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Thermodynamically consistent semi-compressible fluids: A variational perspective

Eldred, Christopher; Gay-Balmaz, François

This paper presents (Lagrangian) variational formulations for single and multicomponent semi-compressible fluids with both reversible (entropy-conserving) and irreversible (entropy-generating) processes. Semi-compressible fluids are useful in describing low-Mach dynamics, since they are soundproof. These models find wide use in many areas of fluid dynamics, including both geophysical and astrophysical fluid dynamics. Specifically, the Boussinesq, anelastic and pseudoincompressible equations are developed through a unified treatment valid for arbitrary Riemannian manifolds, thermodynamic potentials and geopotentials. By design, these formulations obey the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, ensuring their thermodynamic consistency. This general approach extends and unifies existing work, and helps clarify the thermodynamics of semi-compressible fluids. To further this goal, evolution equations are presented for a wide range of thermodynamicvariables: entropy density s, specific entropy η, buoyancy b, temperature T, potential temperature O and a generic entropic variable Χ; along with a general definition of buoyancy valid for all three semicompressible models and arbitrary geopotentials. Finally, the elliptic equation for the pressure perturbation (the Lagrange multiplier that enforces semicompressibility) is developed for all three equation sets in the case of reversible dynamics, and for the Boussinesq/anelastic equations in the case of irreversible dynamics; and some discussion is given of the difficulty in formulating it for the pseudoincompressible equations with irreversible dynamics.