On the Dynamics of Overshooting Convection in Spherical Shells: Effect of Density Stratification and Rotation
Overshooting of turbulent motions from convective regions into adjacent stably stratified zones plays a significant role in stellar interior dynamics, as this process may lead to mixing of chemical species and contribute to the transport of angular momentum and magnetic fields. We present a series of fully nonlinear, three-dimensional (3D) anelastic simulations of overshooting convection in a spherical shell that are focused on the dependence of the overshooting dynamics on the density stratification and the rotation, both key ingredients in stars that however have not been studied systematically together via global simulations. We demonstrate that the overshoot lengthscale is not simply a monotonic function of the density stratification in the convective region, but instead it depends on the ratio of the density stratifications in the two zones. Additionally, we find that the overshoot lengthscale decreases with decreasing Rossby number Ro and scales as Ro0.23 while it also depends on latitude with higher Rossby cases leading to a weaker latitudinal variation. We examine the mean flows arising due to rotation and find that they extend beyond the base of the convection zone into the stable region. Our findings may provide a better understanding of the dynamical interaction between stellar convective and radiative regions, and motivate future studies particularly related to the solar tachocline and the implications of its overlapping with the overshoot region.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2021
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Physics - Fluid Dynamics
- Accepted to ApJ