S. Balachandar

S. Balachandar

S. Balachandar

Ph.D., 1988, Brown University

Chairman and William F. Powers Professor

Phone : 352-392-0961
E-mail : bala1s@ufl.edu
Address : 231 Mechanical and Aerospace Bldg. A
University of Florida, USA

Research Description: Our research project lies in quantifying and analyzing the propagation of a fluid in a medium of different density. This work has practical implications since the ultimate goal is to accurately predict the propagation of oil spills in oceans. Such propagation partly comes about from the density difference of the two fluids and is driven by gravity, and partly from the ocean circulation/currents. At present time, operational regional models for the prediction of the propagation of oil spill only consider the motion due to ocean circulation (REF: ROMS code). However, the motion of the spill due to buoyancy plays a major role, since the gravity-induced propagation of oil can be of tens of kilometers in few weeks.

PIRE Project Description: The propagation of planar or axisymmetric releases of fluid is well understood, however, the more general case of releases of arbitrary shape is still unexplored. And yet, in most of accidental oil spills the initial shape of the release is far from being fully planar or axisymmetric. We propose three theoretical/computational approaches of increasing level of complexity, namely a box model approach, a shallow-water formulation, as well as a fully resolved numerical methodology. The work in USA is devoted to theoretical and numerical modeling, while that in France deals with the setting-up of partner laboratory experiments which will thoroughly validate the new models.