Turbulent oxygen flames in type Ia supernovae

Andrew Aspden, J. Bell, S. Woosley

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In previous studies, we examined turbulence–flame interactions in carbon-burning thermonuclear flames in Type Ia supernovae. In this study, we consider turbulence–flame interactions in the trailing oxygen flames. The two aims of the paper are to examine the response of the inductive oxygen flame to intense levels of turbulence, and to explore the possibility of transition to detonation in the oxygen flame. Scaling arguments analogous to the carbon flames are presented and then compared against three-dimensional simulations for a range of Damk¨ohler numbers (Da16) at a fixed Karlovitz number. The simulations suggest that turbulence does not significantly affect the oxygen flame when Da16 < 1, and the flame burns inductively some distance behind the carbon flame. However, for Da16 > 1, turbulence enhances heat transfer and drives the propagation of a flame that is narrower than the corresponding inductive flame would be. Furthermore, burning under these conditions appears to occur as part of a combined carbon–oxygen turbulent flame with complex compound structure. The simulations do not appear to support the possibility of a transition to detonation in the oxygen flame, but do not preclude it either.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


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