Penetrative convection within the anelastic approximation

Tamara M. Rogers, Gary A. Glatzmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We present a method for studying penetrative convection within the anelastic approximation. This method is then applied to two-dimensional numerical simulations of a convective region bounded below by a stable (radiative) region. Descending plumes penetrate into the stable layer, exciting gravity waves with a spectrum of frequencies limited by the "Brunt- Väisäla" frequency. The depth of penetration depends sensitively on the "stiffness" of the boundary between the unstable and stable layers (quantified by S) and on the vigor of convection. We find scaling relations between the penetrative depth (Δ) and S, spanning 3 orders of magnitude in S. The reference state in these models is allowed to evolve; the convective region tends toward adiabaticity, and for low values of S, the stable region can be altered considerably (an extended superadiabatic region is developed). For high values of S, the stable region is left essentially unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-441
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Feb 10 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Convection
  • Stars: interiors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Penetrative convection within the anelastic approximation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this