Phenomena

Volcanic Ash Plume

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Video footage of Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano erupting shows a massive turbulent plume of ash. The largest scales of the plume are of the order of hundreds, if not thousands of meters, and the eddies of the plume appear to move very slowly, especially far from the base. According to Kolmogorov, however, at the smallest scales of the flow (< 1 mm), the turbulent motions are isotropic. No one has been able to achieve Reynolds numbers high enough to fully prove or disprove Kolmogorov’s hypothesis, but natural events like volcanic eruptions produce some of the largest Reynolds numbers on earth. (See also: interview with videographer; via Gizmodo, jshoer)

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