Compressibility effects in turbulent MHD and passive scalar transport: mean-field theory Academic Article uri icon


  • We develop a mean-field theory of compressibility effects in turbulent magnetohydrodynamics and passive scalar transport using the quasi-linear approximation and the spectral $\tau$-approach. We find that compressibility decreases the $\alpha$ effect and the turbulent magnetic diffusivity both at small and large magnetic Reynolds numbers, Rm. Similarly, compressibility decreases the turbulent diffusivity for passive scalars both at small and large P\'eclet numbers, Pe. On the other hand, compressibility does not affect the effective pumping velocity of the magnetic field for large Rm, but it decreases it for small Rm. Density stratification causes turbulent pumping of passive scalars, but it is found to become weaker with increasing compressibility. No such pumping effect exists for magnetic fields. However, compressibility results in a new passive scalar pumping effect from regions of high to low turbulent intensity both for small and large P\'eclet numbers. It is analogous to magnetic pumping and can be interpreted as compressible turbophoresis of noninertial particles and gaseous admixtures, while the classical turbophoresis effect exists only for inertial particles and causes them to be pumped to regions with lower turbulent intensity.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017