Volcanic Turbulence

One of the characteristics of turbulence is its large range of lengthscales. Consider the ash plume from this Japanese volcano. Some of the eddy structures are tens, if not hundreds, of meters in size, yet there is also coherence down to the scale of centimeters. In turbulence, energy cascades from these very large scales to scales small enough that viscosity can dissipate it. This is one of the great challenges in directly calculating or even simply modeling turbulence because no lengthscale can be ignore without affecting the accuracy of the results. #

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