Buoyant plumes and vortex rings in an autocatalytic chemical reaction

Buoyant plumes and vortex rings
in an autocatalytic chemical reaction

Physical Review Letters, 95, 024505 (2005).

Michael C. Rogers and Stephen W. Morris

Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A7.

Buoyant plumes, evolving free of boundary constraints, may develop well-defined mushroom shaped heads. In conventional plumes, overturning flow in the head entrains less buoyant fluid from the surroundings as the head rises, robbing the plume of its driving force. We consider here a new type of plume in which the source of buoyancy is an autocatalytic chemical reaction. The reaction occurs at a sharp front which separates reactants from less dense products. In this type of autocatalytic plume, entrainment assists the reaction, producing new buoyancy which fuels an accelerating plume head. When the head has grown to a critical size, it detaches from the upwelling conduit, forming an accelerating, buoyant vortex ring. A second-generation head then develops at the point of detachment. Multiple generations of autocatalytic vortex rings can detach from a single triggering event.



Download this paper here:


Go back to the Nonlinear Physics Group papers page


The Experimental Nonlinear Physics Group / Dept. of Physics / University of Toronto / 60 St. George St. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A7. Phone (416) 978 - 6810