Numerical Simulations of Dynamos Generated in Spherical Couette FlowsReport as inadecuate

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1 LGIT - Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique

Abstract : We numerically investigate the efficiency of a spherical Couette flow at generating a self-sustained magnetic field. No dynamo action occurs for axisymmetric flow while we always found a dynamo when non-axisymmetric hydrodynamical instabilities are excited. Without rotation of the outer sphere, typical critical magnetic Reynolds numbers $Rm c$ are of the order of a few thousands. They increase as the mechanical forcing imposed by the inner core on the flow increases Reynolds number $Re$. Namely, no dynamo is found if the magnetic Prandtl number $Pm=Rm-Re$ is less than a critical value $Pm c\sim 1$. Oscillating quadrupolar dynamos are present in the vicinity of the dynamo onset. Saturated magnetic fields obtained in supercritical regimes either $Re>2 Re c$ or $Pm>2Pm c$ correspond to the equipartition between magnetic and kinetic energies. A global rotation of the system Ekman numbers $E=10^{-3}, 10^{-4}$ yields to a slight decrease factor 2 of the critical magnetic Prandtl number, but we find a peculiar regime where dynamo action may be obtained for relatively low magnetic Reynolds numbers $Rm c\sim 300$. In this dynamical regime Rossby number $Ro\sim -1$, spheres in opposite direction at a moderate Ekman number $E=10^{-3}$, a enhanced shear layer around the inner core might explain the decrease of the dynamo threshold. For lower $E$ $E=10^{-4}$ this internal shear layer becomes unstable, leading to small scales fluctuations, and the favorable dynamo regime is lost. We also model the effect of ferromagnetic boundary conditions. Their presence have only a small impact on the dynamo onset but clearly enhance the saturated magnetic field in the ferromagnetic parts. Implications for experimental studies are discussed.

Keywords : Spherical Couette flow dynamo rotation ferromagnetic boundary conditions

Author: Céline Guervilly - Philippe Cardin -



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