Convective instability of 3-D fluid-saturated geological fault zones heated from below

Zhao, C. B., Hobbs, B. E., Muhlhaus, H. B., Ord, A. and Lin, G. (2003) Convective instability of 3-D fluid-saturated geological fault zones heated from below. Geophysical Journal International, 155 1: 213-220. doi:10.1046/j.1365-246X.2003.02032.x

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Author Zhao, C. B.
Hobbs, B. E.
Muhlhaus, H. B.
Ord, A.
Lin, G.
Title Convective instability of 3-D fluid-saturated geological fault zones heated from below
Journal name Geophysical Journal International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0956-540X
1365-246X
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-246X.2003.02032.x
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 155
Issue 1
Start page 213
End page 220
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract We conduct a theoretical analysis to investigate the convective instability of 3-D fluid-saturated geological fault zones when they are heated uniformly from below. In particular, we have derived exact analytical solutions for the critical Rayleigh numbers of different convective flow structures. Using these critical Rayleigh numbers, three interesting convective flow structures have been identified in a geological fault zone system. It has been recognized that the critical Rayleigh numbers of the system have a minimum value only for the fault zone of infinite length, in which the corresponding convective flow structure is a 2-D slender-circle flow. However, if the length of the fault zone is finite, the convective flow in the system must be 3-D. Even if the length of the fault zone is infinite, since the minimum critical Rayleigh number for the 2-D slender-circle flow structure is so close to that for the 3-D convective flow structure, the system may have almost the same chance to pick up the 3-D convective flow structures. Also, because the convection modes are so close for the 3-D convective flow structures, the convective flow may evolve into the 3-D finger-like structures, especially for the case of the fault thickness to height ratio approaching zero. This understanding demonstrates the beautiful aspects of the present analytical solution for the convective instability of 3-D geological fault zones, because the present analytical solution is valid for any value of the ratio of the fault height to thickness. Using the present analytical solution, the conditions, under which different convective flow structures may take place, can be easily determined.
Keyword Geochemistry & Geophysics
Analytical Solution
Convective Instability
Critical Rayleigh Number
Flow Structure
Geological Fault Zone
Finite-element Analysis
Porous-media
Natural-convection
Rock
Transport
Box
Gradient
Systems
Onset
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Earth Systems Science Computational Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 24 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 23:48:06 EST