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Journal Articles Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Year : 2024

Effect of Turbulence on the Collision Rate between Settling Ice Crystals and Droplets

Abstract

In mixed-phase clouds, graupel forms by riming, a process whereby ice crystals and supercooled water droplets settling through a turbulent flow collide and aggregate. We consider here the early stage of the collision process of small ice crystals with water droplets and determine numerically the geometric collision kernel in turbulent flows (therefore neglecting all interactions between the particles and assuming a collision efficiency equal to unity), over a range of energy dissipation rate 1–250 cm 2 s −3 relevant to cloud microphysics. We take into account the effect of small, but nonzero fluid inertia, which is essential since it favors a biased orientation of the crystals with their broad side down. Since water droplets and ice crystals have different masses and shapes, they generally settle with different velocities. Turbulence does not play any significant role on the collision kernel when the difference between the settling velocities of the two sets of particles is larger than a few millimeters per second. The situation is completely different when the settling speeds of droplets and crystals are comparable, in which case turbulence is the main cause of collisions. Our results are compatible with those of recent experiments according to which turbulence does not clearly increase the growth rate of tethered graupel in a flow transporting water droplets.
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Year Month Jours
Avant la publication
Thursday, May 1, 2025
Embargoed file
Thursday, May 1, 2025
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Dates and versions

hal-04577944 , version 1 (16-05-2024)

Identifiers

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M Z Sheikh, K. Gustavsson, E. Lévêque, B. Mehlig, A. Pumir, et al.. Effect of Turbulence on the Collision Rate between Settling Ice Crystals and Droplets. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2024, 81 (5), pp.887-901. ⟨10.1175/JAS-D-23-0119.1⟩. ⟨hal-04577944⟩
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