Studies of thermal convection in planetary interiors have largely focused on convection above the critical Rayleigh number. However, convection in planetary mantles and crusts can also occur under subcritical conditions. Subcritical convection exhibits phenomena which do not exist above the critical Rayleigh number. One such phenomenon is spatial localization characterized by the formation of stable, spatially isolated convective cells. Spatial localization occurs in a broad range of viscosity laws including temperature-dependent viscosity and power-law viscosity and may explain formation of some surface features observed on rocky and icy bodies in the Solar System.
- Mathematical Geoscience Seminar