Zank, G. P., & Oughton, S. (1991). Properties of mass-loading shocks: 1. Hydrodynamic considerations. Journal of Geophysical Research, 96(A6), 9439-9453.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8625
The one-dimensional hydrodynamics of flows subjected to mass loading are considered anew, with particular emphasis placed on determining the properties of mass-loading shocks. This work has been motivated by recent observations of the outbound Halley bow shock (Neubauer et al., 1990), which cannot be understood in terms of simple hydrodynamical or magnetohydrodynamical descriptions. By including mass injection at the shock, we have investigated the properties of the Rankine-Hugoniot conditions on the basis of a geometric formulation of the entropy condition. Such a condition, which is more powerful than the usual thermodynamical formulation, serves to determine those solutions to the Rankine-Hugoniot conditions which correspond to a physically realizable downstream state. On this basis a concise theoretical description of hydrodynamic mass-loading shocks is obtained. We show that mass-loading shocks have more in common with combustion shocks than with ordinary nonreacting gas dynamical shocks. It is shown that for decelerated solutions to the Rankine-Hugoniot conditions to exist, the upstream flow speed u0 must satisfy u0 > ucrit > cs, where cs is the sound speed. Besides the usual supersonic-subsonic transition, mass-loading fronts can also admit a decelerating supersonic-supersonic transition, the structure of which consists of a sharp decrease in the flow velocity preceding a recovery and an increase in the final downstream flow speed. We suggest the possibility that such structures may describe the inbound Halley bow shock (Coates et al., 1987a). Both parallel and oblique shocks are considered, the primary difference being that oblique shocks are subjected to a shearing stress due to mass loading. It is conjectured that such a shearing may destabilize the shock.