Reviews of topical problems

Free convection in geophysical processes

A highly significant geophysical process, free convection, is examined. Thermal convection often controls the dynamical behavior in several of the earth's envelopes: the atmosphere, ocean, and mantle. Section 2 sets forth the thermohydrodynamic equations that describe convection in a compressible or incompressible fluid, thermochemical convection, and convection in the presence of thermal diffusion. Section 3 reviews the mechanisms for the origin of the global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Interlatitudinal convection and jet streams are discussed, as well as monsoon circulation and the mean meridional circulation of ocean waters due to the temperature and salinity gradients. Also described are the hypotheses for convective motion in the mantle and the thermal-wave (moving flame) mechanism for inducing global circulation (the atmospheres of Venus and Mars provide illustrations). Eddy formation by convection in a centrifugal force field is considered. Section 4 deals with medium- and small-scale convective processes, including hurricane systems with phase transitions, cellular cloud structure, and convection penetrating into the ocean, with its stepped vertical temperature and salinity microstructure. Self-oscillatory processes involving convection in fresh-water basins are discussed, including effects due to the anomalous $(p,T)$ relation for water.

PACS: 92.60.Ek, 94.10.Lf, 92.10.−c, 91.35.Dc (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU1983v026n10ABEH004520
Citation: Alekseev V V, Gusev A M "Free convection in geophysical processes" Sov. Phys. Usp. 26 906–922 (1983)
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Оригинал: Алексеев В В, Гусев А М «Свободная конвекция в геофизических процессах» УФН 141 311–342 (1983); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0141.198310d.0311

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