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Broadcast spawning: A new class of reaction-mixing problems

Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 10:30am - 11:15am
EE/CS 3-180
Jeffrey Weiss (University of Colorado)
Keywords: mixing reaction broadcast
spawning coral scaling

Abstract: Coral and other marine organisms reproduce through the
mechanism of broadcast spawning, where egg and sperm are
released at separate locations and brought together by fluid
mixing and transport. Coral fertilization is particularly
important because corals are threatened by anthropogenic
climate change. We idealize broadcast spawning as point sources
of two reacting tracers separated by a neutral fluid. This
represents a new class of problems, different from well-studied
problems such as flame fronts, where two tracers fill the fluid
and are separated by an interface. For the case of broadcast
spawning within a vortex, we show that the vortex stirring
leads to a self-similar solution with enhanced fertilization
rates scaling as the Peclet number(1/3) and reduced
fertilization times scaling as the Peclet
number(-2/3).
MSC Code: 
76F25
Keywords: