Theoretical analysis of mixing in liquid clouds-Part 3: Inhomogeneous mixing

Mark Pinsky, Alexander Khain*, Alexei Korolev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


An idealized diffusion-evaporation model of timedependent mixing between a cloud volume and a dropletfree volume is analyzed. The initial droplet size distribution (DSD) in the cloud volume is assumed to be monodisperse. It is shown that evolution of the microphysical variables and the final equilibrium state are unambiguously determined by two non-dimensional parameters. The first one is the potential evaporation parameter R, proportional to the ratio of the saturation deficit to the liquid water content in the cloud volume, that determines whether the equilibrium state is reached at 100% relative humidity, or is characterized by a complete evaporation of cloud droplets. The second parameter Da is the Damkölher number equal to the ratio of the characteristic mixing time to the phase relaxation time. Parameters R and Da determine the type of mixing. The results are analyzed within a wide range of values of R and Da. It is shown that there is no pure homogeneous mixing, since the first mixing stage is always inhomogeneous. The mixing type can change during the mixing process. Any mixing type leads to formation of a tail of small droplets in DSD and, therefore, to DSD broadening that depends on Da. At large Da, the final DSD dispersion can be as large as 0.2. The total duration of mixing varies from several to 100 phase relaxation time periods, depending on R and Da. The definitions of homogeneous and inhomogeneous types of mixing are reconsidered and clarified, enabling a more precise delimitation between them. The paper also compares the results obtained with those based on the classic mixing concepts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9273-9297
Number of pages25
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2016

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