNS) method. The working fluid is cold water near 4°C, where the Prandtl number Pr is 11.57, and the aspect ratio (radius/height) of the cylinder ranges from 0.66 to 2. It is found that the critical Rayleigh number increases with the increase in the density inversion parameter θm. The relationship between the normalized critical Rayleigh number (Rac(θm)/Rac(0)) and θm is formulated, which is in good agreement with the stability results within a large range of θm. The aspect ratio has a minor effect on Rac(θm)/Rac(0). The bifurcation processes based on the axisymmetric solutions are also investigated. The results show that the onset of axisymmetric convection occurs through a trans-critical bifurcation due to the top-bottom symmetry breaking of the present system. Moreover, two kinds of qualitatively different steady axisymmetric solutions are identified.

Key words

bifurcation convection linear stability analysis (LSA) 



density inversion parameter


Rayleigh number


Prandtl number




wave number


aspect ratio


dimensionless temperature


dimensionless time


dimensionless velocity

Chinese Library Classification


2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

76E20 34C23 


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Copyright information

© Shanghai University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuanshi Sun
    • 1
  • Shuang Liu
    • 1
  • Qi Wang
    • 1
  • Zhenhua Wan
    • 1
  • Dejun Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Modern MechanicsUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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