Convection Cells in the Tank Experiments

Debbie Schwartz sent a picture of convection cells observed in the rotating tank. We did a bunch of dye-stirring experiments for the attendees at the Working Waterfront Festival in NewBedford MA this year. The day was dry and windy, and there was evaporation at the surface of the water. When the water was stirred and the dye introduced we saw the beautiful vertically coherent Taylor curtains. After 15-20 minutes or so though, the water was back to nearly solid body rotation, and evaporation at the surface made the water cold and heavy due to latent heat loss. The dye at the surface made the rotating convection cells visible as in this picture.

 These show convection cells in the rotating Tank. Photo by Grad student Debbie Schwartz

These show convection cells in the rotating Tank. Photo by Grad student Debbie Schwartz



3 Responses to “Convection Cells in the Tank Experiments”

  1.   Rakesh Says:

    what made the temperature difference in this experiment?

  2.   Amit Tandon Says:

    The water evaporating at the surface takes the latent heat of evaporation from the surface, making it cooler and heavier, and convection ensues.

  3.   rakesh Says:

    Thank you, that was helpful