Thermohaline mixing with the small Peclet number approximation

Nadege Lagarde, University of Geneva
Advisor: Francois Lignieres, Toulouse, Jean-Paul Zahn, Meudon

Abstract: Thermohaline mixing is the mechanism that governs the photospheric composition of low- and intermediate-mass stars, and explains observations in these stars. It is important to study this instability with the hydrodynamic theory, and to derive prescriptions for the turbulent mixing that can be implemented in stellar codes. In this project, we discuss the formation of salt fingers on stable state, for different perturbations, when we use the small Peclet number approximation. The dominant mode of thermohaline mixing is different from the most unstable mode.

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