Drop motion in rapidly rotating flows

Motivated by an interest in vigorous convection in the Earth’s molten outer core, I devoted my doctoral research to the motion of buoyant fluid drops rising through a rapidly rotating fluid. The figures illustrate silicone drops rising slowly along the rotation axis of a rapidly rotating tank of water rotating at 60 rpm. Note the blocked regions, or `Taylor columns’ accompanying the drop motion. A theoretical and experimental study of axial drop motion in rapidly rotating fluids is presented in a pair of papers: Bush, Stone and Bloxham (1992) and Bush, Bloxham and Stone (1993).

A review of this and related subsequent work is presented in Bush, Stone & Tanzosh (1994).